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Nazis Threaten to Execute 1,000 Warsaw Jews on Slightest ‘provocation’

Execution of 1,000 Jews on the smallest further “Jewish provocation” was threatened by the Nazi authorities, it was reliably learned here today, following execution in Warsaw of 53 Jews accused of hiding a Jew who allegedly shot a Polish policeman.

A trustworthy source today related further dramatic details of the execution of the 53 Jews in the Nalewki quarter of Warsaw early this month. A German official statement explained that one Jacob Silbring had shot a Polish policeman and fired on two others without hitting them. Silbring, the German announcement said, then fled, following which 53 Jews were arrested, including temporary residents of houses at 9 and 11 Nalewki Street. All were brought to the Warsaw citadel.

The Nazis then summoned the board of the Jewish Community, the informant said, and imposed a “fine” of 300,000 zlotys ($60,000 at pre-war rates) which was paid within three days. Afterwards the board was told that the Jewish prisoners had been executed on the first day of their detention. In conveying this information, the Nazis served warning that 1,000 Jews would be executed in the event of the smallest further “Jewish provocation.”

Engineer Cherniakoff, head of the Jewish Community, then convoked a special meeting of the board, at which he proposed to call all families of the executed Jews to inform them of the death of their husbands, fathers and brothers, and to appoint a delegation to obtain the corpses for burial.

Cherniakoff, in calling the meeting, announced that all councillors who felt they were unable to witness the expected scene were at liberty to leave, whereupon all except Cherniakoff and one councillor left the room. When the relatives of the executed entered, Cherniakoff, in conveying the news of the execution, declared the names of the Jewish martyrs would remain forever engraved in the annals of the Warsaw Jewish Community. Indescribable scenes followed the announcement, the informant said. Women fainted, others tore their clothes and lamentations were heard throughout the street.

Among the executed temporary residents of 9 Nalewki Street were a rabbi of Minsk-Mazowiecki and a father and his two sons.

The execution took place in the following manner: The condemned Jews were divided into three groups. The first group was ordered to dig their own graves. When they were shot, the second group buried them. Similarly, the third group buried the second. Before execution of the last group, the Nazi commander of the firing squad announced: “Since there are no more Jews to bury you, you will have the honor of being buried by German soldiers.”

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