A few thousands of Poles from the Greater Poland region were murdered by the Nazi soldiers in mass and secret executions between 1939 and 1942 in the woods surrounding villages of Paledzie, Dabrowka and Zakrzewo. The victims were teachers, professors, students, scouts, the clergy, political and social activists. They were only killed because of their nationality.
The murders were committed by German officers of the police forces – Einsatzgruppen. These formations were responsible for eliminating potential leaders of Polish society in the first months of the war. After 1940 members of Gestapo in Poznan, along with the German citizens living in Zakrzewo joined the process.
In 1944 to remove any traces of the murders, the bodies of victims were extracted from the mass graves and then burned by German special forces called Sonderkommando Legath , as a part of “Action 1005”. The remains were scattered in the woods to be lost forever.
Since the finish of the Second World War eighteen mass graves have been discovered and identified in the woods surrounding villages of Paledzie, Dabrowka and Zakrzewo. Some of them have been turned into memorial sites. Their names are as follows: The Quarter of the Clergy, The Quarter of the Students, The Forgotten Quarter and The Seven Graves Quarter. The exact number of people that were killed in those woods is unfortunately unknown.