Eye-witness Account of Mistreatment of Norwegian Jewish Deportees Reaches Sweden

Details of the barbaric treatment to which the Norwegian Jews who were deported from Norway to Poland last winter were subjected are revealed today in the Stockholm daily Ny Dag, which publishes a letter written by one of the seamen on the vessel that carried the deportees from Oslo to Germany.

The letter, which was smuggled out of Norway, states: “The Jews were taken to the harbor of Oslo and were not allowed to take leave of their friends. They were placed in the two foremost holds of the vessel, the S.S. Kiel, where they were crowded together in a very restricted space. Conditions were made worse by the fact that 200 more Jews than had been expected were among the deportees, who ranged in age from six years to eighty. When the S.S. Kiel sailed, weather conditions were very bad, and the condition of the Jews in the holds worsened during the voyage. The prisoners suffered appallingly.

“One young Jew attempted to commit suicide by cutting his arteries with the edge of a tin can. Another tried to jump overboard. A woman gave birth to a child in the crowded hold, and was not permitted to move amidships until she had attempted to kill the child. The deportees were given little food and the guards were brutal. The slightest move or word brought fists and clubs into play. The holds were flushed with hoses to clean them, wetting all the belongings of the Jews. When they arrived at the German port most of their possessions were taken from them and either thrown overboard or burnt.”

Information reaching here some time ago revealed that from Germany the Norwegian Jews were sent to coal mines near Katwice in Poland, where the able-bodied men were put to work. The report stated that most of the deportees had died from starvation and overwork.

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