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Nazis Order Deportation of All Jews from Bialystok, Vilna As Spring Offensive Nears

Unverified reports reaching here today from Nazi-held Poland state that the German military authorities have ordered the deportation of the entire Jewish population of the cities of Bialystok, Vilna, Tarnopol, Dubno and Novogrudek, in preparation for the Spring offensive and because of the fortifications now being constructed in these areas.

The Jews of these cities will all be sent to huge concentration camps, the reports stated. The deportation order was issued under the pretext that “the Jews are not a reliable element” and can not, therefore, be trusted to reside in cities which are of strategic importance to the German army, according to one report.

The same report reveals that Heinrich Himmler, chief of the Gestapo, issued instructions to Gestapo authorities in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe to “reduce” the Jewish population in the cities in Poland and the Baltic countries which are close to the Soviet front lines. The instructions, it is stated in the report, pointed out that the Jews constitute a serious hindrance to the German army in the execution of war operations. As a result of these instructions, mass-pogroms of Jews have been taking place for the past four weeks in the Baltic countries and in Polish towns in the Eastern front zone, the report says.

Dr. David Schreiber, Jewish member of the Polish Senate, and a number of other prominent Jewish leaders who were in Lemberg prior to Nazi occupation of that city after the outbreak of the Soviet-German war, fell into the hands of the Nazis and their fate cannot be ascertained, one of the reports reaching here from Nazi-held Poland discloses.

This report informs that among the Jewish leaders who remained in Lemberg were Dr. Bodek, former Jewish member of the Polish Sejm, Henryk Hescheles, editor of the Polish-Jewish daily newspaper Chwila, Rabbi Jecheskiel Lewin, Mizrachi leader, Dr. Emil Rosenfeld, Zionist youth leader, and others.

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