WILNO, Lithuania (Nov. 6)
An order is being prepared by the German authorities compelling all Jews to leave mixed quarters of Warsaw and to concentrate in the Nalewki region and adjacent streets, it was learned here today.
The ghetto order, it is reported, will be issued upon compilation of statistics which are now being filed on the Warsaw Jewish population, which before the war totalled more than 300,000, or nearly one-fourth of the city’s population. It is also reported that the statistics will be taken as a basis for imposing heavy collective fines upon the Jews.
The ghetto edict will spell catastrophe for the Jewish population since congestion in the Jewish streets of the city is already at a peak. An estimated 500,000 refugees from the provinces, chiefly Pomerania, Poznan, Silesia, Czestochowa, Bandzin, Klicz, and Mlawa, are jammed into those streets.
The relatively small number of houses that escaped damage during the siege, estimated at only 30 per cent of the total, are indescribably congested. Up to the present, Jews in Warsaw resided in all quarters, although the so-called Jewish quarter embracing such districts as the Nalewki, Franciszkanska, Gensia, Muranow, Dzika, Wolynska, Stawki, Zeleznbrama, Granicza and Brzybow, were most densely populated by Jews.
The ghetto decree will have tragic consequences since the enumerated Jewish streets, like others in the city, suffered heavy damage in the bombardment. Some were entirely destroyed, including Granicza, where only three houses out of a total of 17 were partly saved.
Creation of a ghetto appears to be the first step toward setting up ghetto towns in Nazi Poland on the medieval model.
CONSCRIPTION FOR HAZARDOUS WORK CONTINUES
Despite a reported agreement between the Nazi authorities and the Warsaw Jewish community, under which the latter unertook to supply a daily quota of 500 Jews for debris removal on condition that the Nazis discontinue the practice of hunting down Jews in the streets for the forced labor, the practice has intensified.
Because women, too, are being conscripted for the heavy and dangerous work, they are now shunning the streets with the result that the supplying of food to families has become complicated to an extreme and the Warsaw Jewish population is literally starving.
Activities of the Jewish Community’s shattered organization have been rendered most difficult because of brutal treatment to its officers. The Germans are holding Engineer Czerniakoff, vice-president, and Raphael Gutman, secretary, as hostages for President Mauricy Mayzel, who escaped to Soviet Poland. Both were maltreated before the eyes of officials.
Visitors to the Community offices, including women, are humiliated and maltreated by Nazi storm troopers. The Community funds were confiscated without authorization and Czerniakoff was beaten up when he asked for a written confiscation order by the authorities. The President’s office and the archives were sealed and their supervision was entrusted to two Christian community wardens.
ATROCITIES IN POLISH TOWNS
Meanwhile, new details of atrocities perpetrated on Jews in other parts of Poland continued to be received here. Prisoners in concentration camps are being treated with the greatest brutality. The Wengrow camp has achieved notoriety overshadowing that of the dread Dachau camp in Germany. Daily, corpses of tortured victims are loaded on lorries for burial.
It was learned today that 150 Jews were shot to death in the township of Wengrow immediately after entry of the German troops.
The town of Fallenica, 15 kilometers from Warsaw, was put to the torch, with the inhabitants of the neighboring German colony participating in the arson. Prior to the burning, all the Jews in the town, including old and young, women and children, were assembled and ordered to run. Automobiles manned by Nazis chased them, running down and killing the feeble and the exhausted.
The famous Medem sanatorium for children of Jewish workers, situated between Fallenica and the German colony, was completely destroyed by incendiary bombs. During the war, the sanatorium had been transformed into a Polish military hospital. All the wounded patients and the entire medical staff were killed by bombs.
Former Deputy A. Hartglass, president of the Zionist Organization in Warsaw, is among Jewish notables held under arrest by the Nazis, it was learned. Also arrested is Editor Einhorn of the Haint, former Warsaw Yiddish daily, President Indelman of the Jewish Journalists’ Union, who was also an editor on the Haint, has been sent to the Dachau concentration camp.
SOVIET ADMITS SOME REFUGEES DESPITE CLOSED FRONTIER
Heartbreaking scenes are occuring daily on the Soviet-German frontier to the south of Bialystok as a result of formal closing of the border to refugees from Nazi Poland. Despite the closing, however, applicants for admission to Soviet territory are being treated liberally, as witness the following story related to this correspondent today by an eyewitness.
In a "no-man’s-land" forest near the town of Brok on the River Bug there was an encampment of 1,400 refugees from the German occupation. Most of them were women and children. Many had been in the woods for 48 hours without food or water. The Nazis had stripped them of all their valuables, permitting them to leave Nazi territory with only two zlotys (about 38 cents at pre-war rates) each. They had been searched with the utmost brutality by the Nazi guards. Women were undressed and forced to stand naked for two hours while the soldiers pretended to be seeking hidden valuables.
Property confiscated from the refugees was distributed among the soldiers and inhabitants of a German colony near Malkinia as a reward for catching refugees trying to evade the guards. Refugees who were caught were brought to the "red bus," a torture chamber.
The Soviet guards refused to admit the 1,400 refugees, declaring "we won’t shoot, but entry is forbidden." Two hours later, the chief of the Soviet border patrol replied similarly to a delegation, adding: "We know your sufferings, but are unable to violate the order."
When the reply was relayed to the desperate, hungry crowd of refugees, they shouted as with one voice: "Kill us, we cannot return." Soon, a patrol leader on horseback came out and quieted them by promising to make another effort in their behalf. He returned in half an hour with permission for all of the refugees to cross the border. "We embraced and kissed the Soviet soldiers as we passed," the informant said in concluding his story of the incident.
Meanwhile, the city of Bialystok is becoming increasingly overpopulated as a result of the continuing influx of refugees. Thousands are literally lodging in the streets of the industrial center, which is now in Soviet hands.
J.D.C. KITCHENS FEED MANY
It was learned that the activities of the Joint Distribution Committee in German occupied Poland were never more impressive than during the present grave plight of the Polish Jews.
It is possible to enumerate many prominent Jewish leaders, writers, physicians, musicians and businessmen whose only food is that dispensed by the J.D.C. The committee 30 kitchens are besieged all day by hungry men, women and children.
In Warsaw, the J.D.C. has opened workshops employing 50 tailors to make clothing for refugees from the provinces. The raw materials are given by Jewish stores. The J.D.C. has been hampered in its work by the Germans’ action in blocking its funds.