For the Fuehrer and their country the following fell in the battle for the destruction of Jews and bandits in the former Ghetto of Warsaw:
[follow 15 names]
Furthermore, the Polish Police Sergeant Julian Zielinski, born 13 November 1891, 8th Commissariat * * * fell on 19 April I 1943 while fulfilling his duty. * * * They gave their utmost, their life. We shall never forget them. The following were wounded:
[follow the names of-
60 Waffen SS personnel.
[Translator's note: This obviously means; 36 officers, 2054 men]
The creation of special areas to be inhabited by Jews, and the restriction of the Jews with regard to residence and trading is nothing new in the history of the East. Such measures were first taken far back in the Middle Ages; they could be observed as recently as during the last few centuries. These restrictions were imposed with the intention of protecting the aryan population against the Jews.
Identical considerations led us as early as February, 1940 to conceive the project of creating a Jewish residential district in Warsaw. The initial intention was to establish as the Ghetto that part of the City of Warsaw which has the Vistula as its Eastern frontier. The particular situation on prevailing in Warsaw seemed at first to frustrate this plan. It was moreover opposed by several authorities particularly by the City Administration. They pointed in particular that disturbances in industry and trade would ensue if a Ghetto were founded in Warsaw, and that it would be impossible to provide the Jews with food if they were assembled in a closed area.
At a conference held in March 1940, it was decided to postpone the plan of creating a Ghetto for the time being, owing to the above objections. At the same time a plan was considered to declare the District of Dublin the collecting area for all Jews within the Government General, especially for the evacuated or fugitive Jews arriving from the Reich. But as early as April 1940, the Higher SS and Police Leader, East, Cracow, issued a declaration that there was no intention of assembling the Jews within the Lublin District. In the meantime, the Jews had increasingly taken to crossing the frontiers without permission and illegally. This noted especially at the limits of the Districts of Lowicz and Skierniewice. Conditions in the town of Lowicz became dangerous from the point of view of hygiene as well as from that of the Security Police, owing to these illegal migrations of Jews. The District President of Lowicz therefore, began to install Ghettos in his district in order to avoid these dangers.
The experiences in the district of Lowicz, after Ghettos had been installed, showed that this method is the only one suitable for dispelling the dangers which emanate repeatedly from the Jews.
The necessity of erecting a Ghetto in the City of Warsaw as well became more and more urgent in the summer of 1940, since more and more troops were being assembled in the district of Warsaw after termination of the French campaign. At that time the Department for Hygiene urged the speedy erection of a Ghetto in the interest of preserving the health of the German Forces and of the native population as well. The original plan of establishing the Ghetto in the suburb of Praga as intended in February 1940, would have taken at least 4 to 5 months, since almost 600,000 persons had to be moved. But since experience showed that greater outbreaks of epidemics might be expected in the winter months and since for this reason the District Medical Officer urged that the resettling action ought to be completed by 15 November 1940 at the latest, the plan of establishing a suburban ghetto in Praga was dropped; and instead, the area which hitherto had been used as a quarantine area for epidemics was selected for use as a Jewish residential area. In October 1940, the Governor ordered the Commissioner of the District, President for the City of Warsaw, to complete the resettlement necessary for establishing the Ghetto within the City of Warsaw by 15 November 1940.
The Ghetto thus established in Warsaw was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews. It contained 27,000 apartments with an average of 2 1/2 rooms each. It was separated from the rest of the city by partition and other walls and by walling-up of thoroughfares, windows, doors, open spaces, etc.
It was administered by the Jewish Board of Elders, who received their instructions from the Commissioner for the Ghetto, who was immediately subordinated to the Governor. The Jews were granted self-administration in which the German supervising authorities intervened only where German interest were touched. In order to enable the Jewish Board of Elder to execute its orders, a Jewish Police force was set up, identifier by special armbands and a special beret and armed with rubber truncheons. This Jewish Police force was charged with maintaining order and security within the Ghetto and was subordinated to the German and Polish Police.
It soon became clear, however, that not all dangers had beer removed by this confining the Jews to one place. Security considerations required removing the Jews from the city of Warsaw altogether. The first large resettlement action took place in the period from 22 July to 3 October 1942. In this action 310,322 Jews were removed. In January 1943 a second resettlement action was carried out by which altogether 6,500 Jews were affected.
When the Reichsfuehrer SS visited Warsaw in January 1943 he ordered the SS and Police Leader for the District of Warsaw to transfer to Lublin the armament factories and other enterprises of military importance which were installed within the Ghetto including their personnel and machines. The execution of this transfer order proved to be very difficult, since the managers as well as the Jews resisted in every possible way. The SS and Police Leader thereupon decided to enforce the transfer of the enterprises in a large-scale action which he intended to carry out in three days. The necessary preparations had been taken by my predecessor, who also had given the order to start the large-scale action. I myself arrived in Warsaw on 17 April 1943 and took over the command of the action on 19 April 1943, 0800 hours, the action itself having started the same day at 0600 hours.
Before the large-scale action began, the limits of the former Ghetto had been blocked by an external barricade in order to prevent the Jews from breaking out. This barricade was maintained from the start to the end of the action and was especially reinforced at night.
When we invaded the Ghetto for the first time, the Jews and the Polish bandits succeeded in repelling the participating units, including tanks and armored cars, by a well-prepared concentration of fire. When I ordered a second attack, about 0800 hours, I distributed the units, separated from each other by indicated lines, and charged them with combing out the whole of the Ghetto, each unit for a certain part. Although firing commenced again, we now succeeded in combing out the blocks according to plan. The enemy was forced to retire from the roofs and elevated bases to the basements, dug-outs, and sewers. In order to prevent their escaping into the sewers, the sewerage system was dammed up below the Ghetto and filled with water, but the Jews frustrated this plan to a great extent by blowing up the turning off valves. Late the first day we encountered rather heavy resistance, but it was quickly broken by a special raiding party. In the course of further operations we succeeded in expelling the Jews from their prepared resistance bases, sniper holes, and the like, and in occupying during the 20 and 21 April the greater part of the so-called remainder of the Ghetto to such a degree that the resistance continued within these blocks could no longer be called considerable.
