The Liquidation of the Bialystok Ghetto
"The Bialystok General District ... constituted an independent
administrative district within the German regime in occupied Poland...
"During the first months of the German occupation ... the
Jewish population ... suffered a wave of mass murders.... 31,000
Jews, mostly men, were shot by the Einsatzgruppen near their homes.
On the eve of mass deportations to Treblinka and Auschwitz, in
the autumn of 1942, there were about 210,000 Jews in the district,
concentrated in ghettos. ...
"In the first half of October 1942, the Reich Security Main
Office issued an order to local SS authorities in the Bialystok
General District to liquidate all the ghettos in the district
and deport the Jews. But after the intervention of the German
army and German civilian authorities that employed Jewish labor
in wareconomy enterprises, it was decided that the liquidation
of the Bialystok ghetto would be postponed. <1>
"The deportation of the Jews from the Bialystok district
to Treblinka and, in part, to Auschwitz commenced after the deportation
of most of the General Government Jews had been completed. It
began in midOctober 1942, and continued until midFebruary
1943. ... At the end of this period, only 30,000 Jews from the
entire General District remained in the Bialystok ghetto."
"... in the summer of 1943, Himmler issued an order to Gauleiter
Erich Kock, the head of the Bialystok General District, and to
the local commander of the Security Police to liquidate the Bialystok
ghetto and deport its inhabitants to the General Government. [Civilian
and army authorities argued that the Jews were vital to the war
economy]. But Himmler did not accept this argument. He order the
immediate implementation of the deportation, and, as he no longer
relied on the local German authorities, he entrusted the mission
to the Operation Reinhard staff and the police forces subordinate
to them. Globocnik personally came to Bialystok to coordinate
the liquidation of the ghetto with the local German authorities.
"The deportations were carried out on August 1819,
1943. From Bialystok 7,600 Jews were sent to Treblinka. Some other
transports were deported to Majdanek and Auschwitz. The final
liquidation of the ghetto met with stiff resistance from the Jewish
Underground, which fought back, and many Jews found their death
inside the ghetto during this uprising. But the Bialystok ghetto,
the last ghetto in the entire district, was finally liquidated.
The total number of Jews from ... Bialystok who were deported
and murdered in Treblinka came to about 118,000..."
[Excerpted from, Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka-the
Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987.]