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Nazi Atrocities in Poland Held Affront to Mankind in Vatican Broadcast

January 24, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Vatican radio yesterday broadcast an outspoken denunciation of German atrocities and persecution in Nazi Poland, declaring they affronted the “moral conscience of mankind.” The broadcast cited the “unimpeachable testimony of eye-witnesses to the horrors and inexcusable excesses committed upon a helpless and homeless people, as peaceful and unpretentious as any in Europe.”

Referring to oppression in Russian-occupied Poland, the broadcast continued: “Even more violent and persistent is the assault upon elementary justice and decency in that part of prostrate Poland that has fallen to German administration. The richest part of Western Poland is being unceremoniously stolen from the Poles and deeded over to the Germans as the real proprietors are packed off in foul-smelling trains to the war-torn region of Warsaw….

“A system of interior deportations and zonings is being organised in the depths of one of Europe’s severest Winters on principles and by methods that can be described only as brutal. And stark hunger stares 70 per cent of Poland’s population in the face as their reserves of foodstuffs and tools are shipped to Germany to replenish the granaries of the metropole. Jews and Poles are being herded into separate ghettos, hermetically sealed and pitifully inadequate for the economic subsistence of the millions destined to live there….It adds up to a fearful total and a tremendous responsibility, one more grievous affront to the moral conscience of mankind, one more contemptuous insult to the law of nations, one more open thrust at the heart of the father of the Christian family, who grieves with his dear Poland and begs for a peace with decency and justice from the throne of grace.”

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