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Wide-spread Starvation, Epidemics in Nazi-held Eastern Poland

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Wide-spread starvation on an unprecedented scale exists today among both Jews and Poles in Nazi-held Eastern Poland, which was captured from the Soviet Union, according to information reaching Polish circles here today.

In the Grodno district, it is reported, there is almost a complete lack of all foodstuffs and essential supplies, even potatoes. Despite the large forests surrounding the town, no fuel is available to heat the houses which were left standing after the cessation of hostilities in this area. The majority of the district’s Jewish and Polish inhabitants, however, live in cellars, since most of those houses which were not destroyed are occupied by German military and civil officials. Jewish and Polish patients have been evicted from the hospitals in Grodno which are jammed with Nazi soldiers wounded on the Soviet front. Large shipments of other German wounded pass the town in a never-ending procession, bound west. In addition a severe typhus epidemic is raging in the region and Nazi military authorities have expressed fear that it will spread to the German troops on the Eastern front. At the same time they charge the epidemic originates in the Jewish ghettos in Poland.

The increasing food shortage, also, in the districts of Poland which have been directly annexed to the Reich, is illustrated by an order further restricting the foodstuffs which may be purchased by Poles and Jews. The decree which appears in the Ostdeutscher Bechachter published by the Nazis in Poznan, which reached here today, bars Jews and Poles from baying sugar. Under previously issued orders, they are already forbidden to purchase butter, eggs, rolls, cream, sweets of any kind and fruit.

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