2,500 Italian Jews Perished Under Nazi Terror; Jews Hiding in Catacombs

The London press today reports from the Swiss-Italian frontier that 2,500 of the Jews arrested by the German authorities in Italy “have died suddenly.”

While no details as to how these Jews perished are given, the newspapers here carry a report stating that the German round-up of Jews in Italy is being conducted with violence which can be compared only with the worse raids on Jews in Berlin. Many Jews in Rome are afraid to sleep in their homes and are hiding in the ancient catacombs of the city.

The London Times today carries an account given by a young Dutchman who succeeded in escaping from the Mauthhausen camp in Austria to which Jews from Holland were deported by the Nazis. The eye-witness, now seriously ill in a neutral country, testified before representatives of the Dutch Government-in-Exile that forty young Jews from Amsterdam were used in poison gas experiments which the German military authorities were conducting at the camp. They all died after undergoing various gas tests for two successive days.

A demand that the Allies carry out reprisals against Germans now for atrocities committed against Jews was voiced here today by Emannuel Szerer, Jewish member of the Polish National Council. “If we talk about post-war reprisals, surely reprisals can be carried out now,” he said, addressing a meeting arranged by the Federation of Polish Jews. “Immediate reprisals, or at least the threat of immediate reprisals, can result in forcing Germany to cease the anti-Jewish crimes,” he stated.

Mr. Szerer warned that “it is a fatal error to assume that there are no Jews left in occupied Poland.” He said that it is easier to count the number of those who are still alive, than of those who perished, and demanded that food should be sent to the Jews in the ghettos through the Red Cross.

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