Danish Eye-witness Reports Horrible Conditions of Jews in Occupied Russian Territory
Menu JTA Search

Danish Eye-witness Reports Horrible Conditions of Jews in Occupied Russian Territory

Download PDF for this date

One of the first eye-witness accounts of the conditions under which the Jews who failed to escape from Nazi-held Russian cities are living is contained in an article, reaching here today, by a special correspondent of the Flensburger Nachrichten, which is published in the town of Flensburg on the German-Danish frontier.

The correspondent, who is on a tour of German-occupied Eastern European territories, reports that “wherever Jews are still living in Eastern Europe they have been herded into ghettos behind barbed wire and are being used in groups for forced labor on reclamation work. In the easternmost German-held cities, where skilled artisans are scarce, Jews are allowed to work at their respective trades, producing goods needed by the German army.”

Commenting on the extreme housing shortage that exists in the Latvian town of Dvinsk, sixty percent of whose residents were Jewish, and in Minsk, where about half the population were Jews, the Danish correspondent attests to the effectiveness of the “scorched earth” policy. He reveals “that three-quarters of the houses in both towns were destroyed by the Jews before the Germans captured the cities.”

The article concludes with the observation that “the disappearance of the Jews has created the atmosphere of a purge in Dvinsk, Minsk and Vilna.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund