Hundreds of Aged Jews Executed by Nazis As “snipers,” Polish Refugees Reveal

Young refugees from Poland, who risked their lives in crossing the almost hermetically sealed Rumanian frontier, gave photographic evidence today that hundreds of aged Jews who obviously were incapable of handling guns had been executed by Nazi troops on charges of sniping.

Some of the pictures show groups of Jews lined up in the woods as they are about to be shot by Nazi firing squads. Executed for “firing on German soldiers,” the Jews for the most part were aged, pious-looking, kaftan-clad men to whom the handling of a gun would be both an insoluble mystery and religiously offensive.

One photo shows more than 100 Jews, the majority of them bearded and clad in kaftans, packed in an open military truck. Surrounded by Nazi guards, they were being driven off to be executed “because shots were fired from their houses upon German troops.”

Printed Nazi propaganda accompanying the pictures declares that “a large part of the Jewish population in Poland has been found guilty of acts of animosity against German troops and are therefore paying for it.”

Other refugees, from Soviet-held areas of Poland, told this correspondent that life there was generally tolerable. While synagogues have not been molested, they said, Zionist leaders have been arrested and bread is scarce because the peasants are hiding their grain. Among the arrested Zionist leaders, they reported, was Deputy Emil Sommerstein. (Previous dispatches from Kaunas reported that Dr. Sommerstein was being held by the Soviet authorities in Lwow together with Chief Rabbi Senator Moses Schorr.)

The refugees are for the most part young men who are desperately anxious to reach Palestine. Under cover of dark, rainy autumn nights they smuggled themselves through woods and marshes into Rumania.

Meanwhile, information reaching here from Warsaw said that the Nazis were conducting mass arrests of Jews on charges of “Black Bourse” (illegal currency) dealings. Appeals for mercy are disregarded.

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