Belgian Underground Circulating Instructions on Assisting Jews to Escape Deportation

An amazing circular detailing specific means by which Belgian Christians can prevent Jews from being seized by the Gestapo and deported to Poland is being distributed to provincial committees of the Belgian underground by the central body of the Underground Front of Liberation, it is reported today by the Belgian Information Center here.

The circular, a copy of which has been received through the underground by the Belgian Government-in-Exile in London, makes the following suggestions:

“1. Inform everyone about the crimes committed against the Jews. The kept press is silent. Only the population of a few big cities knows what is going on. The occupier is afraid of the people’s wrath. This wrath must be aroused by letting every Belgian know what is happening in Brussels, Antwerp, Charleroi, Chent, etc.

“2. Help the Jews resist raids. Leave your apartment when raids are on, start a street fight against the Gestapo agents. When riots break out, actively intervene to aid the Jews to resist and escape.

“3. Help the Jews to hide. Distribute the Jews among the non-Jewish population. Attempt to find non-Jewish families who will agree to house free or for a minimum sum one or several Jewish children, or possibly there is a child preventorium, nursery, boarding school or convent which would agree to house Jewish children. Find families who will agree to reserve a room for a Jewish sub-lesses. Look for hotels willing to take one to four Jewish boarders without registering them. Investigate institutions in the community (hospitals, asylums, convents) that might agree to shelter Jews. Look for well-to-do families who would agree to take a Jewish servant. Look for small businesses or farms that would be willing to take Jewish workers.”

The circular warns that the Gestapo is preparing to deport the entire Jewish population of Belgium, and that these Jews face certain death in Poland. It also relates some of the atrocities that have been inflicted upon Jews both in Poland and at the Mechlin camp in Belgium to which they are sent before being deported, and stresses that “time is short, everything possible must be done to save them.”

The circular concludes with the following advice to the Jews: “Save your life by hiding. If you are unable to do so, then resist raids by force. Barricade yourselves in your homes. Arouse your neighbors. Snatch the arms from the Gestapo brutes and strike them down like dogs. By resisting your fate could not be worse than if you allow yourself to be taken to the slaughter house of Poland.”

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