The Persecution of the Jews (Part 5 of 14)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XII

B. Segregation into Ghettos. The second step was to segregate and concentrate the Jews within restricted areas, called ghettos. This policy was carefully worked out, as is illustrated by the confidential statement taken from the files of Rosenberg (212-PS). This memorandum of Rosenberg's, entitled "Directions for Handling of the Jewish Question", states:

"The first main goal of the German measures must be strict segregation of Jewry from the rest of the population. In the execution of this, first of all, is the seizing of the Jewish population by the introduction of a registration order and -similar appropriate measures ***." ******* "*** All rights of freedom for Jews are to be withdrawn. They are to be placed in ghettos and at the same time are to be separated according to sexes. The presence of many more or less closed Jewish settlements in White Ruthenia and in the Ukraine makes this mission easier. Moreover, places are to be chosen which make possible the full use of the Jewish manpower in case labor needs are present. These ghettos can be placed under the supervision of a Jewish self-government with Jewish officials. The guarding of the boundaries between the ghettos and the outer world, is, however, the duty of the Police. "Also, in the cases in which a ghetto could not yet be established, care is to be taken through strict prohibitions and similar suitable measures that a further intermingling of blood of the Jews and the rest of the populace does not continue." (212-PS)

In May 1941 Rosenberg, as the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, issued directions confining the Jews to ghettos in the Ukraine:

"After the customary removal of Jews from alI public offices, the Jewish question will have to have a decisive solution, through the institution of ghettos." (1028-PS)

The policies set forth in the foregoing utterances of Rosenberg t were not accidental, isolated, or the views of one individual. They were the expressed State policies. Von Schirach played his [Page 986] part in the program of ghettoization. His speech before the European Youth Congress held in Vienna on 14 September 1942 was reported on page 2, column 2 of the Vienna edition of the "Voelkischer Beobachter" of 15 September, as follows:

"Every Jew who exerts influence in Europe is a danger to European culture. If anyone reproaches me with having driven from this city, which was once the European metropolis of Jewry, tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of Jews into the ghetto of the East, I feel myself compelled to reply: I see in this an action contributing to European culture." (3048-PS)

One of the largest ghettos was within the city of Warsaw. The official report made by SS Major General Stroop concerning this ghetto is entitled "The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More." (1061-PS) The report thus describes the ghetto:

"The Ghetto thus established in Warsaw was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews. It contained 27,000 apartments with an average of 21/2 rooms each. It was separated from the rest of the city by partition and other walls, and by walling up of the thoroughfares, windows, doors, open spaces, etc.***" (1061-PS)

Conditions within this ghetto are indicated in the statement of the report that an average of six persons lived in every room. (1061-PS) Himmler received a report from the SS Brigade Fuehrer Group A, dated 15 October 1941, which further illustrates the establishment and operation of the ghettos. (L-180) The report states:

"Apart from organizing and carrying out measures of execution, the creation of ghettos was begun in the larger towns at once during the first day of operations. This was especially urgent in Knowno because there were 30,000 Jews in a total population of 152,400." "In Riga the so-called 'Moskau Suburb' was designated as a ghetto. This is the worst dwelling district of Riga, already now mostly inhabited by Jews. The transfer of the Jews into the ghetto district proved rather difficult because the Latvians dwelling in that district had to be evacuated and residential-space in Riga is very crowded. 24,000 of the 28,000 Jews living in Riga have been transferred into the ghetto so far. In creating the ghetto, the Security Police restricted themselves to mere policing duties, while the es- [Page 987] tablishment and administration of the ghetto as well as the regulation of the food supply for the inmates of the ghetto were led to civil administration; he labor officers were left in charge of Jewish labor. "In the other towns with a larger Jewish population ghettos shall be established likewise." (L-180)

Jews were forced into ghettos in the Polish Province of Galicia. The conditions in these ghettos are described in the report from Katzmann, Lt. General of Police, to Krueger, General of the Police East, dated 20 June 1943, and entitled "Solution of Jewish Question in Galicia." (L-18):

"Nothing but catastrophical conditions were found in the ghettos of Rawa-Ruska and Rohatyn ***." ******* "*** The Jews of Rawa-Ruska, fearing the evacuation, had concealed those suffering from spotted fever in underground holes. When evacuation was to start the police found that 3,000 Jews suffering from spotted fever lay about in 'this ghetto. In order to destroy this center of pestilence at once every police officer inoculated against spotted fever was called into action. Thus we succeeded to destroy this plague-boil, losing thereby only one officer. Almost the same conditions were found in Rohatyn ***" ******* "Since we received more and more alarming reports on the Jews becoming armed in an ever increasing manner, we started during the last fortnight in June 1943 an action throughout the whole of the district of Galicia with the intent to use strongest measures to destroy the Jewish gangsterdom. Special measures were found necessary during the action to dissolve the ghetto in Lwow where the dug-out mentioned above had been established. Here we had to act brutally from the beginning, in order to avoid losses on our side; we had to blow up, or to burn down several houses. On this occasion the surprising fact arose that we were able to catch about 20,000 Jews instead of 12,000 Jews who had registered. We had to pull at least 3,000 Jewish corpses out of every kind of hiding places; they had committed suicide by taking poison. ***" ******* "*** Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single SS-Police officer during these actions, mood and [Page 988] spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy from the first to the last day ***." (L-18) These acts of removal and slaughter were not entirely without profit.

The report continues:

"Together with the evacuation action, we executed the confiscation of Jewish property. Very high amounts were confiscated and paid over to the Special Staff 'Reinhard'. Apart from furniture and many textile goods, the following amount were confiscated and turned over to Special Staff 'Reinhard' *** "20.952 kilograms of gold wedding rings. 7 Stamp collections, complete. 1 Suit case with pocket knives. 1 basket of fountain pens and propelled pencils. 3 bags filled with rings -- not genuine. 35 wagons of furs." (L-18) The thoroughness of the looting is illustrated by an item listing 11.73 kilograms of gold teeth and inlays. (L-18)

By the end of 1942, Jews in the General Government of Poland had been crowded into fifty-five localities, whereas before the German invasion there had been approximately 1,000 Jewish settlements within this same area. This fact is reported in the 1942 Official Gazette for the General Government, No. 94, page 665, 11 January 1942.

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