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|Catalog No.||5968||Similar Items|
|Brief Description||Emanuel Ringelblum: Three lists, autumn 1943; two are June 1943 responses to a questionnaire by the local envoy of the Polish government - in - exile||Similar Items|
|Registry No.||11233ר"מ||Similar Items|
|Donor||Berman Adolf - Abraham||Similar Items|
|File name||רינגלבלום עמנואל: שלוש רשימות מסתיו 1943, שתיים מהן בתשובה לשאלון שהעביר נציג הממשלה הפולנית הגולה ביוני 1943||Similar Items|
|Collection||Berman Adolf - Avraham||Similar Items|
|Index||ברמן - שונות||Similar Items|
|Period||During World War II||Similar Items|
|From Date||26/06/1943||Similar Items|
|To Date||31/10/1943||Similar Items|
|Author||Ringelblum Emanuel||Similar Items|
|Date of event||26/06/1943||Similar Items|
|databank||Collections Section||Similar Items|
From the Adolf - Abraham Berman collection:
A) A questionnaire transmitted to the Council of Polish Jewry [Rada Zydow Polskich] by the Delegat (local envoy) of the Polish government - in - exile in London; dated June 26, 1943. Two pages (two copies), typewritten, in Polish.*
Document originally listed as Holdings Registry File No. 19921.
B) An essay, “The Jewish population’s losses in WWII, and the compensations” [Straty i odszkodowania ludnosci zydowskiej w Polsce]; September - October 1943 -- written by Emanuel Ringelblum, possibly in response to Question No. 28 of the above questionnaire. 15 pages, handwritten, in Polish.
C) An essay by Ringelblum: “A list of civic and cultural activists who have died or were murdered” -- response to Question No. 8 of the above questionnaire. 6 pages, handwritten, in Polish.
D) Ringelblum’s review of the fate of the Jews in Poland (1942 - 1943) and description of existence in the camps -- responses to the questionnaire. 5 pages, handwritten, in Polish.
* See Collections file No. 5867 for a response to this questionnaire and a further updated reply to the questions.
A) A questionnaire transmitted to the Council of Polish Jewry [Rada Zydow Polskich] by a representative of the Polish government - in - exile in London on June 26, 1943.
A.1) Was the German occupation’s order of November 1942 carried out: to concentrate the Jews of Poland in 55 ghettos in the area of the Generalgouvernement?
A.2) Which population concentrations among those noted above were liquidated in total or in part?
A.3) What was the (approximate) number of Jews in the area of the Generalgouvernement, in the area annexed to Germany, and in the area annexed to the Ukraine?
A.4) Did the Germans continue to send Jews to [the] Treblinka [camp], Belzec, and other settlements?
A.5) What was the process of the Jews active resistance in the Warsaw ghetto?
A.6) Is it true that a “Committee of Jews” was reinstituted within the area of the city of Krakow?
A.7) What is the situation in Eastern (Lesser) Poland, in which the relative majority of the Jews in the 55 population concentrations are found?
A.8) Is it possible to receive an exact list of those leaders of the Jews’ political organizations, leaders of public bodies, and scientists who were liquidated; this is in addition to the list already sent to the Polish government.
A.9) Are there now contact between the Jewish populations concentrated in ghettos and the Polish underground movement; if so, what are these?
A.10) What writings have been published by the Jewish underground until now; is it possible to receive copies of some of these?
A.11) Is it possible to receive photographs of execution[s] by the German occupiers and particularly of Polish Jews?
A.12) What is the composition of the Council of Polish Jewry that works with the envoy of the Polish government - in - exile, and what is the composition of the Jewish Committee [Komitet Zydowski] of the laboring masses?
A.13) A request to find materials in order to combat the tendentious rumors being broadcasted by Soviet radio, claiming that the Jews in the ghettos, particularly the Warsaw ghetto, provided arms to Soviet paratroopers.
A.14) What is the present situation of the Jews of Warsaw, Vilnius (Vilna), Lvov, and Krakow?
A.15) A reminder to the Council of Polish Jewry to reply urgently to two telegrams: one from the Jewish Agency, the other from the He - Chaluts organization and from Ha - Shomer in Mandate Palestine, sent them via the Polish government - in - exile.
A.16) A request to send periodic reports on the situation, biweekly if possible, with special attention to the question of whether there are Jewish children remaining alive in the area where Jews still live, and if so, their approximate number.
