[P. 737 - 746]
Translated by Rita Falbel
III. LEMBERG'S JEWS RELOCATE: "Lemberger Zeitung (News)" 15.XI.1941
Since the Jews, who until now still roam free in Lemberg, and are taking part very actively in their ilIicit trade... further ... because they intercept the farmers outside the city and take from them food at high prices, the city government was forced to set up a Jewish residential area. It was thus foreseen that a Ghetto was to be established, since one wants to confirm the supply of an appropriate and useful work force ... The ruling is singularly magnanimous since it is carried out in ways which avoid, as far as possible, all harshness. The Jews must relocate during the time from 16.IX to 14.XII. The Judenrat, the one public agency that employs (supports) up to 500 men is responsible. The Polish and Ukrainian people who live in the Jewish neighborhood will relocate to the city, where they will receive respectable apartments (special offices for assigning apartments, Stadthauptman Peltewna 1). The administrative authority will even make every effort to arrange for appropriate transport. The exclusively Jewish district will be located in the part of the city north of the Lemberg-Tarnopol railroad, with the exception of the core (kernes), through which the Zolkiewskastrasse goes. Poles und Ukrainians have until 14.XII to leave this district. Jews are permitted to take necessary, personal belongings with them to this district. Business supplies, furniture or stock from stores are not permitted to be taken as part of the relocation-action to this Jewish residential district. Any such shops are to be closed and sealed. Entry to the Jewish district after 14. XII is forbidden for anyone except those resident Jews. Exceptions for enforced living in the Jewish district can only be permitted in isolated cases by the Mayor. .. The implementation of the relocation action is to be enforced and directed by the SS- and Chief of Police in the District of Galicia.
[IV. W SPRAWIE CHRZTU ZYDOW: THIS SECTION IS IN POLISH]
V. ADMINISTRATION AND JUSTICE
After the initiation of decrees in the district Galicia, the number of cases that came before the special court in Lemberg related to hiding Jews, recently rose quickly and considerably. For this offense the law prescribed the death sentence only. On account of this, the special courts are always expected to decide for the death penalty. Among judges there is a tendency to take a position against this in more or less extreme form. Most criticism points towards the fact that these punishments could only be practical when carried out by the security police. Thus, the necessity of the death penalty is generally agreed upon, because Jews who seek hiding places should, in view of the prevailing circumstances, be viewed as criminals. In taking a position, a judge must not shy away from his responsibility thereby avoiding implementation of this harsh judgment.
As pertains to the "Jewish laws" the judge lacks the consciousness of the political mission. That goes for the law of identity marking of Jews, unauthorized leaving of the district, as well as hiding of Jews. From the judge's point of view, these laws, considering their content and character, are rules that fall purely within the purview of the police. Therefore, the implementation of such laws, or as the case may be, decrees, are to be left exclusively to the police. This also presents the judge with a moral burden, when at the time of judgment, he would disregard following the letter of the law. Often enough the facts require a substantially milder judgment from an ethical standpoint. For the judge however, this avenue is blocked from the outset by the law. The judge is only a servant in a rigid preordained sequence of events. Thus, one forces the judge into a situation which is incompatible with his position. An example of this conflict follows: If, for instance, an illiterate Ukrainian farmer would take into his house for a few hours his former Jewish salesman and supplier, by whom he had until now been "looked after," would perhaps even offer him coffee and bread, because he [the Jew], had asked for it, the facts of the case would be fulfilled. Whether the Ukrainian farmer even knew that by taking a Jew into his house he would forfeit his head, would be in question. It is namely thus, that the decree and its punishment have not been distributed widely enough from the larger cities. Besides, it is still a fact, that among individual Ukrainians and Poles on the one hand, and Jews on the other, bonds have already existed from former relationships in this district. Because of this it seems more advantageous to not carry justice to the absurd, if such offenses come before the judge through the duties of the police.
[PARAGRAPHS IN POLISH]
VI. ATROCITY IN POLAND!
Written in the year 1943. It was during the months, March, April, May, June, July and August. The general retreat from Russia resulted in my coming to Lemberg with my unit. On. 14. March I arrived in Lemberg. The commander of the [Feldluftparkes] in Lemberg handed me the responsibility of guarding a store in District B4, the news service district. Jews, who had been kept in a ghetto as prisoners in 1942 after the occupation of Poland, were assigned to us to maintain and look after this store. And so it was my daily task to pick up these 25 assigned Jews from the ghetto every morning, and bring them back again in the evening. I had already been told a lot about the inhuman handling of Jews, partly I heard it from the Jews themselves, partly from my Polish friends at that time, but also from my own comrades. Well, I didn't want to believe it, but I was able to convince myself daily, with what bestiality our SS and also the Ukrainian Gestapo that were involved, dealt with these people, only because they held another belief or belonged to another race. It was always my goal, should I be captured by the British or Americans, to give a long detailed account about the inhuman handling of the Jews, to be published in the foreign press.
