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Nazi Retreat on the Soviet Front Resulting in Increased Terror Against Jews in Poland

January 18, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Nazi retreat on the Soviet Front is having its repercussions in the Jewish ghettos in Poland, according to information disclosed here today by a neutral diplomat who arrived from Germany after a visit to Cracow and other large Polish cities.

The German authorities in Poland, the diplomat said, are now mobilizing Jewish youth in the ghettos and transporting them to the Soviet front to clear the snow which is impeding Nazi troop movements. Organized in special labor gangs, the Jewish youngsters, the majority of whom are between 16 and 17 years old, are forced to work clearing the roads, building defensive position for the retreating army and keeping the railway lines clear of falling snow. All this work is done in freezing temperatures although the Jewish youths have no warm clothes and practically no shelter.

In addition to these young men the Nazi authorities are also driving aged Jews to forced labor clearing the roads and railway lines of snow, the diplomat reported. The aged Jews, however, are working in the rear of the Nazi armies and on Polish soil only. Approximately 20,000 Jews have been sent to labor gangs from Lublin and the surrounding townships alone, the neutral observer estimated.


In the ghettos of Cracow, Warsaw and Radom the Nazis have been confiscating all the medical supplies available, including bandages, he declared. The Jewish hospitals in the ghettos are experiencing an acute lack of drugs. The situation became even more aggravated after America’s entry into the war, since the medical supplies which Jewish institutions have been receiving from America through the International Red Cross can no longer arrive. Similarly they no longer receive any medical supplies from Jewish groups in Switzerland and Sweden.

Fearing that the retreat of the German army on the Eastern front may inspire increased anti-Nazi activities in Poland, Governor Hans Frank, the Nazi ruler of the occupied Polish territory, this week opened in Cracow a special school to train oppressors in carrying out a more rigid policy with regard to Jews and Poles, the diplomat reported. Many leading members of the Nazi administration and of the German military command were present at the opening ceremony, he stated.

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