A.17) Have Jews from the ghetto succeeded in saving themselves via escape to neighboring countries, and particularly by means of foreign passports?
18) Are their Jews serving in the Polish army within Polish territory, and what is their estimated number?
A.19) What is the situation of the Jewish religious councils, and particularly the condition of houses of worship and related matters?
A.20) Is medical care available, and what are the portions of food given to the Jews who remain alive?
A.21) Has the material aid offered by Christians succeeded in overcoming the hardships, and has it reached the Jews who survive?
A.22) Can Jews take part in the acts of sabotage and suppression organized by the Civil Guard Directorate [Kierownictwo Obrony Cywilnej]* and are they doing so?
A.23) How does the Ukrainian population relate to the surviving Jews and to the Polish population?
A.24) Besides the underground press, have any Jewish articles been published during the past three years; if so, is it possible to receive general information about the publication and to receive copies of these publications?
A.25) Is there any activity of political parties among the surviving Jews in Poland, and if so, what?
A.26) What is the situation of the Jews’ spiritual life (e.g. rabbis, etc.), and are any schools still remaning and functioning in the ghettos?
A.27) What are the means of subsistence of the surviving Jews?
A.28) General remarks about the past three years, beyond the topics covered in the above questions.
These questions had been asked previously, sometimes repeatedly, in telegrams, and representatives of the [Council of] Polish Jewry [in London] have already received satisfactory answers. In order to fill in the overall picture, I am sending the questions [and waiting] for answers also for those questions [whose answers] you haven’t yet received.
* One of the arms of the Polish Government in the underground [Polska Podziemna; PP].
** The underground alias of Wladyslaw Banaczyk, Minister of Home Affairs of the Polish government - in - exile. For additional requests for information sent by Orkan, see Collections file No. 6103.
B) Emanuel Ringelblum, an essay possibly in response to Question No. 28 (expansion upon topics not noted in previous questions) of the questionnaire transmitted by the Polish government - in - exile to the Council of Polish Jewry on June 26, 1943: “The Jewish population’s losses in WWII, and the compensations;” September - October 1943. A synopsis follows:
R. reviews the demographic changes that occurred in the Jewish population of Poland and within the eastern borders since the outbreak of the war, and estimates the quantity of their losses: among 2 million Jewish who had lived in the Generalgouvernement (among three and a half million Jews within Poland) there remained only 150,000, the minority of them in hiding, the majority in the Lodz ghetto and labor camps.
He describes the mass liquidation of the Jewish population of Poland: destruction through warfare sown by the Germans was more severe in territories where Jews lived; the operations turning Jews out of their homes and forcing them to live in ghettos, and then deporting them to extermination camps, were means of breaking them materially and spiritually. Regarding the plundering of Jewish property and storing it: at the beginning of the occupation the Jews were required to hand in all the valuables in their possession, and shortly thereafter their [bank] accounts, businesses and institutional assets were expropriated. There was also wholesale, unofficial robbery of their property. Later, after the Aktionen [roundups for deportations] in the ghetto, the “Werterfassung” organization was given the task of collecting the Jewish property remaining in abandoned housing. The valuables were shipped to Germany and the remaining items were sorted, repaired, and sent for military use. Eyewitness testimony from the Treblinka camp describes this meticulous treatment and storage of Jewish property after it was taken from the victims belongings and even from their bodies by the Sonderkommando. At the Trawniki camp, R. himself saw an enormous warehouse storing the property of Jews from Wien (Vienna) who had been murdered. According to an estimate by warehouse workers [f.], some 600 railroad cars loaded with Jewish property were sent from there to Germany. Jewish communities were becoming impoverished from the yoke of “contributions” [i.e. obligatory payments that amounted to ransom], the obligation to provide gifts to high - ranking officials, and the burden of funding building projects imposed upon them. The communities collapsed under the stream of refugees, and also the internal fundraising campaigns that were arranged didn’t help postpone the [implementation of the] deportation program. Also, the [aid] parcels sent from abroad were confiscated, contravening international agreements. R. writes that the majority of Jewish property fell into private hands, and he notes the unprecedented, systematic destruction of synagogues and cemeteries.
R. suggests that besides punishing the guilty after the war, that Germany will be required to pay moral compensation, to mint six million gold medals “for each Jew who was murdered,” that would be preserved in a commemoration site; that Germany would be obliged to erect commemoration sites to the memory of its Jewish victims; to display in their churches engraved memorial plaques commemorating destroyed Jewish cemeteries and to fund the cemeteries’ restoration; that Germany be charged with returning collections of Judaica and Jewish libraries to their rightful owners.
