Starvation Menaces Warsaw Jews Held Behind Barbed Wire
Menu JTA Search

Starvation Menaces Warsaw Jews Held Behind Barbed Wire

Download PDF for this date

Reports reaching Paris said today that a half million Jews in Warsaw, isolated in a ghetto behind barbed-wire, were dying of slow starvation.

Hemmed in by Nazi patrols, Jews watched the food supplies within the ghetto disappear, with no food permitted to enter so far and knowing that to seek food outside the ghetto gates meant to be shot by the German patrols, according to the reports.

The starvation was accompanied by a housing shortage since the section assigned to the Jews was unable to house the half million, especially when a large number of the houses had been damaged or demolished during the German siege.

A report received here by the Federation of Jewish Societies from Jews who risked death to leave the ghetto and escape from Poland said that as many as 20 people would be crowded in a room in houses of the Warsaw ghetto. Many Jews, before being forced into the ghetto from other Warsaw streets, had given their business enterprises to Polish friends and acquaintances as they were not permitted to take merchandise with them into the segregated area. The ghetto district was described as a vast camp of misery and poverty.

Although the official reason for introduction of the ghetto was to prevent spread of a typhus epidemic said to be raging in the Jewish quarters, reports said that uniformed Nazi storm troopers did not hesitate to enter the quarter and raid Jewish houses in the hope of finding valuables and clothing which they could take away.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund