London (Jul. 26)
More than 1,800,000 Jews had been exterminated by the Nazi occupation authorities in Poland up to May 1, 1943, Wladyslaw Banaczyk, Minister for Home Affairs in the new Polish Cabinet, announced here today on the basis of reports reaching his Government from Polish underground groups. These same reports reveal that 1,400,000 Poles were murdered in the same period, Mr. Banaczyk stated.
Underground information, he said, disclosed a recent subterfuge used by the Nazis to lure fugitive Polish Jews to their death. The German press in Poland publishes reports that certain ghettos still exist in specified towns. Since a Jew caught in a city from which Jews have been barred or found wandering in the forests or countryside is almost automatically executed, the Jewish fugitives attempt to reach ghettos, where there is less chance of their being discovered. When they arrive at the places where the fictitious ghettos are supposedly located, they are rounded up by the Nazis.
A special statistical department of the underground, Mr. Banaczyk stated, is now at work compiling even more recent figures concerning the number of Jews and Poles killed by the Germans. This department, he added, is also checking the number of Poles and Jews left in cities and towns. In addition to the civilians killed without any charges being placed against them, Nazi military tribunals have executed 140,000 Jews and Poles since the invasion, the underground report said.
The Polish Home Minister also reported that in anticipation of withdrawing their front lines from Russia to Poland, the Nazis have cordoned off half of the province of Lublin, where they are constructing defenses and murdering thousands of civilians whom they fear are “unreliable.”