The main Jewish battle group, mixed with Polish bandits, had already retired during the first and second day to the so-called Muranowski Square. There, it was reinforced by a considerable number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold the Ghetto by every means in order to prevent us from invading it. The Jewish and Polish standards were hoisted at the top of a concrete building as a challenge to us. These two standards, however, were captured on the second day of the action by a special raiding party. SS Untersturmfuehrer Dehmke fell in this skirmish with the bandits; he was holding in his hand a hand-grenade which was hit by the enemy and exploded, injuring him fatally. After only a few days I realized that the original plan had no prospect of success, unless the armament factories and other enterprises of military importance distributed throughout the Ghetto were dissolved. It was therefore necessary to approach these firms and to give them appropriate time for being evacuated and immediately transferred. Thus one of these firms after the other was dealt with, and we very soon deprived the Jews and bandits of their chance to take refuge time and again in these enterprises, which were under the supervision of the Armed Forces. In order to decide how much time was necessary to evacuate these enterprises thorough inspections were necessary. The conditions discovered there are indescribable. I cannot imagine a greater chaos than in the Ghetto of Warsaw. The Jews had control of everything, from the chemical substances used in manufacturing explosives to clothing and equipment for the Armed Forces. The managers knew so little of their own shops that the Jews were in a position to produce inside these shops arms of every kind, especially hand grenades, Molotov cocktails, and the like.
Moreover, the Jews had succeeded in fortifying some of these factories as centers of resistance. Such a center of resistance in n Army accommodation office had to be attacked as early as the second day of the action by an Engineer's Unit equipped with flame throwers and by artillery. The Jews were so firmly established in this shop that it proved to be impossible to induce them to leave it voluntarily; I therefore resolved to destroy this shop the next day by fire.
The managers of these enterprises, which were generally also supervised by an officer of the Armed Forces, could in most cases make no specified statements on their stocks and the whereabouts of these stocks. The statements which they made on the number of Jews employed by them were in every case incorrect. Over and over again we discovered that these labyrinths of edifices belonging to the armament concerns as residential blocks, contained rich Jews who had succeeded in finding accommodations for themselves and their families under the name of "armament workers" and were leading marvelous lives there. Despite all our orders to the managers to make the Jews leave those enterprises, we found out in several cases that managers simply concealed the Jews by shutting them in, because they expected that the action would be finished within a few days and that they then would be able to continue working with the remaining Jews. According to the statements of arrested Jews, women also seem to have played a prominent part. The Jews are said to have endeavored to keep up good relations with officers and men of the armed forces. Carousing is said to have been frequent, during the course of which business deals are said to have been concluded between Jews and Germans.
The number of Jews forcibly taken out of the buildings and arrested was relatively small during the first few days. It transpired that the Jews had taken to hiding in the sewers and in specially erected dug-outs. Whereas we had assumed during the first days that there were only scattered dug-outs, we learned in the course of the large-scale action that the whole Ghetto was systematically equipped with cellars, dug-outs, and passages. In every case these passages and dug-outs were connected with the sewer system. Thus, the Jews were able to maintain undisturbed subterranean traffic. They also used this sewer network for escaping subterraneously into the Aryan part of the city of Warsaw. Continuously, we received reports of attempts of Jews to escape through the sewer holes. While pretending to build airraid shelters they had been erecting dug-outs within the former Ghetto ever since the autumn of 1942. These were intended to conceal every Jew during the new evacuation action, which they had expected for quite a time, and to enable them to resist the invaders in a concerted action. Through posters, handbills, and whisper propaganda, the communistic resistance movement actually brought it about that the Jews entered the dug-outs as soon as the new large-scale operation started. How far their precautions went can be seen from the fact that many of the dug-outs had been skilfully equipped with furnishings sufficient for entire families, washing and bathing facilities, toilets, arms and munition supplies, and food supplies sufficient for several months. There were differently equipped dug-outs for rich and for poor Jews. To discover the individual dug-outs was difficult for the units, as they had been efficiently camouflaged. In many cases, it was possible only through betrayal on the part of the Jews.
When only a few days had passed, it became apparent that the Jews no longer had any intention to resettle voluntarily, but were determined to resist evacuation with all their force and by using all the weapons at their disposal. So-called battle groups had been formed, led by Polish-Bolshevists; they were armed and paid any price asked for available arms.
During the large-scale action we succeeded in catching some Jews who had already been evacuated and resettled in Lublin or Troolinka, but had broken out from there and returned to the Ghetto, equipped with arms and ammunition. Time and again Polish bandits found refuge in the Ghetto and remained there undisturbed, since we had no forces at our disposal to comb out this maze. Whereas it had been possible during the first days to catch considerable numbers of Jews, who are cowards by nature, it became more and more difficult during the second half of the action to capture the bandits and Jews. Over and over again new battle groups consisting of 20 to 30 or more Jewish fellows, 18 to 25 years of age, accompanied by a corresponding number of women kindled new resistance. These battle groups were under orders to put up armed resistance to the last and if necessary to escape arrest by committing suicide. One such battle group succeeded in mounting a truck by ascending from a sewer in the so-called Prosta, and in escaping with it (about 30 to 35 bandits). One bandit who had arrived with this truck exploded 2 hand grenades, which was the agreed signal for the bandits waiting in the sewer to climb out of it. The bandits and Jews-there were Polish bandits among these gangs armed with carbines, small arms, and in one case a light machine gun, mounted the truck and drove away in an unknown direction. The last member of this gang, who was on guard in the sewer and was detailed to close the lid of the sewer hole, was captured. It was he who gave the above information. The search for the truck was unfortunately without result.
