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“Optimistic Estimates” Indicate Only 350,000 Jews Still Remain Alive in Poland

April 16, 1943
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The “most optimistic estimates” indicate that the total number of Jews in all of Poland at present – including those in the ghettos, in camps and living in non-Jewish areas – does not exceed 350,000, as compared with the 3,500,000 Jews who lived in Poland before the outbreak of the war, according to an appeal from Polish Jewish leaders reaching here today through emissaries of the underground organizations.

The appeal beseeches the democratic nations to take some concrete action, since “all the remnants of Polish Jewry are threatened with immediate annihilation.”

Other reports reaching here today from Poland, via devious channels, state that 15,000 Jews living in the Sanok district have been massacred. They were first taken to the Zaslaw concentration camp near Zagorze, from where, after a few days, 10,000 were taken to Belzec, where they were shot or burned alive. The other 5,000 were also gradually shifted to Belzec where they met the same fate. At present there are still about 1,000 young Jews confined in the Zaslaw camp who are employed at forced labor by the Germans.

This report also reveals that many young Jews, faced with deportation or death, are continuing to flee to the woods and forests where they are joining guerrilla bands.

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