However, since I wasn't captured, I want this little book, that was basically written at a time when the Hitler dictatorship was still at the helm, to be a legacy to human, thinking mankind, and to those who come after, who will, in the end, have to judge how this series of events, perpetrated by such creatures who stand far below animals, can be justified. I take full responsibility for these notes of mine.
Every morning, when I arrived at the ghetto, I was presented a picture which literally made the blood in my veins freeze. Even at the gate, since I could only enter with a special permit, I heard, quite softly, the wonderful sounds of the 3rd. Beethoven symphony. My readers will wonder how this can be possible, but then it is not different for you as it was for me. I also wondered about it constantly. I went in further and there I saw women and children with the men herded together by the SS-hordes and Ukrainian militia, being beaten, and whoever made the slightest movement of resistance was shot down. I heard the whimpering of innocent children and infants, heard the wailing and screaming of women and saw the dumb, but obviously painful witnessing of the men, saw how they were driven in the gutters, how they were tortured, accompanied all the while by the purest tones of the 3rd. Beethoven symphony. So I asked one of these beasts in human form, one of the mindless, drunken SS-men, and they were almost always so, why one would play the most beautiful German music to such behavior. He replied "If you don't like it you can join the rabble." The City Commander [Statdtkommandant] of Lemberg, the SS-Brigadier General Katzmann personally chose the best Jewish musicians to provide the necessary accompanying music for this varied "morning's entertainment." Beethoven and Mozart were thus played to accompany the atrocities of the SS-hordes, sthat the poor tortured people'slow process of dying could be eased.
Now I ask you, my readers, is that not the most disgraceful use of culture? The system that calls itself defenders of the national culture, this system brings it to an end, our purest classical composers degraded by such brutal murder. I was deeply shaken since I love art above everything, but I couldn't dwell on my thoughts for long, but perceived suddenly the meaning of the Jews' word "Aktion". What must I now experience without being able to help. Even the so-called trustees, unfortunately Jews themselves, drove the people together and ordered them to stand neatly in rows, then as soon as the first lieutenant of the SS came, the bloody ceremony could begin. He disclosed the number of lots designated [for the day]. The number 4 was chosen, that means, every 4th male Jew or female Jew with child are chosen for the Aktion. He began to count and every 4th person was taken away. Some, who were already living corpses endured it with quiet stoicism, happy finally, to be relieved of this wasting away; but sometimes one could witness heartbreaking scenes which were played out especially within families. The man had to witness his wife and child being taken away, never to see them again; women had to watch while their men were taken away and if anyone resisted even slightly, how they immediately struck him over the head with the butt of their weapons. I was allowed to witness this tragedy as I had this special permit to enter the camp. Others didn't find out anything, since before every Aktion, the camp was heavily guarded by SS units and anyone who approached the 100 meter boundary outside the camp was shot without warning. I witnessed this tragedy, wanted to, but couldn't help; even though my blood surged inside me, I had to turn away shattered, since when a person sees such things, he loses all belief in the preservation of the most basic laws of humanity, and is then ashamed to be a citizen of a nation from which these SS-hordes spring.
They herded the people onto trucks; each truck held 25. There they had to squat down and at each corner of the vehicle stood an SS-guard with loaded weapon held at the ready. If anyone moved the guard would hit him over the head so that blood would run and [the prisoner] would collapse. Others were transported on the so-called lorries of streetcars, and every ten minutes a streetcar passed one after the other through Lemberg. I know from my own experience, the road went as far as a gravel pit where the Jews were lined up in front of machine guns and row after row were gunned down. Many weren't even shot but keeled over in terror and fell into the gravel pit. Following that, lime was immediately poured onto the dead and living to erase the traces of this treacherous extermination. I found out from many sources that in Lemberg a mass grave of about 500,000 innocent murdered Jews exists.
Every evening as I brought the Jews back to the Ghetto again, they told me that they didn't know if they would see me the next morning.
From these days onward my attitude toward the SS became completely clear and unchangeable. I am of the singular opinion that the whole SS, which perpetrated such atrocities, must be exterminated, especially everyone who committed offenses against the laws of humanity in such a shameful manner.
