London (Nov. 11)
Eye-witness reports received today from Belgian, Polish and Dutch sources concerning the Germans’ continued, methodical extermination of Europe’s Jews make “must” reading for any commission that may be set up under the provisions of the statement on atrocities contained in the Moscow Conference agreements.
The underground Belgian newspaper “L’Independence,” a copy of which was received here today, carried the report of two Antwerp Jews who succeeded in returning to Belgium from Poland. The two Jews were arrested at Nice, in France, and sent to a labor camp at Sosnowice, Poland. This is what they report concerning their experiences:
When they reached the camp, they were stripped of their clothes and ordered to place Mogen David badges on their breast, back and each knee. Then they were flogged because a few coins were found in their possession. The group of which they were a part was separated according to the employability of the various members. Elderly people, children and those who were incapacitated in any way were shipped to the Oswiecim “death camp” for execution. The others were assigned to forced labor.
The forced laborers are driven to exhaustion and no one dares utter a complaint for fear of being declared unfit for further labor and sent to Oswiecim. Workers died daily. In the town of Chrzanow to which they were transferred they saw the entire Jewish population lined up in the streets while Gestapo officers went up and down the line deciding who was to be used for forced labor and who was to die. Here, a ten-year-old girl threw herself upon the Gestapo chief, shouting: “Look at my muscles, sir. I am able to work. I don’t want to die.” In a burst of generosity, the Nazi decided she should be included among the laborers.
JEWS TIED BACK TO BACK AND FLUNG INTO QUARRY
Another report, received today by Polish Jewish circles from underground sources in Poland, gives the following description of the liquidation of almost all the Jews in the heavily Jewish-populated town of Hrubiezew:
Last June the Jews in the town were ordered to appear in the market place, ostensibly to receive “residence permits.” Men and women, fearful of being declared unfit to work, which was a virtual death sentence, dyed their hair and applied cosmetics in order to appear young and healthy. But these artifices were of little use. The Gestapo chief chose people at random. While some were still dyeing their hair, others were being executed in the local cemetery. Many thousands were transported to the town of Solibor where they were executed. Only 4,000 Jews were given “labor permits” which they dubbed “life permits.”
The Dutch underground newspaper “Hetparool,” which also reached here today, reveals details of the murder of Dutch Jews in the Mauthhausen camp in Austria:
“Thousands of Jews were tied back to back and flung from a rock into a quarry below. Those who could not be executed in this manner were taken to neighboring Camp Gussen where they were confined in a small space and blasted to death by dynamite. Using this method, the Germans were able to kill 200 to 400 persons at one time.” “Hetparscol” also discloses that the gas chambers first used in Polish camps have now been installed in camps throughout occupied Europe. Some of the chambers hold 1,000 persons. Such a one is situated at Neugammen near Hamburg, where many Dutch Jews were executed.