Statement on German Crimes Committed Against the Jewish population in Poland
Member of the National Council of Poland45 Queens Court Queensway W.2. London
June 29th 1942
The specific side of the catastrophe of European Jewry lies in the fact that contemporary Germany under Hitler’s leadership is aiming at the complete destruction and annihilation of Jewry, its biological destruction and the transfer of the poor remnants from the sphere of German rule, not at their subjugation and inclusion in the new German order.
That is the essential point, because in relation to other nations of the Continent Hitler’s aim is the destruction of their political independence, of their freedom. He wants to reduce them from the status of free nations to the level of servants and slaves of the Herrenvolk. With the Jews he has a much wider programme. Will you permit to produce for you evidence to this effect, and here whose words can be more apt, more picturesque and convincing than those of Alfred Rosenberg, one of the leaders of Hitlerite Germany, the founder of the Nazi ideology and author of the well known “Myth of the Twentieth Century” who has now been entrusted with the task of ruling the Eastern European parts of Russia.
It was in his address to the Congress of the Institute of Research of the Jewish Problem, on March 28th 1941,that he said: “For Germany the Jewish question will be solved only, when the last Jew has left “The Grossdeutsche Raum,” the area of Greater Germany. And continuing he said, “The Jewish question will be solved for Europe only when the last Jew leaves the European Continent.” Hitler the killer, is realising this aim by converting the areas of suffering Poland into a mass grave for Jewry.
II Organised Starvation, Organised Diseases, Organised Death
Prior to the outbreak of war about 3,300,000 Jews were living on Polish soil, that was about nine and a half percent of the entire population. One fifth of the Jewish nation was living in Poland. On January 1st 1939 Warsaw had a population of 913,900 Christians and 358,000 Jews. On June 1st 1941 Warsaw had a population of 948,000 Christians and about 530,000 Jews. This increase of population, which came about in spite of the colossal death rate is explained by the fact that the Germans are transferring Jews from other towns and villages to the mass grave – which is the Ghetto of Warsaw. The area covered by the Ghetto of Warsaw was inhabited prior to the war by 244,483 inhabitants – today it embraces a population of about 600,000. Out of this number of almost 600,000 about 250,000 are classified as “poor” – as people in need of financial assistance, who have to rely on public charity. However, the Jewish community was able (in May 1941) to distribute only 120,000 portions of soup daily.
The import of food and fuel into the Ghetto is prohibited. This has the consequence that the price of food and fuel is more than twice as high in the Ghetto than outside it. Closed behind the high walls the inhabitants are allowed to trade with the outside world only through the so-called Transferstelle. This Nazi body takes a heavy commission causing the abnormally high prices.
Let me quote an example:
The price of a pound of bread amounted last year (in September) in Warsaw to ZL. 6.75, while in the Ghetto it was about ZL.15. With potatoes it was similar, in Warsaw, they could be bought at ZL. 1.92 a pound, but in the Ghetto the price fetched ZL.3.80.
Food of course is rationed, and the rations allotted to Jews are most pitiable:
|The Weeks ration in||Bread||Meat||Sugar||Fats||In oz’s|
|For a German to||90 oz’s||17.5 oz’s||8 oz’s||9.5 oz’s|
|For a Pole to||62 oz’s||9 oz’s||5.5 oz’s||2.5 oz’s|
|For a Jew to||14 oz’s||4.5 oz’s||1.75 oz’s||9/10 oz’s|
At this average Jews are permitted to have 1/8 of the ration which an inhabitant of Poland was consuming before the war in 1939.
By an order of the German authorities Jewish children below the age of five and adults above the age of forty –five are not permitted to obtain medical health and the administering of medicine to them is prohibited.
The death rate of Christians amounted in Warsaw in 1938 annually to 11.3 in a thousand. In September 1941 the death rate has risen to 21.5 in a thousand, which meant twice as much as before the war. Among the Jews the death rate amounted in Warsaw in 1938 annually to 9.9 in a thousand. In September 1941 the rate had jumped to 158 in a thousand, which means an increase of 16 times.
Typhus, tuberculosis, heart diseases are the main illnesses raging in the Ghetto.
The decrease of the population in Warsaw.
