WILNO, Lithuania (Nov. 10)
The plundering of Jewish property by Germans is still going on in the German-occupied territory of Poland. Apart from official wholesale confiscation of goods, which are carried out without any order being shown and without any receipts being given, unofficial expropriations are committed daily by German soldiers and Gestapo officials off their own bat.
In Warsaw it is a daily occurrence for a German soldier to approach a Jew carrying some packet, the contents of which the soldier does not know, and take it away. Another daily scene observed in Warsaw streets is for a Polish woman to ask a German soldier or a Gestapo policeman to give her the fur coat worn by some Jewess. The Nazi usually orders the Jewess to take off her coat which he hands over to the Polish woman. Soldiers also sometimes hand the packets they have taken away from the Jews to any non-Jew they happen to meet who only seldom returns it to the Jew after the departure of the German soldiers.
A Jewish woman who asked the German soldiers for a written order when they came to confiscate her goods, was slapped by the sergeant in command of the soldiers, who said: “This is my written order.”
During the last few days the German authorities in Warsaw have ordered the opening of the retail shops, with the apparent purpose of making it easier for the soldiers to rob the Jewish shopkeepers. The usual procedure is for a soldier to ask for the price of an article displayed in the shop window and either to pay at most 10 per cent of its value, or, which is more often, take it away without payment. No Jew dares complain to the authorities, because it is impossible for him to provide evidence. A few Jewish shopkeepers who had the courage to complain to the military commander have been beaten up and accused of insulting the German Army and even the German race.
There were, however, a few cases of German soldiers acting in a truly humane spirit towards the Jews and not only restraining others from robbing and humiliating the Jews, but even trying to protect the Jews against hooligans.
The military authorities, however, are being withdrawn from Warsaw and replaced by growing numbers of Gestapo officials who show no signs of humanity. Newly-arrived neutral observers from Warsaw state that both the professional and the conscripted German soldiers hate and even despise the Gestapo officials for their brutality and mercilessness.