Detailed Report on Jews in the Silesian Labor Camps

A detailed report concerning the fate of the thousand of Jews who were evicted from their homes in France, Holland, and Belgium by the Germans has been received by the World Jewish Congress through its representative in a neutral country. The information comes from Upper Silesia where these Jews are undergoing torture in the various labor camps of this vicinity.

The most horrible camp is situated in Mislovica, the report says. Of the 5,000 Jews sent there, 800 were deportees from France and Belgium. Half of them are slaving in the coal mines of this district. The majority of the slave-workers originally came from occupied Poland. Conditions are incredibly shocking, and the death rate is very high.

In Krolewska-Huta, 3,000 Jewish slave-workers are tortured daily. The majority of them were deported from France. Children of 14 and 15 were dragged here from their homes. These unfortunates live in underground dugouts. Every other Sunday they are permitted to leave their hovels to seek sunshine and fresh air and, at the same time, to do enforced gymnastics.

Of the 600 Jews who live in Brieg, near Wroclaw, one half were evacuated from their homes in Paris, Only able-bodied men were brought here for the purpose of building roads. They begin their work at seven in the morning, but are compelled to get up at 4:00 A. M. since it takes them two hours to walk to work. On the road from Bytom to Gliwice, many Jews from Western Europe were engaged in the construction of street cars. Jewish women were brought here to work in the kitchens in order to prepare the meals for the men.

In the districts of Miskowice, Chrzanow, Trzeblinia there are approximately 9,000 Jews, about half of whom are deportees from Czechoslovakia, Holland and France, most of the latter being from Paris. These slave-workers are housed in huge barracks Jewish artisans are permitted to pursue their own vocations.

In the districts of Katowice, Birkenau and Wadowice, there are 14 labor camps to which Jews from Western Europe have been brought. A road divides the barracks of the Jewish and Christian slave workers. The relations between Jews and non-Jews are excellent. They work together in the building of roads. The work is strenuous and the food they are given, inadequate. The largest labor camp is in Gliwce where there are 22,000 internees – one-third Jewish and the rest Poles.

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