Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Concentration Camps for Jews Established in Communist Germany

January 19, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A former Gestapo leader, Horst Valte, who once had charge of the Warsaw Ghetto, has been put in charge of the East German secret police’s section dealing with Jews, the Sunday Chronicle reported today in a dispatch from its Berlin correspondent. The correspondent added that Valte has been instructed directly from the Kremlin to widen his purge to include all Jews classified as capitalists.

The Chronicle correspondent states that concentration camps have been erected in East Germany, including one in Thuringia, to hold Jews who seek to flee East Germany to the West. Quoting observers in Western Berlin, the correspondent says that the Jews in the Thuringian camp live under conditions of great privation: in unheated barracks in freezing weather; on a starvation diet; surrounded by electrified fences and guarded by police with instructions to shoot prisoners who approach the fences. The paper says that there are some 200 Jewish families in the camp, with more expected this week. Their daily diet is described as consisting of four ounces of bread, one-quarter ounce of meat and one-sixth ounce of sugar.

Recommended from JTA