During the first six months 1939 in a thousand:
Christians – 1.8
Jews – 5.1
That was the increase
During the first six months 1941 in a thousand:
Christians – 3.2
Jews - 20.5
That was the decrease
The Organised Slaughter of Thousands and Hundreds of Thousands of Jews
What is not to be achieved by starvation, diseases and natural death- is being aimed by the slaughter committed against Polish Jews and Jews from other countries deported by Hitler to Poland. The most horrible news about cold blooded slaughter were reaching us constantly. But news which recently reached London from reliable sources surpasses the most horrible examples in the history of barbarism. It is difficult to grasp that a human being could fall so low as did the contemporary German, educated by Hitlerism. It is difficult to believe these facts – and yet they are true. I wish to give you some details of this catastrophe, out of this ocean of suffering which has befallen a nation with thousands years of history.
Out of a population of 65,000 about 15,000 remained alive. They are artisans, left alive because Hitler still needs them. All others, about 50,000 were slaughtered gradually by the Germans and Lithuanians in the Ponar mountains.
The Germans slaughtered about 8,000 Jews between the age of 16 and 60. At first they took about 3,000 Jews from their houses. In the villages Halewo and Zapole the Jews were ordered to dig their own graves and to stand in front of them. Then machine guns went into action.
At another occasion about 4,000 – 5,000 Jews were taken from the town, no trace were ever found of them.
About 6,000 Jews were slaughtered
About 300 Jews were slaughtered
The whole of the Jewish population was wiped out.
Jews were slaughtered including children, the entire population
Jews were driven out of their homes and the whole Jewish district was set on fire
Many thousands Jews were murdered. A mass grave covering almost a mile, bears evidence of their fate.
Mass executions of Jews, irrespective of sex and age
About 1,000 Jews were killed
The scene took place in 1940. Groups, each of 100 Jews were formed. They were ordered to dig ditches. Each of the victims was ordered to lay down. The German police put their guns into action – and the graves these unhappy people had dug for themselves were covered without ascertaining as to whether any of them were still alive.
Czyzew Szlachecki (Near Lomza)
About 6,000 Jews were driven together into anti-tank trenches, they were murdered and put into a mass grave.
About 30,000 Jews were killed
About 15,000 Jews were slaughtered
About 2,000 Jews were murdered
About 4,000 Jews were slaughtered
About 9,000 Jews were killed on September 15th 1940
About 15,000 Jews were killed
Hancewicze near Baranowice
About 6,000 were victims of the Nazi slaughter. But that does not exhaust the list:
The Germans organised mass slaughter and mass executions in the towns;
Zborow, Kolomyja, Sambor, Stryj, Drohobycz, Zbaraz, Przemyslany, Kuty, Sniatyn, Zaleszczyki, Brody, Przemysl, Rawa Ruska, Kosow, Lachowiec, Tarnow, Radom and others.
In Lublin, where the Germans once planned the greatest concentration of Jews, they organised a Ghetto of colossal dimensions- but they changed their mind – in March 1942 they slaughtered a part of the Jews, others were taken away to an unknown destination and disappeared.
During the period from November 1941 to March 1942 about 5,000 Jews from the towns Kolo, Dabie, Bugaj, Izbica and about 35,000 from the Ghetto of Lodz were taken to the town Chelmno, in the Kolski district; there a new method of slaughtering was applied to them; They were loaded into mobile gas chambers and were gassed to death. Their bodies were buried in the Lubardski forest. The reports speak the same language of horror, suffering and death as to the fate of Jews in other places, towns and villages.
What is to be done! Our victory will be the final reply to German crimes and atrocities.
But until then, what is to be done now. What are we to do!
All nations under Hitler’s yoke are making great sacrifices and passing through an ordeal. But the Jew is the greatest victim. Rosenberg’s “ideal” is in fact being put into practice. Everything that is in our power must be done to prevent the population of Poland from annihilation. Particularly the Jewish population is threatened with complete annihilation to-day.
Only immediate appropriate steps could deter Hitler from carrying on his criminal action.
Dr. I. Schwarzbart
National Archives, Kew FO 371/ 31097
© Holocaust Historical Society 2014