History of Sitaniec

 
The first record about the village dates back to 1402, when it was mentioned in the separation act from the village of Chomeciska. Its owner was then Wojciech "de Sythenec" Sitanski, the land magistrate of the Chelm district. Sitaniec (currently near Zamosc - which was founded much later) was one of the larger villages in the area, this assumption being supported by the fact that his owner Wojciech ceded to his son a parcel of land of 20 "lan" (approx. 320 hectares).
In 1434 a wooden church was erected, on Wojciech Sitanski's initiative.
The Sitanski family were the owners of the village until 1583/84. At that time Stanislawa and Marek Scibor-Sitanski sold their estate to the Chancellor Jan Zamoyski. In 1589, Zamoyski included Sitaniec into his "Ordynacja" (indivisible estate) and made it central to the vast expanses of his estate.
In the middle of the XVII century the village was destroyed by the Swedish army which laid siege to the nearby Zamosc fortress. The wooden church was also destroyed and it was eventually rebuilt in the years 1698-1699. Sitaniec finally regained its old splendor in the second half of the XVIII century. A Roman-Catholic parish was situated here, which included several neighboring villages.
 
In 1880, a distinction was made between the main village, the "folwark" (farm/grange) and the "kolonia" (colony), which was founded during the years 1785-1800 by the Ordynat (principal heir) Andrzej Zamoyski. In the "kolonia" he settled 16 German families. The census taken in 1921 informs about the existence of 166 houses and 1147 inhabitants, the dominant majority being the Poles. There were 24 Jews and 53 Ukrainians. Before World War I, a separate school for Orthodox population existed in Sitaniec.
During the years 1907-1912, a brick church (dedicated to St. Bartholomew) was erected at the site of the old cemetery. The cemetery was relocated 400 meters in the direction of Zamosc.
 
The most difficult times arrived for the inhabitants of Sitaniec with the onset of World War II. During the German occupation, executions of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages were taking place in the nearby so-called Sitaniec Woods. After the war, a monument "To the memory of those murdered during the occupation 1941-1944" was erected there. On December 6, 1942 the inhabitants of Sitaniec were expelled from their homes. Some were saved by Zygmunt Zipser, a man of German background, at that time the owner of a furniture factory. He saved his employees and their families. The remaining population was placed in
the transitional camp in Zamosc. Approximately 370 persons were sent to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). According to the reports - only 6 persons returned from there!
 
To honor the fallen and the murdered, after the war a memorial plaque was placed in the local church bearing the inscription: "To the memory of soldiers of AK, BCh, WiN from Sitaniec and vicinity, who died fighting the occupant and who were murdered by UB and NKWD during the years 1939-1956". (AK - Home Army, BCh - Peasants' Battalions, WiN - Freedom and Independence - all were Polish underground military organizations fighting the occupants; UB - Security Office (polish) and NKWD - National Committee of Internal Security (Soviet) -
both police organizations of terror, suppression, opression and murder in Poland after the communist invasion of eastern Poland in 1939-1941 and then takeover of the whole country in 1944/45). Another monument, where a tribute to their memory is paid, is a monument in Sitaniec commemorating the fallen OSP (Voluntary Fire Brigade) firemen.
 
Some sights to see in Sitaniec include a rococo-style belfry, individual houses dating back to the turn of the XIX-th century, and in the cemetary - an interesting family vault of the Malczewski family as well as some tombstone sculptures.
 
The tekst was prepared by Tomasz Tchˇrzewski from Sitaniec and published in "Tygodnik Zamojski" (The Zamosc Weekly) in the cycle "Ma│e Ojczyzny" (The Small Homelands) .

(submitted by Jacek Wajszczuk - [303]).

 
Note; Italicized - comments and explanations from the translator (WJW)