Thousands of Jews Seized in Warsaw Ghetto for “forced Labor” Executed in Woods

The thousands of Jews seized by the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto last week ostensibly for deportation to forced labor behind the German lines at the Russian front actually were murdered in the woods outside of Warsaw, it was stated today by a Polish Government spokesman on the basis of information reaching him from Poland through underground channels.

Disclosing additional detailed information concerning the pogrom of women, children and aged and infirm persons which simultaneously took place in the ghetto last week, news of which reached here yesterday, the Polish spokesman said that the deportation order, itself, was but a pretext for the mass-extermination of Warsaw Jewry. As evidence of this, he pointed to the fact that the deportees were ordered to take with them not only hand luggage but also jewelry and other valuables. These, he said, could easily have been taken from them before or after they were executed in the woods. The remainder of the group of 6,000 Jews, described in the German posters in the ghetto streets as "the first contingent to be deported," are also probably slated for execution, he stressed.

POLISH POLICE REPLACED WITH LITHUANIANS, UKRAINIANS AND LATVIANS

Evidently fearful that the Polish police in the ghetto would not cooperate in the mass-slaughter, the Nazi replaced them with an anti-Semitic Lithuanian semi-military group called the "Saulisi" – the "Sharp-Shooters"- and by groups of Ukrainian and Latvian police, Polish circles learned.

Included among the Nazi’s victims in the ghetto, it was disclosed today, was a prominent Polish physician, Dr. Raszeja, formerly a professor of medicine at the University of Poznan, who happened to be in the home of a gravely ill Jew. He had been called there for consultation by the Jewish physician in attendance. The professor, the Jewish doctor and the Jewish patient were all murdered.

Samuel Zygelbaum, Jewish Socialist deputy in the Polish National Council, expressed the conviction that the pogrom in the ghetto was merely an extension to Warsaw of the Germans’ policy of mass-annihilation of Polish Jewry, which has been applied previously in numerous smaller towns in Poland and has cost the lives of an estimated 700,000 Jews, according to information reaching the Polish Government earlier this month. These massacres, he said, were merely a prelude to a systematic campaign to wipe out the entire population of the Warsaw ghetto.

Other reports reaching the Polish Government today state that Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the Gestapo, was in Poland at the time of the massacres in Warsaw conferring with German officials there on further intensification of anti-Jewish measures.

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