During this armed resistance the women belonging to the battle groups were equipped the same as the men; some were members of the Chaluzim movement. Not infrequently, these women fired pistols with both hands. It happened time and again that these [women had pistols or hand grenades (Polish "pineapple" hand grenades) concealed in their bloomers up to the last moment to use against the men of the Waffen SS, Police, or Wehrmacht.
The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could be broken only by relentlessly using all our force and energy by day and night. On 23 April 1918 the Reichs Fuehrer SS issued through the higher SS and Police Fuehrer East at Cracow his order to complete the combing out of the Warsaw Ghetto with the greatest' severity and relentless tenacity. I therefore decided to destroy the entire Jewish residential area by setting every block on fire, including the blocks of residential buildings near the armament works. One concern after the other was systematically evacuated and subsequently destroyed by fire. The Jews then emerged from their hiding places and dug-outs in almost every case. Not infrequently, the Jews stayed in the burning buildings until, because of the heat and the fear of being burned alive they preferred to jump down from the upper stories after having thrown mattresses and other upholstered articles into the street from the burning buildings. With their bones broken, they still tried to crawl across the street into blocks of buildings which had not yet been set on fire or were only partly in flames. Often Jews changed their hiding places during the night, by moving into the ruins of burnt-out buildings, taking refuge there until they were found by our patrols. Their stay in the sewers also ceased to be pleasant after the first week. Frequently from the street, we could hear loud voices coming through the sewer shafts. Then the men of the Waffen SS, the Police or the Wehrmacht Engineers courageously climbed down the shafts to bring out the Jews and not infrequently they then stumbled over Jews already dead, or were shot at. It was always necessary to use smoke candles to drive out the Jews. Thus one day we opened 183 sewer entrance holes and at a fixed time lowered smoke candles into them, with the result that the bandits fled from what they believed to be gas to the center of the former Ghetto, where they could then be pulled out of the sewer holes there. A great number of Jews, who could not be counted, were exterminated by blowing up sewers and dug-outs
The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher the men of the Waffen SS, Police, and Wehrmacht became; they fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship and stood together as models and examples of soldiers. Their duty hours often lasted from early morning until late at night. At night, search patrols with rags wound round their feet remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for supplementing their stores from abandoned dug-outs and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging news with them.
Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen-SS had only been trained for three to four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given for the pluck, courage, and devotion to duty which they showed. It must be stated that the Wehrmacht Engineers, too, executed the blowing up of dug-outs, sewers, and concrete buildings with indefatigability and great devotion to duty. Officers and men of the Police, a large part of whom had already been at the front, again excelled by their dashing spirit.
Only through the continuous and untiring work of all involved did we succeed in catching a total of 56,065 Jews whose extermination can be proved. To this should be added the number of Jews who lost their lives in explosions or fires but whose numbers could not be ascertained.
During the large-scale operation the Aryan population was informed by posters that it was strictly forbidden to enter the former Jewish Ghetto and that anybody caught within the former Ghetto without valid pass would be shot. At the same time these posters informed the Aryan population again that the death penalty would be imposed on anybody who intentionally gave refuge to a Jew, especially lodged, supported, or concealed a Jew outside the Jewish residential area.
Permission was granted to the Polish police to pay to any Polish policeman who arrested a Jew within the Aryan part of Warsaw one third of the cash in the Jew's possession. This measure has already produced results.
The Polish population for the most part approved the measures taken against the Jews. Shortly before the end of the largescale operation, the Governor issued a special proclamation which he submitted to the undersigned for approval before publication, to the Polish population; in it he informed them of the reasons for destroying the former Jewish Ghetto by mentioning the assassinations carried out lately in the Warsaw area and the mass graves found in Catyn; at the same time they were asked to assist us in our fight against Communist agents and Jews (see enclosed poster).
The large-scale action was terminated on 16 May 1943 with the blowing up of the Warsaw synagogue at 2015 hours.
Now, there are no more factories in the former Ghetto. All the goods, raw materials, and machines there have been moved and stored somewhere else. All buildings etc., have beep destroyed. The only exception is the so-called Dzielna Prison of the Security Police, which was exempted from destruction.
Although the large-scale operation has been completed, we have to reckon with the possibility that a few Jews are still living in the ruins of the former Ghetto; therefore, this area must be firmly shut off from the Aryan residential area and be guarded. Police Battalion III/23 has been charged with this duty. This Police Battalion has instructions to watch the former Ghetto, particularly to prevent anybody from entering the former Ghetto, and to shoot immediately anybody found inside the Ghetto without authority. The Commander of the Police Battalion will continue to receive further direct orders from the SS and Police Fuehrer. In this way, it should be possible to keep the small remainder of Jews there, if any, under constant pressure and to exterminate them eventually. The remaining Jews and bandits must be deprived of any chance of survival by destroying all remaining buildings and refuges and cutting off the water supply.
It is proposed to change the Dzielna Prison into a concentration camp and to use the inmates to remove, collect and hand over for reuse the millions of bricks, the scrap-iron, and other materials.
Of the total of 56,065 Jews caught, about 7,000 were exterminated within the former Ghetto in the course of the large-scale action, and 6,929 by transporting them to T.II, which means 14,000 Jews were exterminated altogether. Beyond the number of 56,065 Jews an estimated number of 5,000 to 6,000 were killed by explosions or in fires.
The number of destroyed dug-outs amounts to 631.
Regarding the booty of arms, it must be taken into consideration that the arms themselves could in most cases not be captured, as the bandits and Jews would, before being arrested, throw them into hiding places or holes which could not be ascertained or discovered. The smoking out of the dug-out by our men, also often made the search for arms impossible. As the dug-outs had to be blown up at once, a search later on was out of the question.
The captured hand grenades, ammunition, and incendiary bottles were at once reused by us against the bandits.
