The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/b/biddle.anthony.jd/diplomatic.012043


Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Diplomatic Knowledge of Auschwitz (1942)

Archive/File: pub/people/b/biddle.anthony.jd/diplomatic.012043
Last-Modified: 1995/12/31

Source: "Days of Remembrance, April 18-25, 1993. Fifty Years Ago:
Revolt Amid the Darkness." USHMM, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place,
SW, Washington, D.C. 20024, pp. 173-179. (Reproduction of
National Archives, Record Group 84, American Legation --
Polish Government-in-Exile, Box 16, File 711.)
[Typos mine. knm]


Republic of Poland
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
London, 20th. January, 1943

Your Excellency,

On December 10th, 1942, I had the honour to address a Note on
behalf of the Polish Government to Your Excellency and to the
Governments of the United Nations describing, on the basis of
authenticated reports from Poland, the means employed by the
German authorities of occupation for the mass extermination of
Jews on the territories of Poland. In that note the Polish
Government drew the attention of the Governments of the United
Nations to the appalling massacres carried out methodically by
the Germans of the Jewish population of Poland, and of the
many thousands of Jews whom the German authorities have
deported to Poland from Western and Central European countries
and from the German Reich itself. In the concluding paragraph
of the Note, the Polish Government expressed their conviction
as to the necessity "not only of condemning the crimes
committed by the Germans and punishing the criminals, but also
of finding the means offering the hope that Germany might be
effectively restrained from continuing to apply her methods of
mass extermination."

During the period which has elapsed since the delivery of the
above-mentioned Note, the Polish Government have received
fresh reports from Poland giving alarming evidence of an
intensification of the German methods of violence aiming at
the physical and moral destruction of the Polish nation.

1. Evidence in possession of the Polish Government indicates
that the German authorities of occupation have set up at
various times at least 24 concentration camps on territories
of the Republic of Poland, amongs them the following:

	Augustow
	Belzec
	Ciechanow
	Dobrzyn	
	Dyle in the district of Bilgoraj
	Dzialdowo
	Kosow Podlaski
	Lodz /three separate camps/
	Majdanek
	Myslowice
	Nasielsk
	Oswiecim
	Plonsk
	Sierpo
	Sobibor in the district of Wlodawa
	Sosnowieo
	Tarnow
	Treblinka near Sokolow Podlaski /two camps/.

In addition there are Poles in German concentration camps, to
name only such notorious places as Dachau, Buchenwald,
Oranienburg, Mathausen, Gusen and Ravensbruck. Altogether
there are about 80 camps in Poland and Germany in which Poles
are to be found in large numbers.

The most notorious of these camps is that at Oswiecim.
Deportation to this camp is tantamount to death by prolonged
torture. The camp at Oswiecim, situated 30 miles West of
Cracow, is divided into two sections, one for women, the other
for men. According to the camp register, the number of women
interned amounted on June 1, 1942, to 8,620. The number of men
at the same date was 38,720 of whom 8,170 were Jews, including
about 1,100 French Jews and about 5,000 Czechoslovak Jews.

According to information which has reached the Polish
Government, there have passed through the register 54,720 men
and 8,620 women, or a total of 63,340 up to June 1, 1942.  In
addition 22,500 men and women have passed through the camp
without being registered. Of this total of 85,840 mena and
women, 23,000 were until recently still alive, while 5,000 had
been released or transferred to other camps. It must be
presumed that up to 58,000 people have perished in the camp at
Oswiecim.

The death rate among the internees in this camp is appalling
and nearly all of them die a death or torture. Of the 3,000
Catholic priests who are known to have been imprisoned or
placed in concentration camps, about 2,000 have been executed
or cruelly murdered in the Oswiecim camp.

2. Detailed information has been forthcoming in the course of
the last weeks regarding a new wave of mass arrests and public
executions in numerous parts of the country. In Szopienice
/Silesia/ 10 persons have been publicly hanged. In Bodzanow
and Mosciszew /District of Plock/ 40 persons have been put to
death in the same way. In the province of Wilno public
executions by hanging have been carried out on 14 persons in
Ponary, 25 in Jewel and 18 in Jaszuny. In the city of Warsaw,
after a warehouse had been set on fire, 70 persons were
executed in one street. When a train was derailed near Cracow,
12 Polish road workers were seized and hanged on the spot, and
their bodies left on the gallows for three days.

According to an eye-witness account in October last the
passengers of a train travelling from Radom to Kielce were
having their identity cards examined at the station of Rozki -
the first station after Radom - when a shot was fired at a
gendarme. All the passengers in that carriage were arrested.
50 of them were hanged, and of these 15, including 6 women,
were hanged immediately at Rozki.

