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This was not the planning and scheming of an irresponsible individual, but the expression by the Governor General of Occupied Poland, of the official policy of the German State.
Rosenberg's notion of the means to be taken against the Jews is expressed in a secret "Document Memorandum for the Fuehrer -Concerning: Jewish Possessions in France," dated 18 December 1941. Rosenberg urges plundering and death:
In compliance with the order of the Fuehrer for protection of Jewish cultural possessions, a great number of Jewish dwellings remained unguarded. Consequently, many furnishings have disappeared because a guard could, naturally, not be posted. In the whole East the administration has found terrible conditions of living quarters, and the cha es of procurement are so limited that it is not practical to procure any more. Therefore, I beg the Fuehrer to permit the seizure of all Jewish home furnishings of Jews in Paris, who have fled or will leave shortly, and that of Jews living in all parts of the occupied West, to relieve the shortage of furnishings in the administration in the East. "2. A great number of leading Jews were, after a short examination in Paris, again released. The attempts on the lives of members of the armed forces have not stopped; on the contrary they continue. This reveals an unmistakable plan to disrupt the German-French cooperation, to force Germany to retaliate, and, with this, evoke a new defense on the part of the French against Germany. I suggest to the Fuehrer that, instead of executing 100 Frenchmen, we substitute 100 Jewish bankers, lawyers, etc. It is the Jews in London' and New York who incite the French communists to commit acts of violence, and it seems only fair that the members of this race should pay for this. It is not the little Jews, but the leading Jews in France, who should be held responsible. That would tend to awaken the Anti-Jewish sentiment.
“(Signed) A. Rosenberg." (001-PS)
(1) Starvation. Chief among the methods utilized for the annihilation of the Jewish people was starvation. Policies were designed and adopted to deprive the Jews of the most elemental necessities of life. Hans Frank, then Governor General of Poland, wrote in his diary that hunger rations were introduced in the Warsaw Ghetto (2233-E-PS). Referring to the new food regulations of August 1942, he noted that by these food regulations more than one million Jews were virtually condemned to death.
"That we sentence 1,200,000 Jews to die of hunger should be noted only marginally. It is a matter of course that should the Jews not starve to death it would we hope result in a
speeding up of the anti-Jewish measures.” (2233-E-PS) In pursuance of the deliberate policy of Jewish starvation, Jews were prohibited from pursuing agricultural activities in order to cut them off from access to sources of food. A document entitled “Provisional Directives on the Treatment of Jews", issued by the Reichscommissar for the Ostland, provided :
"Jews must be cleaned out from the countryside. The Jews are to be removed from all trades, especially from trade with
agricultural products and other foodstuffs." (1138-PS) Jews were also excluded from the purchase of basic food, such as wheat products, meat, eggs, and milk. A decree dated 18 September 1942, from the Ministry of Agriculture, provided :
"Jews will no longer receive the following foods, beginning with the 42nd distribution period (19 October 1942): meat, meat products, eggs, wheat products (cake, white bread, wheat rolls, wheat flour, etc.) whole milk, fresh skimmed milk, as well as such food distributed not on food ration cards issued uniformly throughout the Reich but on local supply certificates or by special announcement of the nutrition office on extra coupons of the food cards. Jewish children and young people over ten years of age will receive the bread
ration of the normal consumer.” (1347-PS) The sick, the old, and pregnant mothers were excluded from the special food concessions allotted to non-Jews. Seizure by the State Police of food shipments to Jews from abroad was authorized, and Jewish ration cards were distinctly marked with the word "Jew" in color across the face of the cards, so that the storekeepers could readily identify and discriminate against Jewish purchasers.
