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Nazis Start Expulsion of Jews from Warsaw Ghetto; Community President Commits Suicide

August 17, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mass-expulsion of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto “to an unknown destination in the east” was begun by the Nazis last week, according to reliable information reaching the Polish Government-in-Exile here today. At least 7,000 Jews are now being deported from Warsaw daily, the report said.

Dr. Cherniakov, president of the Jewish Council in the Warsaw ghetto, committed suicide rather than acquiesce in the order of the Nazi authorities that he submit a list of 100,000 Jews to be deported. He had been the head of the Jewish community in Warsaw since the outbreak of the war in 1939. Remaining in the same office following the Nazi occupation, he was held by the Nazi administration personally responsible for the activities of the Jews in the ghetto.

Three other members of the Jewish Council in the Warsaw ghetto are reported to have attempted suicide as a result of the pressure of the Nazi authorities in Warsaw upon the Jewish Council to “cooperate” in the deportation of the Jews from the ghetto. The Jewish Council is said to have been dissolved by the Nazi administration.


Unprecedented panic has spread among the Jews in Warsaw as a result of the deportations, according to the reports received here. No indication whatever is given by the Nazis as to the fate of the deportees, except that they are being sent to occupied Russian territory. The fear prevails that the victims are slaughtered by the Nazis on their way to the alleged “unknown distinction in the east.”

The report received by the Polish Government-in-Exile here lacks details as to the system which the Nazis apply in the deportations. It remains unknown for the time being as to whether entire families are being expelled, or whether the deportation is separating husbands from wives and parents from children. The report indicates that further severe anti-Jewish measures may be expected in occupied Poland before the summer is over.

The two Jewish members of the Polish National Council, Dr. Ignacy Schwarzbart and Samuel Zygelbaum, today paid tribute to the martyrdom of Dr. Cherniakov, who preferred to take his life rather than give approval to the Nazi deportations. Zygelbaum, who escaped from the Warsaw ghetto six months after the Nazi occupation, revealed that Cherniakov, who is a chemist by profession, always carried with him a vial of poison to be used for such contingencies where there was no escape from the Nazi pressure except through suicide.

Dr. Cherniakov, several times before, resisted the orders of the Nazi occupational authorities. In 1939 he refused their demand that Jewish girls be delivered by the Warsaw Jewish Council to German military brothels.

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