Office of War Information Publishes Account of Anti-jewish Atrocities in Warsaw
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Office of War Information Publishes Account of Anti-jewish Atrocities in Warsaw

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The Office of War Information today issued a black-bordered report on the Nazi atrocities in Warsaw, recounting the wholesale extermination of Jews there before the ghetto was made practically “Judenrein.” It describes the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw as “an escalator of death.” The account is based on material gathered by the Office of War Information from all possible sources, many of them hitherto confidential, including numerous governmental and private reports and eye-witness accounts.

“Before the policy of total extermination went into effect,” the O.W.I. booklet says, “more than half a million Jews were packed into the Ghetto. a dismal section of 100 blocks in the northern part of Warsaw, surrounded by an eight foot wall topped by broken glass. No one could enter or leave without a pass. No streetcars ran between the Ghetto and other parts of the city. Inside the Ghetto, the Germans systematically created an escalator of death: when 500 Jews died, 500 others immediately took their places, shipped into the Ghetto from various parts of Poland and Europe.

“During April. May and June, 1941, 10,232 Jews died in the Ghetto; only 1,208 were born. The annual death rate in the Ghetto in 1941 was roughly 83 per thousand; the highest annual death rate of any modern city is less than 30 per thousand. Death from starvation was common, rations being little over half those allotted Poles outside the Ghetto. Furthermore, Ghetto rations were the first to be reduced. The Jewish Community Council, operating within the Ghetto, did its best to feed thousands of persons each day, Former warehouses and loft buildings, without adequate sanitary facilities, were turned into dwelling places, 30 to 40 persons living in one office ‘room.’ There was only one hospital in the Ghetto, without linen and with few drugs, Carts went through the Ghetto streets at night to pick up the dead left lying there.”


“Seeking food outside the Ghetto, bands of boys crept through holes in bombed buildings and emerged from cellars and excavations,” the report continues. “They roamed the streets of Warsaw, begging, Jewish police within the Ghetto and Polish police outside its walls turned their backs on this activity. Germans maintained a bicycle guard around the Ghetto wall, constantly circling in search of persons who had left without permission. Some months ago Nazi soldiers caught a small boy who was returning to the Ghetto with a bag of food. Lifting a manhole cover, they dropped the boy into a sewer.

“The Nazis were proud of the conditions they had created in the Ghetto; regular tours passed through its twisted, somber streets, the sightseers being Germans who had settled in Poland or been brought there from bombed areas in the Reich. Poles were often forced to take these tours, too, but they utilized them to make mental note of persons suffering worse than others. Later they threw small packages of food over the Ghetto wall near those spots. Mutual suffering bred bonds of brotherhood.” the account says. Copies of the booklet published under the title “Tale of a City,” will be distributed to business groups, farmers, war workers, patriotic organizations, and schools throughout the country.

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