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Millions of Polish Jews Without Matzohs During Passover

Millions of Jews in Poland spent a matzohless. Passover this year, according to information reaching official Polish quarters today. Frantic efforts to secure at least a small amount of wheat flour were unavailing.

The Warsaw Jewish community council, which made repeated attempts to obtain some flour, was informed by the German authorities that a little would be sent them. But the flour never arrived. The double ration of potatoes and cabbage which the Nazi allowed to be distributed during Passover week did not make up for the lack of matzohs, the advices from Warsaw state. Jewish soup kitchens were ordered to distribute cabbage, potatoes, soup and bread in order to keep the ghetto population from starvation, but the overwhelming majority of the Jews refused to accept the bread in lieu of matzohs, preferring to go hungry.

The same situation existed throughout Poland. Insistent appeals by the Jewish council in the town of Amszynow in central Poland is believed to be the reason for the arrest of twelve members of the council’s board who were set to a concentration camp. The arrests took place just before Passover, when a detachment of Gestapo agents raided the council building while the board was meeting, and after searching those present loaded them into a police van in which they were transported to the camp. The chairman of the council, however, was first taken to Gestapo headquarters where he was beaten. The families of the arrested men were not informed that the victims had been sent to the camp until twenty-four hours after they had left the city.

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