4.4 million Zloty; furthermore about 5 to 6 million Zloty not yet counted, a great amount of foreign currency, e.g. $14,300 in paper and $9,200 in gold, moreover valuables (rings, chains, watches, etc.) in great quantities.
State of the Ghetto at the termination of the large-scale operation:
Apart from 8 buildings (Police Barracks, hospital, and accommodations for housing working-parties) the former Ghetto is completely destroyed. Only the dividing walls are left standing where no explosions were carried out. But the ruins still contain a vast amount of stones and scrap material which could be used.
Warsaw, 16 May, 1943.
Progress of Ghetto Operation on 19 April 1943:
Closing of Ghetto commenced 0300 hours. At 0600 order to Waffen-SS (strength: 16/850) to comb out the remainder of the Ghetto. Hardly had the units fallen in, strong concerted fire-concentration by the Jews and bandits. The tank used in this action and the two heavy armored cars pelted with Molotov cocktails (incendiary bottles). Tank twice set on fire. Owing to this enemy counterattack, we had at first to take the units back. Losses in first attack: 12 men (6 SS-men, 6 Trawniki-men). About 800 hours. second attack by the units, under the command of the undersigned Although the counterattack was reported, this time we succeeded in combing out the blocks of buildings according to plan. We caused the enemy to retire from the roofs and elevated prepared positions into the cellars or dug-outs and sewers. During this combing-out we caught only about 200 Jews. Immediately afterwards raiding parties were directed to dug-outs known to us with the order to pull out the Jews and to destroy the dug-outs. About 380 Jews captured. We found out that the Jews had taken to the sewers. Sewers were completely inundated, to make staying there impossible. About 1730 hours we encountered very strong resistance from one block of buildings including machine gun fire. A special raiding party invaded that block and defeated the enemy, but could not catch the resisters. The Jews and criminals resisted from base to base, and escaped at the last moment across lofts or through subterranean passages. About 2030 hours. the external barricade was reinforced. All units were withdrawn from the Ghetto and dismissed to their barracks. Reinforcement of the barricade by 250 Waffen-SS men. Continuation of operation on 20 April 1943.
I put Major of Police Sternagel in command of today's operations subject to my further instructions if necessary.
At 0700 hours. 9 raiding parties were formed, each 1/36 strong, consisting of mixed units, to comb out and to search the remainder of the Ghetto intensively. This search is still in progress; its first objective will be completed by 1100 hours. In the meantime it has been ascertained that part of the Ghetto which is no longer inhabited but not yet released and which contains several armament factories and the like, there are several centers of resistance, which were so strong that the tank could not go through. 2 raiding parties defeated these centers of resistance and made a passage for the tank men. In this operation we already had two wounded (Waffen-SS).
Enemy is much more cautious than yesterday, since he has of course learned of the heavy arms at our disposal.
My intention is first to comb out completely the remainder of the Ghetto and then to clean out in the same manner the socalled uninhabited Ghetto, which so far has not been released. It had been ascertained in the meantime that the latter part of the Ghetto contains at least 10 to 12 dugouts, some of which are even in armament factories. The whole operation is made more difficult because there are still factories in the Ghetto which must be protected against bombardment and fire, because they contain machines and tools.
A further report will follow tonight.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Supplementing my teletype message of 20 April 1943-Ref. St/Gr
16 07, re Ghetto Operation-I beg to report as follows:
The resistance centers ascertained with the uninhabited but not yet released part of the Ghetto were crushed by a battle group of the Wehrmacht-Engineers and flame throwers. The Wehrmacht had one wounded in this operation, shot through the lungs. Nine raiding parties broke through as far as the northern limit of the Ghetto. 9 dug-outs were found, their inmates crushed when they resisted, and the dug-outs blown up. What losses the enemy suffered cannot be ascertained accurately. Altogether the 9 raiding parties caught 505 Jews today; those among them who are able-bodied were kept ready for transport to Poniatowo. At about 1500 hrs. I managed to arrange that the block of buildings occupied by the Army Accommodation Office said to be occupied by 4,000 Jews is to be evacuated at once. The German manager was asked to call upon the Jewish workers to leave the block voluntarily. Only 28 Jews obeyed this order. Thereupon I resolved either to evacuate the block by force or to blow it up. The A.A. Artillery-3 2-cm. guns used for this operation had two men killed. The 10-cm howitzer, which also was used, expelled the gangs from their strong fortifications and also inflicted losses on them, as far as we were able to ascertain. This action had to be broken off owing to the fall of darkness. On 21 April 1943 we shall attack this resistance center again, as far as possible it will remain blocked off during the night.
In today's action we caught, apart from the Jews reported above, considerable stores of incendiary bottles, hand grenades, ammunition, military tunics, and equipment.
In one case the bandits had laid pressure mines. I have succeeded in causing the firms W.C. Toebens, Schultz and Co., and Hoffman to be ready for evacuation with their entire personnel on 21 April 1943 at 0600 hrs. In this way, I hope to get the way free at last for cleaning out the Ghetto. The Trustees Toebens has pledged himself to induce the Jews, numbering about 4,000 to 5,000, to follow him voluntarily to the assembling point for being resettled. In case this has as little success as was attained in the case of the Army Accommodation Office, I am going to clean out this part of the Ghetto as well by force. I beg to acknowledge receipt of the order which the Obergruppenfuehrer communicated to me by telephone today, and of the powers granted to me.
Next report on 21 April 1943 at noon.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the
Progress of Ghetto Operation on 21 April 1943.
Supplementing the report which I made today about 1400 hours. by telephone, I beg to report:
Forces at my disposal as of 20 April 1943.
Start of operation: 0700 hours. The whole of the Ghetto has continued to be cordoned off since the start of the operations on 19 April 1943.
