PARIS (Dec. 17)
It was established today that more than 2,500 Jews have committed suicide in German-occupied Poland, as Polish Government sources reported the execution of 616 Jews by Nazis in two Polish cities. The suicides included more than 1,300 in Warsaw, more than 600 in Lodz, 80 in Lublin, more than 60 in Bendin, more than 60 in Czestochowa, 45 in Lomza, 30 in Tomazow and 25 in Kutno.
The Polish sources stated that 600 Jews were executed last week in Ostrow Mazowieck and 16 in Lodz. No further details were given. In Lodz, the same sources said, 1,600 carloads of confiscated Jewish textiles last week were shipped into the interior of the Reich. In Warsaw, Jews are still forced to wear armlets bearing the Jewish star. (Reports reaching Wilno last week said the armband order had been revoked.)
The existence of epidemics in Jewish sections of Polish cities was indicated in other reports reaching Paris, despite a Rome dispatch published in New York which quoted Frederic C. Walcott, treasurer of the American Commission for Polish Relief, as denying that there were epidemics in Warsaw. One report received by a relief organization here said that epidemics were raging in the Lodz Jewish section known as “Balut” as a result of starvation and physical exhaustion. Other reports, mostly from people who recently escaped from Warsaw, stated that an average of 500 Jews daily were dying in Warsaw as a result of disease and starvation.
The official Nazi newspaper in Warsaw, Warschauer Zeitung, which reached Paris via Amsterdam, carries an article captioned “Warschauer Ghetto wird Abgespert” (Warsaw ghetto is isolated), in which it is stated that German soldiers have been officially forbidden to enter the ghetto. This measure was apparently taken to prevent the spread of disease to the German army.
“As per order of the Governor, the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw will be isolated behind barricades,” the paper announced. It estimated that from 300,000 to 400,000 Jews would be segregated in the ghetto. Other reports received via neutral countries said that the approximately 160,000 Jews in Warsaw residing outside the ghetto until Jan. I were giving their immovable property to Polish friends and sell- ing furniture and other goods “for small change” since they did not expect to have enough space in their cramped ghetto quarters for furniture. Most of these Jews, it was said, slept at night in their clothes as they were never certain that they might not be awakened by the Nazis and ordered to the ghetto on 15 minutes’ notice.
Anti-Jewish pressure is increasing in Lodz. Sale of postage stamps to Jews has been prohibited. Bearded Jews have been ordered to shave. Wearing of “yarmelkes” (black skullcaps) has been forbidden. Jewish enterprises have been ordered to display a Six-pointed star over their doors, and Polish stores ordered to put up signs reading “This is a Polish enterprise.”
The Essener National Zeitung, Field Marshal Hermann Goering’s newspaper, reviewing results of the economic drive against Jews in Poland, states that 87 percent of all Jewish artisan shops and 83 percent of commercial enterprises, have been liquidated. It adds that all Jewish agricultural possessions, have passed into “Aryan” hands and that seven Jewish agricultural colonies (apparently meaning Zionist training farms) have been completely liquidated.