As most of the Jewish families perished, as well as representatives of their communities, assessments of the damages must be based upon the comprehensive valuation. Jewish real estate is relatively easy to reconstruct; the incomes of Jewish households must be calculated through statistics according to breakdown by economic status: 15% wealthy, 60% middle class, 25% poor. An estimate of workplaces can be based on scientific publications; R. suggests that the value of jewelry and cash that accumulated in the exterminations camps be likewise calculated by statistical breakdown of the victims’ economic class. R demands that the property of all Germans who set foot in Poland during the war be expropriated. He calls for the establishment of a fund for assistance and rehabilitation of the remaining Jews of Poland, with monies paid into it in the form of reparations payments from the Axis countries, monies received by Poland for renting out the [real estate] properties of Jews who perished, and from Jewish funds that were transferred to institutions that were subsequently liquidated as well.
C) Emanuel Ringelblum: a response to Question No. 8 of the questionnaire transmitted by the Polish government - in - exile to the Council of Polish Jewry on June 26, 1943: “A list of civic and cultural activists who have died or were murdered.”
This annotated list incuding the names of dozens of artists, civic activists, educators and cultural figures, groups them by the following professions: scientists, intellectuals, journalists, artisans, performing artists, educators, civic activists, authors, painters, lawyers, musicians, rabbis. (A similar list of artists, intellectuals, and activists can be found in Collections File No. 5990.)
D) Emanuel Ringelblum: responses to the questionnaire transmitted by the Polish government - in - exile to the Council of Polish Jewry on June 26, 1943:*
* The following is a synopsis of his responses; the missing numbers are thus in the original:
D.1) The November 1942 order to erect 55 ghettos was one of the Hitlerite demagogical tactics whose objective was to mislead Jewish public opinion and cover the tracks regarding the Germans true intentions toward the Jews.
D.2) Other than the cities of Radom and Krakow (?) [sic], there are no other Judenrats in the Generalgouvernement. The surviving Jews are in labor camps, primarily in the Lublin district.
D.3) In early August , two thousand Jews staged an uprising in the camps of Treblinka, killing 30 SS soldiers, torching the camp, and escaping to join up with the partisans in the surrounding forests.
In the Sobibor concentration camp, of which we know little, Jews from the Netherlands, USSR and Warsaw were exterminated. Sobibor is taking the place of Treblinka.
A man who was in one of the transports to Sobibor describes the horrors taking place in that concentration camp.
D.16) According to calculations, the writer of these responses arrives at the conclusion that 23,500 Jewish children remain alive. The chances of staying alive are better on the “Aryan” side [of the city] and for children in the camps for foreign nationals; the others are in great mortal peril.
D.17) “Estimates” are that only some 30,000 Jews are hiding in the “Aryan” areas. The reasons for this are the difficulty of hiding in such smal communities; hostility and antisemitic propaganda; the policy of punishing those who provide aid [to Jews] and rewarding informers; and the lack of means [of subsistence]. There is little escape to neighboring countries due to the high risk involved and the meager results.
D.19) Since the invasion of Poland, the Germans have declared all - out war on the Jewish religion. Synagogues have been ruined or converted to clubhouses for German soldiers. Also most of the [Jewish] cemeteries have been destroyed and their ground plowed up.
D.26) In Warsaw, the Germans permitted six schools for Jewish children to open for the 1941/42 academic year (all at once).
D.27) The remnant of Polish Jewry is shut away in labor camps and concentration camps. In the labor camps, most of the inmates are put to work in various workshops, in military warehouses, in kitchens, etc. Many are dealing in peddling [i.e. unofficial commerce transactions]. The food provided is starvation rations. Smuggling food into the camps involves risking one’s life, and the prices for the smuggled foodstuffs soars from one day to the next.
Inmates of labor camps can expect slow death. The situation of inmates of concentration camps is a hundred times worse. The provision of food there is abysmal. The physical exhaustion of a concentration camp inmate is cumulative, and at the time of the Selektions many are sent to the crematorium furnaces. Also the situation of Jews hiding on the “Aryan” side is worsening because the means [of subsistence] required to stay in hiding places are running out. The Hitlerite regime has physically annihilated over three million of Poland’s Jews, and the handful who remain in hiding have become hopeless wanderers with no [prospects on the] horizon.