Inasmuch as the special operation concerning the block of buildings occupied by the Army Accommodation Office had to be interrupted yesterday because of darkness, one battle group reinforced by Engineers and heavy artillery was again sent into the block of buildings, which was found to contain an enormous quantity of dug-outs and subterranean passages firing from time to time. I resolved therefore to blow up these passages which we had discovered and subsequently to set the entire block on fire. Not until the building was well aflame did screaming Jews make their appearance, and they were evacuated at once. We had no losses in this operation. Precautionary measures were taken in order to ensure that the conflagration remained localized.
The main body of our forces was detailed to cleanse the so. called uninhabited, but not yet released, part of the Ghetto by proceeding from South to North. Before we started this action, we caught 5,200 Jews who had been employed in enterprises under the supervision of the Commissioner for Armament [Ru KoBetrieben] and transported them under armed guard to the Railway Station which had been chosen for use in the resettlement. I formed 3 search-parties to which were attached special raiding parties who had the duty to attack or blow up the dug-outs which
I severe known to us. This operation had to be interrupted when darkness set in, after one half of the area mentioned had been combed out.
Continued on 22 April 1943, 0700 hours.
Apart from the Jews who were to be evacuated, 150 Jews or bandits were killed in battle and about 80 bandits were killed when their dug-outs were blown up. The enemy today used the same arms as on the previous day, particularly home-made explosives. Samples have been kept by the SS and Police Fuehrer. For the first time we observed the participation of members of the Jewish Women's Battle Association (Chaluzim Movement). We captured rifles, pistols, hand grenades, explosives, horses, and parts of SS uniforms.
Own losses: 2 policemen, 2 SS-men, 1 Trawniki-man.
The SS and Police Fuehrer
Our setting the block on fire achieved the result in the course of the night that those Jews whom we had not been able to find despite all our search operations left their hideouts under the roofs, in the cellars, and elsewhere, and appeared at the outside of the buildings, trying to escape the flames. Masses of them- entire families-were already aflame and jumped from the windows or endeavored to let themselves down by means of sheets tied together or the like. Steps had been taken so that these Jews as well as the remaining ones were liquidated at once. During the whole night there were shots from buildings which were supposed to be evacuated. We had no losses in our cordoning forces. 5,300 Jews were caught for the evacuation and removed.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Progress of the Ghetto Operation on 22 April 1943 up to 1200 hours. One raiding party was dispatched to invade once more the block of buildings which for the greater part had burned out or was still aflame, in order to catch those Jews who were still inside.
When shooting again started from one block against the men of the Waffen-SS, this block also was set on fire, with the result that a considerable number of bandits were scared from their hideouts and shot while trying to escape. Apart for those, we caught about 180 Jews in the yards of the buildings. The main body of our units continued the cleansing action from the line where we terminated this action yesterday. This operation is still in progress. As on the preceding days local resistance was broken and the dug-outs we discovered were blown up. Unfortunately there is no way of preventing part of the Jews and bandits from taking refuge in the sewers below the Ghetto, where we can hardly catch them since they have stopped the flooding. The city administration is not in a position to frustrate this nuisance. Neither did the use of smoke candles or the introduction of creosote into the water have the desired result. Cooperation with the Wehrmacht splendid.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Progress of operation of 22 April 1943. Report on action up to 1200 hours. has already been submitted by my message of today. Continuing, I beg to report:
When the special raiding party searched the remainder of the blocks as already reported, they met with resistance at some places; they had the following success: 1,100 Jews caught for evacuation, 203 bandits and Jews killed, 15 dug-outs blown up. They captured 80 incendiary bottles and other booty. Units at my disposal: as reported by teletype message on 20 April 1943. Journal No. 516/43 secret.
Our losses: SS-Untersturmfuehrer Dehmke (dead); enemy hit a hand grenade which he carried. (SS-Cav.Res. Batl.)
1 Sergeant of Police (shot through the lungs)
When the Engineers blew up the dug-outs, a considerable number of Jews and bandits were buried under the ruins. In a number of cases it was found necessary to start fires in order to smoke the gangs out.
I must add that since yesterday some of the units have been shot at time and again from outside the Ghetto, that is, from the Aryan part of Warsaw. Raiding parties at once entered the area in question and in one case succeeded in capturing 35 Polish bandits, Communists, who were liquidated at once. Today it happened repeatedly when we found it necessary to execute some bandits, that they collapsed shouting "Long live Poland," "Long live Moscow." -
The operation will be continued on 23 April 1943, 0700 hours.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Progress of Ghetto Operation on 23 April 1943. Start: 0700 hours.
The whole of the former Ghetto had been divided for the purposes of today's combing-out operations into 24 districts. One reinforced searching party was detailed to each district with special orders. These assignments had to be carried out by 1600 hours.
Result of this action: 600 Jews and bandits ferreted out and captured, about 200 Jews and bandits killed, 48 dug-outs, some of them of a quite elaborate character, blown up. We captured apart from valuables and money-some gas masks.
The units had been informed that we intended to terminate the operation today. In the morning the Jews had already become aware of this-instruction. This is why a renewed search by the searching parties was undertaken after an interval of 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The result was, as always, that again Jews and bandits were discovered to be in various blocks. From one block shots were even fired against the cordoning units. An attack by a special battle group was ordered and in order to smoke the bandits out, every building was now set on fire. The Jews and bandits held out, every building was now set on fire. The Jews and bandits held their fire up to the last moment and then concerted their fire against the units. They even used carbines. A number of bandits who were shooting from balconies were hit by our men and crashed down.
Furthermore, today we discovered a place said to have been the headquarters of the "P PR"; we found it unoccupied and destroyed it. It was on this 5th day of operations that obviously we
I found the worst of the terrorists and activists, who so far had always found ways and means to dodge every searching or evacuation action.
A racial German reported that again some Jews had escaped through the sewers into the Aryan part of the city. We learned from a traitor that there were some Jews in a certain house. A special motorized raiding party invaded the building and caught 3 Jews, 2 of them females. During this operation their motor-car was pelted with one incendiary bottle and one explosive; 2 policemen were wounded.
