The Soviet Government is making preparations for what will doubtless be a spectacular trial of the Germans charged with participating in mass-extermination of Jews in Lublin and in establishing “gas chambers” in the Lublin area where tens of thousands of Jews from Poland and other occupied countries were suffocated to death, the Moscow press reports today.
All Moscow newspapers carry today full pages of information, pictures and descriptions of the “death factories” which the Germans established in the Lublin district for the mass-killing of Jews. They point out that though the Germans have taken all measures to see to it that no person witnessing the mass-slaughter of the Jews in Lublin area remains alive, many non-Jewish witnesses will testify at the forthcoming trial. There will also be at least one Jewish witness. He is a Lublin Jew named Davidson who survived after escaping from a Nazi “extermination squad.” He was hidden by a Polish family in the attic of his house for more than two years during which he spoke to no living person.
CAPTAIN FINDS TWO JEWS IN LUBLIN; OTHERS BEGIN TO RETURN FROM WOODS
Captain B. Esterson, Soviet-Jewish military leader, today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that when he reached Lublin he found only two Jews there, but was
“Entering with the first Soviet tanks into the city,” the Jewish captain stated, “I tried to find traces of the old Jewish Lublin which was bound up in a thousand ways with Jewish history. But I could not find a solitary Jew. When I asked about the whereabouts of the Jews, I was led by Polish militia members to a factory which the Germans had converted into a packing house where clothes of murdered Jews were methodically sorted, disinfected, packed and shipped to Germany. Here I found cases full of such clothes ready for shipment to Berlin. This was all that remained of Lublin Jews, and of the groups of Jews from Slovakia murdered in the “extermination camp” at Maidanka-Lubelsk.
“Continuing my search for several hours, I finally found two Jews. They came from the woods where they had been living and hiding under false identity documents as Catholics. One of them turned out to be an old acquaintance from Warsaw, Stanislaw Letz, a former contributor to the Polish-Jewish daily newspaper “Nasz Pszeglond” and to the Polish satirical magazine “Szpilki.” The other was a young Jew from Lublin. Both told me that not all Jews of Lublin and of Lublin district have been murdered and that several thousand of them are with the partisan units in Lublin district. These Jewish partisans are now beginning to return to their native towns, I was told.
“I listened to horrible tales of the last days of the Lublin ghetto,” Capt. Esterson continued. “I heard remarkable stories how the last several hundred Jews-skilled workers – were helped by the Polish underground movement to flee at night from the ghetto to the woods. But I hardly had the time to listen to all the horror stories. Out tank unit was speeding further west to the Vistula river in the direction of Warsaw. We were rolling along the wide Lubartowska street both sides of which were strewn with flowers by the rejoicing population. The frightful past for the Jews expecting to return to Lublin was all in the past now as was the misery, hunger and humiliation suffered by the Polish population there.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.