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Persecution of Jewish Religion in Poland Told by Eyewitnesses

Persecution of rabbis and profanation of Jewish ritual objects is more brutal in Nazi-occupied Poland than it was in Germany, according to a survey of German persecution of religious life in Poland released here by the Polish In formation Center today.

“Many synagogues have been burned, many converted into stables, motion pictures or brothels,” the survey said. “Numerous houses of prayer and rabbinical schools have been closed, many rabbis murdered.”

According to an eyewitness report, in Saczucin on Yon Kipper Nazi elite guards armed with revolvers and machine-guns evicted Jews from the local synagogue, tore the prayer shawls from them and threw out the sacred scrolls and prayer books. Silver and gold vessels were seized. The other articles were piled up and the Jews, whipped and hit with butt-ends, were forced to dance around the heap, Aged Jews, ordered to set fire to the heap, refused and were beaten, kicked and spat upon. Dresses were torn off young girls and they were forced to run nude around the market place. Finally the Germans set fire to the pile and to the synagogue, which was destroyed within an hour.

In Tuchow, the synagogue was burned, the 70-year-old keeper was hanged and the sacred scrolls torn to pieces and thrown into rubbish holes. In Wengrow, Rabbi Morgen stern was tortured before all the Jews assembled in the market place. He was whipped and then a knife was slowly pushed into his body until he died. In Nowe Miasto, during a pogrom Nazis raided a small Chassidic prayer house, grabbed seven old men, dragged them to the market place and threw them together with the holy scrolls into a burning pile of faggots.

In Mielec, a number of Jews were locked in a synagogue, which was then set afire and an estimated 50 persons burned alive. Similar burnings of synagogues with the congregants within occurred in Dynow, Frysztat, Myslenice, Sosnowiec, Rzeszow, Krosno, Sanok, Lancut, Jaroslaw, Przeworsk, Przemysl, Grodek Jagiellonski, Lublin, Zamosc and Krasnystaw.

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