The whole operation is rendered more difficult by the cunning way in which the Jews and bandits act; for instance, we discover that the hearses which were used to collect the corpses lying around at the same time bring living Jews to the Jewish cemetery, and thus they are enabled to escape, from the Ghetto. Now this way of escape also is barred by continuous control of the hearses.
At the termination of today's operation about 2200 hours, we discovered that again about 30 bandits had passed into a so-called armaments factory, where they had found refuge. Since the forces are storing goods of great value in this enterprise, this factory was requested to evacuate the building by noon on 24 April; this will enable us to cleanse that labyrinth of a building tomorrow.
Today 3,500 Jews were caught who are to be evacuated from the factories. A total of 19,450 Jews have been caught for resettlement or already evacuated up to today. Of these about 2,500 Jews are still to be loaded. The next train will start on 24 April 1943.
Strength as of 22 April 1943, without 150 Trawniki men; these have already been put at the disposal of the Eastern Command as reinforcement for another assignment.
2 Police corporals ("SB") wounded 1 Trawniki man wounded.
The operation will be continued on 24 April 1943, 1000 hours. This hour was chosen so that Jews who may still be in the Ghetto will believe that the operation was actually terminated today.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Progress of operation on 24 April 1943, start 1000 hours.
Contrary to the preceding days, the 24 searching parties which had again been formed did not start at one end of the Ghetto, but proceeded from all sides at the same time. Apparently the Jews still in the Ghetto were deceived by the fact that the operation did not start until 1000 hours into believing that the action really had been terminated yesterday. The search action, therefore, had especially satisfactory results today. This success is furthermore due to the fact that the noncommissioned officers and men have meanwhile become accustomed to the cunning fighting, methods and tricks used by the Jews and bandits and that they have acquired great skill in tracking down the dug-outs which are found in such great number. The raiding parties having returned, we set about to clean a certain block of buildings, sit
Dated the northeastern part of the former Ghetto. In this labyrinth of buildings there was a so-called armaments firm which reportedly had goods worth millions for manufacture and storage. I had notified the Wehrmacht of my intentions on 23 t April 1943 about 2100 hours, and had requested them to remove their goods by 1200 hours. Since the Wehrmacht did not start this evacuation until 1000 hours I felt obliged to extend the term until 1800 hours. At 1815 hours a search party entered the premises, the building having been cordoned off, and found that a great number of Jews were within the building. Since some of these Jews resisted, I ordered the building to be set on fire. Not until all the buildings along the street and the back premises on either side were well aflame did the Jews, some of them on fire, emerge from these blocks, some of them endeavored to save their life by jumping into the street from windows and balconies, after having thrown down beds, blankets, and the like. Over and over again we observed that Jews and bandits, despite the danger of being burned alive, preferred to return into the flames rather than risk being caught by us. Over and over again the Jews kept up their firing almost to the end of the action; thus the engineers had to be protected by a machine gun when toward nightfall they had to enter forcibly a concrete building which had been very strongly fortified. Termination of today's operation; on 25 April 1943 at 0145 hours. 1,660 Jews were caught for evacuation, pulled out of dug-outs, about 330 shot. Innumerable Jews Swede destroyed by the flames or perished when the dug-outs were blown up. 26 dug-outs were blown up and an amount of paper money, especially dollars was captured; this money has not yet been counted.
Our forces; as on the preceding day, minus 50 men of the Waffen-SS.
Our losses: 2 SS men and 1 Trawniki man wounded.
Altogether there have now been caught in this action 25,500 Jews who lived in the former Ghetto. Since there are only vague estimates available of the actual number of inhabitants I assume that now only very small numbers of Jews and bandits still remain within the Ghetto.
Operation will be continued on 25 April 1943, 1300 hours.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of teletype messages Nos. 1222 and 1223 of 24 April 1943. As far as can be predicted, the present large-scale operation will last until Easter Monday inclusive.
Today large posters were affixed to the walls surrounding the Ghetto, announcing that everybody who enters the former Ghetto without being able to prove his identity will be shot.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Progress of operation on 25 April 1943, start 1300 hours.
For today 7 search parties were formed, strength 1/70 each, each allotted to a certain block of buildings.
Their order was: "Every building is to be combed out once more; dug-outs have to be discovered and blown up, and the Jews have to be caught. If any resistance is encountered or if dug-outs cannot be reached, the buildings are to be burnt down." Apart from the operations undertaken by these 7 search parties, a special operation was undertaken against a center of bandits, situated outside the wall surrounding the former Ghetto and inhabited exclusively by Poles.
Today's operations of the search parties ended almost every- ~i; where in the starting of enormous conflagrations. In this manner the Jews were forced to leave their hideouts and refuges. A total of 1,960 Jews were caught alive. The Jews informed us that among them were certain parachutists who were dropped here and bandits who had been equipped with arms from some unknown source. 274 Jews were killed. As in the preceding days, uncounted Jews were buried in blown up dug-outs and, as can be observed time and again, burned with this bag of Jews today. We have, in my opinion, caught a very considerable part of the bandits and lowest elements of the Ghetto. Intervening darkness prevented immediate liquidation. I am going to try to obtain a train for T II tomorrow. Otherwise liquidation will be carried out tomorrow. Today also, some armed resistance was encountered; in a dug-out three pistols and some explosives were captured. Furthermore, considerable amounts of paper money, foreign currency, gold coins, and jewelry were seized today.
The Jews still have considerable property. While last night a glare of fire could be seen above the former Ghetto, today one can observe a giant sea of flames. Since we continue to discover great numbers of Jews whenever we search and comb out, the operation will be continued on 26 April 1943. Start: 1000 hours.
Including today, a total of 27,464 Jews of the former Warsaw Ghetto, have been captured.
Our forces; as on the previous day.