On October 15 10 Poles, including 4 women, were hanged at
Radom near the monument opposite the officers' quarters.
Amongst the number was Winozewska, the proprietress of a shop
in Slowacki Street, and also her daughter-in-law.

On October 17th 15 workers from a munitions factory at Radom
were hanged and were ledt on the gallows in front of the
factory a whole day.

3. Quite recently the Polish Gevernment have received detailed
reports of a particularly alarming nature concerning the
Province of Lublin and the city of Warsaw. The province of
Lublin is in the very heart of Poland and is mainly
agricultural country. Pursuing their regular practice appliced
since 1939 in Polish Western provinces, the Germans have
chosen the winter, a season of exceptionally severe weather in
Poland, to throw the peasants forcefully out of their homes
and drive them from the lands they have tilled for
generations.

Since November 28th, 1942, such brutal expulsions have been
authentically reported from the districts of Zamose, Lublin,
Pulawy, Krasnystaw, Hrubieszow, Bilgoraj, Sokolow and
Tomaszow, all in the province of Lublin For instance, all the
inhabitants of 54 villages in the district of Zamosc alone
have been driven out of their homes and deprived of their
properties, totalling some 10,000 individual farmsteads which
have been confiscated for the benefit of newly-imported German
settlers. All resistance is ruthlessly crushed by mass
killings. Thus, for instance, in the village of Kitow,
district of Zamosc, 170 peasants were murdered. The procedure
usually adopted is to separate the adult and juvenile
population, which is then herded in temporary barbed-wire
enclosures for subsequent destruction. It is known that one
such contingent was sent to the dreaded "camp of death" at
Oswiecim. Families are deliberately broken up. Children under
the age of six are taken away from their mothers and deported
to the Reich to be brought up as Germans. Mothers refusing to
give up their children are frequently killed on the spot.

These victims, driven to despair, are defending themselves
bitterly. The peasants are setting their homesteads on fire
and destroying their cattle before escaping into the open
country. Fourteen villages in the Lublin province destined to
be taken over by German settlers were set on fire by the
villages. Those amongst the peasants who succeeded in making
their escape are joining together and attacking German
military objectives. A railway bridge was blown up and several
trains derailed, including at least one carrying German
settlers. The German military and police are crushing with the
utmost brutality these desperate attempts at self-defence thus
adding to the number of victims.

4. Whereas the mass expulsions of Poles from the Western
provinces have as their aim the germanisation of these purely
Polish lands, the driving of the inhabitants from the central
province of Lublin is designed to disrupt Polish national
untity by forcing German wedges between the different
provinces of Poland.

The spontaneous resistance of the Polish population in the
Lublin district, which moreover is creating great difficulties
for Germanyy at the rear of her Eastern front, has provoked
new reprisals on the part of the German authorities, who have
struck at the very heart of our country - at the capital
itself.

5. In Warsaw the Germans displayed posters on January 10th,
1943, announcing that 200 Polish patriots have been arrested
and will be made to pay the penalty for the assassinations of
German soldiers.

They have organized manhunts in the streets of Warsaw since
January 15th. The number of victims is estimated at several
thousands a day, but these man-hunts have assumed tremendous
proportions on Sunday, January 17th. The Gestapo cordoned off
the different districts of the town, and are taking people off
the streets and from their homes. Some are taken to the Pawiak
prison in Warsaw, others to an unknown destination. According
to the latest report received from Poland on January 19th over
2,000 persons were taken from this prison eastwards in sealed
waggons. Their fate is unknown.

From hour to hour increasingly harrowing reports on these
acts of atrocity are reaching the Polish authorities in
London directly from Poland. Obviously it is not possible to
quote all, and many, possibly of even greater gravity, will
have been received since this Note was drafted.

6. The National Council of the Republic of Poland at their
meeting held in London on January 7th, 1943, passed a
resolution expressing their conviction that "only by
extraordinary emergency measures will the Allied  Governments
be able to check the systematic extermination of the
populations of the occupied countries of Europe."

The full text of this resolution is given in an annex.

7. While voicing the unanimous will of a country implacably
resisting the invader, the Polish Government appeal to the
Governments of the United Nations to take urgent counsel
together in order to devise practical and effective means of
restraining Germany who, if not checked in time, will not only
inflict irreparable losses in Poland but also in the other
countries occupied by her, and may bring about so much
destruction of the human resources and cultural life of Europe
that the task of their restoration may prove insurmountable.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency
the assurance of my highest consideration.

		/signature

His Excellency
Mr. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jnr.
Ambassador of the United States of America to Poland
40, Berkeley Square, W.1



Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.