It was just over a year since the ghetto had been established for the Jews of Warsaw. The designated area had been walled in and the inhabitants were not expected to have any contact with the outside world. The desperate conditions where the entire population were maintained on a starvation diet meant that great risks were taken maintain to contact with the rest of the city. Typhus had spread out during the summer of 1941 – entirely due to the appalling living conditions imposed by the Germans:
Regarding: Death penalty for illegal leaving the Jewish residential district
Recently, in many documented instances, Jews, who have left the residential districts designated for them, have spread typhus. To safeguard the population against this dangerous threat, the General Governor has ordered that any Jew, who in the future illegally leaves the residential district designated for him, will be punished by death.
The same punishment will apply to whoever consciously shelters Jews mentioned above or in any other way assists them (for instance, by providing overnight accommodation, or sustenance, by giving a ride in any kind of vehicle, etc.)
The sentence will be imposed by the Special Court in Warsaw.
I explicitly draw the attention of the whole population of the Warsaw District to this new regulation since henceforth it will be applied with merciless severity.
Warsaw, 10 November 1941