LONDON (Aug. 20)
Dr. Josef Rotinger, the 57-year old Polish leader who recently returned from a daring mission in occupied Poland, today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that leaders of the underground movement, including some Jews, told him in Warsaw that at least 2,500,000 Jews had been exterminated by the Germans in Nazi-hold Poland. They estimated that there are no more than 200,000 Jews left alive in Poland at present.
During his stay in Poland, Dr. Retinger met a number of Jewish friends, members of the Polish Socialist Party, who had not left their hiding cellars more than two years. The Zionist Party and the Jewish Labor Bund are still functioning in Poland among the illegal groups, he said. He revealed that during the anti-Nazi revolt in the Warsaw ghetto, eighteen Zionist and three Bund battalions participated in the fighting.
“A small number of Dutch and Belgian Jews are still in Warsaw,” Dr. Retinger stated. “I saw them doing forced labor. They are kept in the ghetto and wear black-violet striped clothes like convicts.” Dr. Retinger doubted the recent report that Leon Blum, former French Premier, died in a “Jewish extermination camp” in Poland. A member of the underground movement was assigned to establish Blum’s whereabouts, and if he had been in Poland, the Polish underground movement had sufficient means to save him. But no such evidence was found by the underground movement which usually is well informed on such things, Dr. Retinger declared.