Our losses; 3 members of the Waffen-SS and one member of the Security Police wounded.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
1. The operation on 25 April 1943, was terminated at 2200 hours. 2. General effects of the execution of this operation.
The Poles resident in Warsaw are much impressed by the toughness of our operations in the former Ghetto. As can be seen from the daily reports, the general situation has greatly calmed down since the beginning of that operation within the city area of Warsaw. From this fact one may conclude that the bandits and saboteurs resided in the former Ghetto, and that now all of them-i have been destroyed.
In this connection the fact may be of some interest, that an illegal ammunition store was seen to explode when we burned down a certain building in the dwelling area on which we were working at the time.
Start of operation: 1000 hrs.
The whole of the former Ghetto was once more combed through today by the same search parties, each of them allotted to the same district as before. In this way I tried to bring about that the leaders of these parties work in thoroughfares, blocks of buildings, and courtyards which they know already and that thus they are able to penetrate deeper and deeper into the maze of dug-outs and subterranean passages. Almost every search party reported resistance, which however they broke either by returning fire or by blowing up the dug-outs. It becomes clearer and clearer that it is now the turn of the toughest and strongest among the Jews and bandits. Several times dug-outs have been forcibly broken open, the inmates of which had not come to the surface during the whole of this operation. In a number of cases the inmates of the dug-outs were hardly in a condition, when the dug-out had been blown up, to crawl to the surface. The captured Jews report that many of the inmates of the dug-outs became insane from the heat, the smoke, and the explosions. Several Jews were arrested who had kept close liaison with the group of Polish terrorists and collaborated with it. Outside the former Ghetto we arrested 29 Jews. During today's operation several blocks of buildings were burned down. This is the only and final method which forces this trash and subhumanity to the surface. We again captured arms, incendiary bottles, explosive charges and considerable amounts of cash and foreign currency. Today I also arranged that several so-called armament and defense enterprises will evacuate their stores from the buildings at once, so that these buildings in which the Jews now have taken refuge, under the protection of the army of the German Wehrmacht and police, can be combed out. In one case we again discovered, as previously, that in a building which had been said to contain a giant enterprise there existed in fact almost no stores or goods. One factory was closed without further ado, and the Jews were evacuated.
Result of today's operation:
30 Jews evacuated, 1,330 Jews pulled out of dug-outs and immediately destroyed, 362 Jews killed in battle. Caught today altogether: 1,722 Jews. This brings the total of Jews caught to 29,186. Moreover, it is very probable that numerous Jews have perished in the 13 dug-outs blown up today and in the conflagrations.
At the time of writing not one-of the Jews caught still remains within Warsaw. The scheduled transport to T. II had no success. [Note of translator: This probably means that no Jews were available for regular transport to the extermination camp.] Strength: as on preceding day.
Our losses: none.
End of today's operation at 2145 hours. Will be continued on 27 April 1943 at 0900 hours.
Progress of operation on 27 April 1943. Start: 0900 hrs.
For today's operation I formed 24 raiding parties with the same task as on several days of last week; they had to search the former Ghetto in smaller groups. These search parties pulled 780 Jews out of dug-outs and shot 115 Jews who resisted. This operation was terminated about 1500 hrs.; some of the parties had to continue to operate because they had found more dug-outs.
At 1600 hours. a special battle group, 320 officers and men strong, started cleansing a large block of buildings situated on both sides of the so-called Niska Street in the Northeastern part of the former Ghetto. After the search the entire block was set on fire, after having been completely cordoned off. In this action a considerable number of Jews were caught. As before, they remained in-the dug-outs, which were either below the ground or in the lofts of the buildings until the end. They fired their arms to the last moment, and then jumped down into the street, sometimes from as far up as the fourth floor, having previously thrown down beds, mattresses, etc., but not until the flames made any other escape impossible. A total of 2,560 Jews were caught today within the former Ghetto, of whom 547 were shot. Moreover, Jews in a not ascertainable number perished when dug-outs were blown up, or in the flames. The sum total of Jews, formerly residing in the Ghetto caught in this action, now amounts to 31,746.
We learned from an anonymous letter that there were a considerable number of Jews in a block of buildings adjoining the Northeastern pert of the Ghetto, but outside of it. A special raiding party under the command of 1st. Lt. of Police Diehl was dispatched to attack these buildings. The raiding party discovered a gang of about 120 men, strongly armed with pistols, rifles, hand grenades, and light machine guns, who resisted. They succeeded in destroying 24 bandits in battle and arresting 52 bandits. The remainder could not be caught or destroyed, since darkness intervened. The buildings, however, were surrounded at once, so that an escape will hardly be possible. This cleansing action will be continued tomorrow. Moreover, we arrested 17 Poles, among whom 2 Polish Policemen, who should have been aware, among other things, of the existence of this gang. In this operation we captured 3 rifles, 12 pistols, partly of heavier caliber, 100 Polish "pineapple" hand grenades, 27 German steel helmets, quite a number of German uniforms, tunics and coats which were even furnished with ribbon of the East medal, some reserve magazines for machine guns, 300 rounds of ammunition, etc. The leader of the raiding party had a difficult task because the bandits were disguised in German uniform, but despite this fact, he did his duty with great efficiency. Among the bandits who were caught or killed, there were some Polish terrorists who were identified with certainty. Today we succeeded furthermore in discovering and liquidating one of the founders and leaders of the Jewish-Polish resistance movement. The external appearance of the Jews whom we are catching now shows that it is now the turn of those Jews who were the leaders of the entire resistance movement. They jumped from the burning windows and balconies, abusing Germany and the Fuehrer and cursing the German soldiers.
SS-men who descended into the sewers discovered that a great number of corpses of perished Jews are being washed away by the water.
Our strength: 288 German Police 200 Trawniki men Cordon- From 0700 to 1900 hours. 140 Polish Police ing From 1900 to 0700 hours. 288 German Police forces 250 Waffen-SS 140 Polish Police
Strength in the operation:
Termination of operation: 2300 hours. Will be continued on 28 April 1943 at 1000 hours.
