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Captured Nazi’s Diary Gives Eye-witness Account of Extermination of Jews in Poland

May 14, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A diary taken from a captured Nazi non-commissioned officer, excerpts of which were made public here today, discloses the ferocity with which the Germans wiped out the Jewish communities of Poland.

The diary, which covers two months in the fall of 1942, gives eye-witness tails of the extermination of the Jews in the Cholm and Lublin regions. The author of Obergefreiter Karl Johannes Drekkel, attached to the 51st Reserve Battalion. Some of the excerpts follow.

“October 1-Anti-Jewish campaign intensified; 10,000 Jews shot ranging from the very old down to infants. All of them were loaded into carts and taken to common graves.

“November 2- Raid on Jews. Three to four thousand Jews killed daily. They’re driven off to their last march in columns and put to death by gas and charges of high voltage electricity.

“November 7-Five-hundred more Jews killed. Bunches of hand grenades were thrown into the sections of the city they inhabit.

“November 12 -A general massacre of Jews occurred for four days running. Comen who had just given birth to children and aged people who were half-dead and looked like skeletons were dragged out, forced to their knees and shot. Naked bodies of men and women lay about for six days.

“December 4 -Into the ghetto again. Corpseslie about everywhere. Old houses are being pulled down. Typhus and dysentery have broken out.”

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