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What happened in the Radom Ghetto!


London, Thursday, July 1st 1943 Issue No. 71

"What happened in the Radom Ghetto "

In this number of the of the Polish Forth-Nightly Review we give two protocols (A. and B.) of statements made by two Jewish women who in the Autumn of 1942 succeeded in escaping from Poland They had lived in Poland continually since the outbreak of the war, and consequently for three years were witnesses of the tragic situation of the Jews in Poland under the German occupation.

Protocol A. gives a picture of the martyrdom of the Jews at various stages of their deportations. Protocol B. gives a typical picture of the position of the Jews over the three years in one Polish town.

The stories speak for themselves, but it must be added that they do not give the full picture. For the anti-Jewish terror and mass murders were only beginning to mount to a climax of horror in the Autumn of 1942, when these witnesses left. Therefore they only deal with the preliminary phase of the mass extermination of which the world has been witness during the last few months.


Protocol B

The Ghetto


At first life was tolerable enough for the Jews of Radom. From time to time people were seized in the street and carried off to work, and Jewish men's beards were cut off. These things were accepted. The people got accustomed to such a state of affairs. The shops were open, and were patronized, the Jews did not do badly. My brother-in-law, had a large shop and spent all his time there, just as in pre-war days.


Truly, from time to time German soldiers came and took articles without paying for them but such things were only details. The Jews thought that they would be able to get through on this basis.


But after some months their situation began to worsen. The Gestapo men began to take over, and the Jews at once felt their iron fist. The order was issued that every Jew must wear a yellow patch, and the Star of David must be painted outside every shop.


During this period the Germans changed thee names of two streets: Zeromski Street was called Reichstrasse, and Third of May Street Was called Adolf Hiltler Strasse. Of course Jews were for-bidden to live in either 'of these streets. They had at once to evacuate their homes taking only handbags with them; they were not allowed to take their furniture.


Main entrance to the Radom ghetto

During those difficult times many Poles helped the Jews by carrying things for them. German families' from the Reich were quartered in the empty homes, and some buildings were occupied by German offices. The Germans set up a Jewish Council of Elders in Radom, consisting of 24 persons. The Council did not, develop any extensive activities until the ghetto was organized. Its chief task was to find new quarters for the evacuated Jews.


As usual, there were many malcontents, who accused the council of favoritism. I cannot say whether the complaints had any justification. It also had to provide new. premises for shopkeepers turned out of their shops. Several shopkeepers had  to be accommodated in one shop, and each man had one counter, so that when you went into a shop you got  the impression that you were in a market hall, with commodities of all kinds all around you.


The order for the organization of the ghetto in Radom was issued in April, 1941. The Jews were given fourteen days in which to transfer to the ghetto area. But the German patrols stood in the streets and took away everything they had a mind to.  The ghetto was not surrounded by a wall.

Guards consisting of a German gendarme and a Polish policeman standing at the entrances to the ghetto streets. Later the Polish policeman was replaced by a Jewish one. Notice boards were set up, with the inscription: \

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Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010

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