9,000 Czech Jews Sent from Lodz Ghetto to Death Camp; Children Torn from Mothers

Of 9,000 Czech Jews deported to the Lodz ghetto only nine remain, the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told today by one of the survivors, Issa Stern-Hoffman, a Prague journalist, whose father, a prominent Czech Jewish Newspaperman, is attached to the Czech section of the British Broadcasting Corporation, She believes.

The Czech Jews were either deported to the Oswiecim death camp or murdered. In order to avoid outbreaks, the Germans told the deportees that they were being returned home. Czech Jews were told the train was going to Karlsbad; German Jews were told it was going to Germany.

The destination of the deportees was discovered by Dr. Albert Mazur who asked some of them to hide slips of paper with the name of the place to which they were taken in between the boards of the cattle cars into which they were packed, When the cars came back for a new load, Mazur found messages bearing the fatal word “Oswiecim.”

NAZIS PREPARE GRAVES FOR JEWS; HURRIED RETREAT PREVENTS EXECUTIONS

Walking through the Jewish cemetery, which was within the ghetto confines, the JTA correspondent saw fresh graves which were empty because the Germans had not had time to murder the few remaining Jews. But there were also several hundred new graves which contained victims shot in the last few days preceding the evacuation of Lodz by the Wehrmacht.

Although the correspondent was not able to tour the entire city, he was informed by Dr. Mazur that not a single synagogue remains. Jewish homes and business were taken over by the “Volkdeutsch,” the German settlers who came after 1939 from the Reich.

BARON HIRSCH, JEWISH SCIENTISTS DIE IN LODZ GHETTO

The ghetto in Lodz was established early in 1940, shortly after the occupation of the city. All ablebodied Jews were rounded up for forced labor in German factories, Doctors, lawyers, and scientists were sent to shoe factories, clothing shops and plants making pre-fabricated houses for shipment to Germany. Dr. Mazur was assigned to sweeping the ghetto streets. Many prominent persons died from overwork, inadequate food and mistreatment. Among them were prof. Kaspari, an eminent cancer specialist, and Baron Hirsch, Vienna philanthropist, who died from tuberculosis.

The first mass deportation from the ghetto occurred February 19, 1942 when 45,000 people, mainly aged and infirm, were sent to unknown destinations and never heard of again, On March 19, 1943 about 15,000 were deported, mainly children, Dr. Mazur told the correspondent that he personally had seen children torn from their mothers’ arms and witnessed the killing of women who fought to keep their youngsters.

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