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Hundreds of Jews Saved by Priest from Nazis; Germans Send Him to Concentration Camp

A birth-certificate “mill” operated by a priest in the Ukrainian town of Kremenetz saved the lives of scores of Jews, it is reported today in the Moscow press in an article on the fate of the Jews in Volhynia and Polessia.

The priest, whose name is given as “Father Leon,” collected birth certificates of dead members of their families from non-Jewish Ukrainians and Poles, and distributed them to Jews enabling them to escape death at the hands of the German occupation forces. Many Jews were saved before the Nazis discovered the ruse and threw Father Leon into a concentration camp, where he was harnessed to a cart dragging heavy loads.

The article reveals that the Jews in the ghetto of Lutsk, in Volhynia, battled Nazi elite troops for four days before their resistance was broken, and the ghetto inhabitants massacred. Both the Lutsk and Kremenetz ghettos were completely wiped out and thousands of Jews murdered. In neighboring Rovno, the report says, 2,800 Jews were murdered on the outskirts of the city, while in the large city of Brest-Litovsk 17,000 were killed.