Texts of Nazi Degrees Isolating All Jews in Poland Received in London

The Polish Government-in-Exile today received the texts of two Nazi decrees ordering all Jews in the hundreds of cities and townships in Poland to move to 42 small townships designated as “Jewish residential localities”and to 13 ghettos in the districts of Warsaw, Radom, Lublin and Galicia.

The exodus of all Jews from other places in occupied Poland to the restricted areas was to be completed by December 1, 1942, the Nazi decrees provided. Any Jew found outside of the restricted “Jewish” townships and ghettos would be shot without trial, the orders warned. Non-Jews found guilty of feeding, housing, or aiding the Jews, or encouraging them to remain in the towns from which they were ordered to move would similarly be shot, the decrees stated. For not reporting the presence of Jews outside of the restricted “Jewish” areas, non-Jews would be sent to concentration camps.

The Nazi decrees also provide severe punishment for non-Jews found in the 42 townships and 13 ghettos which are to be inhabited by Jews only. Exceptions are to be made for those receiving special permission from the authorities. Similarly, Jews can leave the ghettos and the ghetto-townships only when they receive special permission, granted only to workers employed in war industries outside the restricted areas. Such workers are to be escorted by Nazi guards to their place of work where they are to be segregated from the non-Jewish laborers during working hours and returned to their ghettos at the end of the day under Nazi escort.

Jewish Councils responsible to the Nazi authorities for the conduct of the Jews have been established under the new decrees in all 42 “Jewish” townships and in the 13 ghettos in the larger cities. These Councils are also responsible for the food distribution in their localities. One of the Nazi decrees is dated November 1, the other is dated November 14, 1942. Jewish leaders from Poland now in England today expressed the belief that the complete segregation of all Jews in Poland in places isolated from the non-Jewish population has been motivated by the Nazi desire to prevent non-Jews from witnessing the Nazi extermination of the Jewish population.

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