I also remember a comment by the notorious SS-General Katzmann, commander of Lemberg, related to me by Captain Guenther, the leader of the B-District of the FLP in Lemberg. The General said to him then: "Katyn, this is only a daily job for us!" So said the man who earned a half million Reichs Marks in cash, only because he called off a planned "Aktion." Whether a planned aktion would take place or not only depended on his mood of the moment. He let his Gestapo men extort sums of up to 100,000 zlotys from the Jews as ransom whom he then accordingly exploited, and he also squandered the money in wild orgies. The conditions in the Ghetto were so unbearable that several of my own Jews even asked me to get them the strongest poisons, cyanide or morphine, at great cost. The poor tortured people only wanted to shorten the time to their certain death when an Aktion was announced. Thus the weeks and months went by, always with my Jews living with the constant terror of "when will it be my turn." The Aktions occurred often during each week, sometimes 3 times. The wehrmacht intervened for the Jews when they could since they could count on them as honest, willing and good workers, until the day when it didn't suit the SS-commander any longer. Such intervention by the Wehrmacht didn't help any more. General Katzmann informed the officers of the wehrmacht (also again as heard by Captain Guenther and Major v. Klenck) that the wehrmacht had no say in the matter, the Jews were his property and he could deal with them as he wished.
On the 10th of July or June 1943 a large Aktion was announced and the aim of this Aktion would be the complete extermination of Jewry. On that day, I was, as usual. in the ghetto in the morning and was able to witness an incomprehensible sorrow. The ghetto was again strongly guarded by the SS, nobody was allowed to approach the camp nearer than 20 meters. In the ghetto itself, the Jews understandably hid themselves in their cellars, some even in the empty sewers. I could see with my own eyes how they took away small children from the women and threw them against the building walls, and how the smashed limbs were scattered on the ground.
I saw one of these young SS-rascals, scarcely 21 years old, showing off with this death work, how he had already "earned" almost a million Reichs Marks. I also saw how they threw sick, fragile Jews of both sexes, naked from the 4th floor of the ghetto's hospital onto a truck and took them away. The air surrounding me was filled with such indescribable lamentation and sorrow, that it was heartbreaking. I then circulated these witnessed events to my Polish friends (Michalina Melnyk, Lemberg, Zolkiewerstrasse 173) and heard also that similar tragedies occurred in the Warsaw ghetto. I often asked myself why the Polish land was selected for this and came to understand that criminal elements in the Polish government of that time collaborated in these atrocities. The outcome of this was that Jews from all Balkan countries were brought to Poland for execution; in my careful estimation, it must have been 3-4,000,000 Jews who were innocently murdered because of the insane idea of Hitler
Again I have to comment, that these writings are not a product of fantasy-induced thinking, but absolutely and completely incontestable, declared under oath from a foreign person, as supplement to reporting of fact. As main witness I submit herewith the name of one of my comrades, who will completely confirm these statements since he also experienced almost all of them with me. His address is: Helmuth Hauck, Chemnitz/Sa. Fichtestrasse
I didn't write this report after the occupation by the allied forces, but it can be incontestably established that the fundamentals of this report began in Yugoslavia (see other report*).
*In Hebrew: When I was in the administration (in Bavaria) in the year 1946, Alfred Greiner came to me told me of his service in the army during the days of the second World War and brought me his [??] writings in typewritten form. .... Greiner came from Lwower Shmuel Reisman, one of the survivors of the death camp in Treblinka who was in the administration with him at the time he worked as secretary on the Jewish central committee.
VII. SECRET REICHS MATTERS **
The SS-and Police chief 9:30 June
In the Distict Galicia 2 Copy (Ausfertigungen)
Tgb. Nr. 42/43g.R.-Ch/Fr. 1 Copy
Re: Solution of the Jewish Question in Galicia
Concerning: Enclosed Report
Encl.: 1 report (3 copies)
1. Copy (bound)
Chief and leader of Police East
SS-Lt. General and Chief of Police
In the enclosed I remit the final report as one copy, regarding the solution to the Jewish question in District Galicia for your attention.
VIII. CAMP REPORTS
(Main bureau for Propaganda, weekly report of the Districts).
A. Lemberg, 29. August 1942.
The work force in the district is now stretched to the limit. Additional effects were the radical withdrawal of Jewish workers. The district of Galicia had only a year's time to prepare. Its Arian population is less skilled in craft and trade compared with other districts. Therefore, the war industry is more adversely affected here by the deportation of Jews than the other parts of the General Gouvernements.
The fundamental question, that the removal of the Jews for political purposes is of more importance than war industry, is apparently a decision made at the highest levels that decided in favor of this policy. The decrease of industrial production in the affected areas must be considered. As a precaution, I must point out that these effects in Galicia will have a great impact.
B. Lemberg 16.10.42.
The relocation of the Jews, which, in part, takes forms that are not worthy of a cultured people, promotes the comparison of the methods of the Gestapo with those of the GPU. The trains for transport are reported to be in such bad condition that it is impossible to prevent the escape of Jews. The result of this is that wild shooting and manhunts take place regularly along the way. Also to report is that the corpses of the Jews shot down lie around on the roads for days.
In spite of this, the German citizenry and other folk who live here are convinced of the necessity of liquidating all Jews, though it would be preferable to effect this in a less offensive and provocative way.
[In Hebrew] ** From addendum to certificate of the trial of war criminals taken from governments [??] in Germany, Nuremberg, 1947.
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