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Nazis Stage Mass Expulsions of Jews from Polish Towns; Cracow Shops Pillaged

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Reports reaching here today from Nazi Poland told of mass expulsion of Jews from numerous townships, pillaging of Jewish shops in Cracow and Nazi preparations to exile all of Cracow’s Jews to the Lublin “reservation.

The reports emphasize the Nazi determination to press the extermination of the Jews in Poland by every possible means. Expulsions of entire Jewish populations at several hours’ notice were reported to have occurred chiefly in Polish towns bordering the territory which Chancellor Hitler has proclaimed an integral part of the Reich and also those in the vicinity of the Soviet frontier.

To dramatize the deportations, the Nazi authorities forced brass bands of the local fire brigades to lead the exiles out of town. Polish firemen, touched by the tragedy, wept as they played their instruments, according to one report.

Several thousand Jews whose townships are near the Soviet border were directed by the Nazis to the frontier. They found the border closed, however, with the Soviet guards under orders not to permit anyone from the Polish side to enter.

After shivering many hours in the cold night, the exiles, mostly elderly orthodox Jews and their wives and children, as a last despairing effort to win admission to the Soviet side of the border began singing the Red anthem “The International.” Touched by this demonstration, the Soviet troops opened the gates and admitted the refugees.

Information reaching Polish Government circles and relief organizations here reported that the anti-Jewish terror in Nazi-occupied Galicia is constantly increasing. The Nazi authorities in Cracow have ordered a census of all Jews in Galicia over 16 years of age.

A Polish Government statement said that the swastika was flying over all Catholic churches in Cracow, that Jewish shops were being pillaged and the merchandise shipped into the interior, and a plan was being prepared for the expulsion of all Cracow Jews to the Lublin “reservation.”

The Krakauer Zeitung, official Nazi organ, reported that the Mogen David armlets which Jews are required to wear must be purchased by the Jews themselves. The paper hinted that the armlets were not “the last word in Nazi measures against the Cracow Jews.”

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