holocaust

May

7

1943

The End approaches in the Warsaw Ghetto

7th May 1943: The ‘end of the world’ approaches in the Warsaw Ghetto


The fire destroys everything. The sight is horrifying, shocking. The fire spreads so quickly that people cannot escape from the buildings and they perish tragically. People with bundles run from house to house, from street to street. There is no salvation; no one knows where to hide. They search in desperation but there is no deliverance, no refuge, death rules everything. The walls of the ghetto are surrounded. No one goes out and no one comes in. Clothing is burning on people’s bodies. Screams of pain, sobbing. Everyone wants to be saved, everyone tries to save his own life.

Apr

29

1943

Conditions inside the burning Warsaw ghetto

29th April 1943: Conditions inside the burning Warsaw ghetto

After their attempts to penetrate the Ghetto had failed, they decided to to spare themselves casualties by destroying it from outside with cannon and aerial bombings. A few days later the Ghetto was totally destroyed. Those who survived continued living in bunkers. Apparently the Germans concluded there weren’t many Jews left in the Ghetto and decided it was safe to enter during the day.

Apr

26

1943

Last letters from an unknown Holocaust victim

26th April 1943: Last letters from an unknown Holocaust victim

In Petrikow it looks like this: before the grave one is stripped naked, then forced to kneel down and wait for the shot. The victims stand in line and await their turn. Moreover, they have to sort the first, the executed, in their graves so that the space is used well and order prevails. The entire procedure does not take long. In half an hour the clothes of the executed return to the camp.

Apr

25

1943

The battle of the Warsaw Ghetto continues

25th April 1943: The battle of the Warsaw Ghetto continues

274 Jews were shot, and as on other days, uncounted Jews were buried alive in the blown-up bunkers and, as near as can be determined, burned. With today’s bounty of Jews, a very large portion of the bandits and lowest elements of the Ghetto has, in my opinion, been captured. Immediate liquidation was not carried out due to the onset of darkness.

Apr

19

1943

The first Warsaw uprising – a desperate Jewish rebellion

19th April 1943: Warsaw uprising – desperate Jewish rebellion

I wait at my post anxiously but not for long. I cock my ears and hear the heavy tread of the uniformed killers. A detachment of murderers is marching down Zelazna toward Leszno, into the ghetto: one-two, one-two, more blood, more blood. But then comes the most beautiful moment in my life. A tremendous explosion rends the air. Crash! They’re falling to the ground. Again, Crash! All of a sudden the Ukrainians are rolling in puddles of blood. Blood for blood! The murderers disperse in a wild panic, seeking shelter in the entranceways.

Apr

3

1943

Nightmare of Deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto

3rd April 1943: Nightmare of Deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto

Someone pried up a board and a few people tried to jump from the train, but unfortunately no one managed to escape. The murderers kept the entire route lit with spotlights, so they’d be sure not to miss anyone who attempted to get away. A friend of mine who was in the car asked me to hold his coat while he jumped and then throw the coat after him. I watched him: No sooner had he jumped than he was hit. His coat was riddled by bullets as well.

Mar

28

1943

A precarious sanctuary for Jews in Poland

28 March 1943: A precarious sanctuary for Jews in Poland

One day, when only the grandmother and my wife were in the house, sitting as quiet as mice, Henrietta heard a conversation through the wall. The neighbour, Mrs. Kaminska, and a relative of hers were talking. Mrs. Kaminska said she had a feeling that a jewess was hiding next door. The relative said she should inform the Germans at once, and they would soon find out if it were true.

Mar

13

1943

Amon Goeth liquidates the last Jews in Krakow ghetto

13th March 1943: Amon Goeth liquidates the last Jews in Krakow ghetto

We were then marched off, under heavy escort of SS men and Ukrainians, in the direction of the camp. We were beaten with rifle butts all the way. Whoever, had a decent looking suitcase, had it duly taken from them by the Ukrainians. Anyone who was older, or could not keep the pace of the march, was severely beaten. Having arrived at the camp, the next day, I awaited for the arrival of my wife and child, unfortunately without success.

Mar

2

1943

The Rose Street protest in central Berlin

2nd March 1943: The Rose Street protest in central Berlin

When the officials said that the people could not yet be released, the women suggested that they wanted to stay with their husbands in jail. The officials answered that it was not allowed because the men are under arrest. The women replied that Rose Street was not a prison, and they had the right to enter the building. The Fuhrer would certainly not approve of such an unlawful practice …

Feb

27

1943

The Jews of Berlin are rounded up

27th February 1943: The Jews of Berlin are rounded up

Orianienburg Street was ordered to have the community staff come and present themselves with all necessary equipment. They also nominated certain people to be the Jewish commanders of each such camp. It was now known what had happened, but it was yet unclear how it happened.
…I just want to state that this action was executed with terrible cruelty and no human consideration. The people were quickly loaded onto the SS trucks. The women came straight from work, in their work clothes, with no coats, no breakfast. These were all left in the factories’ changing rooms.