According to page 110 of an official document of the Czechoslovakian government published in 1943 and entitled "Czechoslovakia Fights Back,” Jewish food purchases were confined to certain areas, to certain days, and to certain hours. As might be expected, the period permitted for the purchases occurred during the time when food stocks were likely to be exhausted. (1689-PS)
By Special Order No. 44 for the Eastern Occupied Territories, dated 4 November 1941, Jews were limited to rations as low as only one-half of the lowest basic category of other people, and the Ministry of Agriculture was empowered to exclude Jews entirely or partially from obtaining food thus exposing the Jewish community to death by starvation. A bulletin issued by the Polish
Ministry of Information, dated 15 December 1942, concludes that upon the basis of the nature of the separate rationing and the amount of food available to Jews in the Warsaw and Cracow ghettos, the system was designed to bring about starvation:
“In regard to food supplies they are brought under a completely separate system, which is obviously aimed at depriving them of the most elemental necessities of life." (L-165)
(2) Annihilation. Annihilation within the ghettos is illustrated and glorified in the report of Major General of the Police Stroop, entitled “The Warsaw Ghetto is No More.” (1061-PS)
This report bound in leather profusely illustrated, typed on heavy bond paper, and almost 75 pages in length, is the almost unbelievable recital of a proud accomplishment by Stroop, who signed the report with a bold hand. Stroop in his report first pays tribute to the bravery and heroism of the German forces who participated in the ruthless actions against a defenseless group of Jews numbering, to be exact 56,065—including infants and women. His report relates day-by-day progress in the accomplishment of his mission—to destroy and to obliterate the Warsaw Ghettto. According to this report, the ghetto, which was established in Warsaw in November 1940, was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews; and prior to the action for the destruction of this Ghetto, some 316,000 had already been deported. These are some of the boastful and vivid accounts of the scenes within the Warsaw Ghetto:
“The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could be broken only by relentlessly using all our forces and energy by day and night. On 23 April 1943 the Reichsfuehrer SS issued through the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer East at Cracow his order to complete the combing out of the Warsaw Ghetto with the greatest severity and relentless tenacity. I therefore decided to destroy the entire Jewish residential area by setting every block on fire, including the blocks of residential buildings near the armament works. One concern after the other was systematically evacuated and subsequently destroyed by fire. The Jews then emerged from their hiding places and dugouts in almost every case. Not infrequently, the Jews stayed in the burning buildings until, because of the heat and the fear of being burned alive, they preferred to jump down from the upper stories after having thrown mattresses and other upholstered articles into the street from the burning buildings. With their bones broken, they still tried to crawl across the street into blocks of
buildings which had not yet been set on fire or were only partially in flames. Often the Jews changed their hiding places during the night, by moving into the ruins of burntout buildings, taking refuge there until they were found by our patrols. Their stay in the sewers also ceased to be pleasant after the first week. Frequently from the street, we could hear loud voices coming through the sewer shafts. Then the men of the Waffen SS, the Police or the Wehrmacht Engineers courageously climbed down from the shafts to bring out the Jews and not infrequently they then stumbled over Jews already dead, or were shot at. It was always necessary to use smoke candles to drive out the Jews. Thus one day we opened 183 sewer entrance holes, and at a fixed time lowered smoke candles into them, with the result that the bandits fled from what they believed to be gas in the center of the former Ghetto, where they could then be pulled out of the sewer holes there. A great number of Jews who could not be counted were exterminated by blowing up sewers and dugouts. "The longer the resistance lasted the tougher the men of the Waffen SS, Police, and Wehrmacht became. They fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship, and stood together as models and examples of soldiers. Their duty hours often lasted from early morning until late at night. At night search patrols with rags wound round their feet remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for supplementing their stores from abandoned dugouts and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging news with them. “Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen SS had only been trained for three to four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given to the pluck, courage and devotion to duty which they showed. It must be stated that the Wehrmacht Engineers, too, executed the blowing up of dugouts, sewers and concrete buildings with indefatigability and great devotion to duty. Officers and men of the police, a large part of whom had already been at the front, again excelled by their dashing spirit. "Only through the continuous and untiring work of all involved did we succeed in catching a total of 56,065 Jews whose extermination can be proved. To this should be
added the number of Jews who lost their lives in explosions or fires, but whose number could not be ascertained."
(1061-PS) At the beginning of his report Stroop lists the losses of German troops:
"For the Fuehrer and their country the following fell in the battle for the destruction of Jews and bandits in the former ghetto of Warsaw
[Fifteen names are thereafter listed]. "Furthermore, the Polish police sergeant Julian Zielinski, born 13 November 1891, 8th Commissariat, fell on 19 April 1943 while fulfilling his duty. They gave their utmost, their life. We shall never forget them. "The following were wounded
[There 'follow the names of 60 Waffen SS personnel] "11 watchmen from training camps, probably Lithuanians; 12 Security Police officers in SS units; 5 men of the Polish Police; and 2
regular army personnel, engineers.” (1061-PS) The story continues in the daily teletype reports, from which the following are excerpts:
“Our setting the block on fire achieved the result in the course of the night that those Jews whom we had not been able to find despite all our search operations left their hideouts under the roofs, in the cellars, and elsewhere, and appeared on the outside of the buildings, trying to escape the flames. Masses of them-entire families--were already aflame and jumped from the windows or endeavored to let themselves down by means of sheets tied together or the like. Steps had been taken so that these Jews as well as the remaining ones were liquidated at once.”
"When the blocks of buildings mentioned above were destroyed, 120 Jews were caught and numerous Jews were destroyed when they jumped from the attics to the inner courtyards, trying to escape the flames. Many more Jews perished in the flames or were destroyed when the dugouts and sewer entrances were blown up."
“Not until the blocks of buildings were well aflame and were about to collapse did a further considerable number of Jews emerge, forced to do so by the flames and the smoke. Time and again the Jews try to escape even through burning buildings. Innumerable Jews whom we saw on the roofs