Progress of operation on 28 April 1943. Start 1000 hrs.
Today, 10 raiding parties were formed for combing out the whole of the Ghetto. These raiding parties again discovered proceeding step by step, a number of dug-outs, which were found to have been prepared as far ago as the middle of last year for use in the resistance of the Jews. A total of 335 Jews were forcibly pulled out of these dug-outs. Apart from these operations, we continued to cleanse the resistance center used by the Jewish military organization, situated at the borders of the Ghetto. We succeeded in shooting 10 more bandits, and in arresting 9, beyond those caught yesterday, and in capturing more arms, ammunition, and military equipment. In the afternoon a battle group again was directed against a block of buildings which had already been combed out; the block was set on fire during this operation.
As on previous days, masses of Jews emerged, forced out by the ~ flames and the enormous clouds of smoke. At another point an
Engineer officer, attached by the Wehrmacht to the units with great trouble opened a dug-out situated about 3 meters below ground. From this dug-out, which had been ready since October of last year and was equipped with running water, toilet, and electric light, we pulled out 274 of the richest and most influential Jews. Today again we encountered very strong resistance in many places and broke it. It becomes clearer every day that we are now encountering the real terrorists and activists, because of the duration of the operation.
Result of today: 1,655 Jews caught for evacuation, of whom 110 were killed in battle.
Many more Jews were killed by the flames; moreover, Jews in an unascertainable number were destroyed the dug-outs being blown up. By the results of today the number of Jews caught or destroyed rises to 33,401 altogether. This number does not include the Jews who were killed by fire or destroyed in the dugouts.
Our strength: as on the previous day. Our losses: 3 wounded (1 Police, 2 Waffen-SS)
Termination of operation: 2200 hours. Will be continued on 29 April 1943. 1000 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation of 29 April 1943. Start 1000 hrs. As on the previous day I formed search parties, who red the special task of searching those blocks of buildings which had been recently separated. A larger raiding party was detailed to clean a certain block of buildings (formerly the Hall- j mann concern) and to burn this block down. 36 more dug-outs used for habitation were discovered altogether, and from them and other hideouts and from the burning buildings, 2,359 Jews, were caught, of whom 106 were killed in battle.
Captured are 2 rifles, 10 pistols, 10 kilograms of explosives, and ammunition of various types.
When a large dug-out was blown up, the entire building collapsed and everyone of the bandits perished. In the ensuing conflagration loud detonations and darting flames showed that the building must have contained large stores of ammunition and explosives. Some sewer entrances were blown up. Two exits discovered outside the Ghetto were also made unusable by blowing them up or walling them up.
The depositions of some of the inmates of the dug-outs are to the effect that these Jews have been unable to leave the dug-outs for the last 10 days and that their food, etc., is now beginning to grow short because the large-scale operation has lasted so long. Furthermore, the Jews testify that bandits appeared at night who were Jews or sometimes Poles, wearing black masks, who walled the dug-outs up from the outside and admonished them not to give any signs of life, so that they could continue to live in the Ghetto when the action was finished. Some of the armaments factories are being evacuated very slowly. In several cases one gains the impression that this is done intentionally. Thus I discovered with regard to one firm, Schulz and Co., which I had visited on Easter Monday and then instructed to start evacuation at once and to have it completed within 3 days, that up till today, Thursday, nothing had been done. Our strength: as on the previous day. Our losses: none.
Termination of operation at 2100 hrs. Will be continued on 30 April 1943, 0900 hrs.
Total caught or destroyed: 35,760.
Progress of large-scale operation on 30 April 1943. Start 0900 hrs.
Combing out by search parties was continued. Although some giant blocks of buildings now are completely burned out, the Jews continue to stay in the dug-outs 2 to 3 meters below ground. In many cases we are not able to discover those dug-outs unless some Jew, whom we have already caught, gives us a hint as to their whereabouts. Repeatedly, during the last few days, Jews have testified that some armed Jews emerge at night from some hideouts or dug-outs and threaten the other Jews with shooting if they give any signs of life. We were able to ascertain beyond all doubt that several dug-outs had been closed from the outside by these bandits, who tried in this manner to prove that they meant business. Altogether, 30 dug-outs were discovered, evacuated, and blown up today. Again we caught a great number of bandits and subhumans. Apart from the bombing-out operations effected by small parties, two larger battle groups were occupied with bombing out and destroying by fire several interconnected blocks of buildings.
A total of 1599 Jews were caught today, of whom 179 were killed in battle. The sum total of Jews caught up to date thereby rises to 37,359. 3,855 Jews were loaded today. The number of Jews in possession of arms was much higher than before among the Jews caught during the last few days. Today, we again captured arms and particularly parts of German uniforms from them. The operation against Fort Traugutta did not have any positive results. So far as we were able to discover subterranean exits, we either occupied them or blew them up. In attacking one of the blocks we had to use a gun today.
Our losses: 1 wounded (Police)
Termination of today's large scale action: 2100 hours. Will be continued on 1 May 1943, 0900 hours.
Progress of large scale operation on 1 May 1943. Start 0900 hours. 10 searching parties were detailed, moreover a larger battle group was detailed to comb out a certain block of buildings, with the added instruction to burn that block down. Within this block of buildings there existed a so-called armament factory which had not yet been entirely evacuated, although it had had enough time to do so. It was not exempted from the operation. Today's operation a total of 1,026 Jews were caught, of whom 245 were killed, either in battle or while resisting. Moreover, a considerable number of bandits and ringleaders were also caught. In one case a Jew who had already been made ready for transport fired three shots against a 1st Lieutenant of Police, but missed his mark. All the Jews caught today were forcibly pulled out of dug-outs. Not a single one gave himself up voluntarily, after his dug-out had been opened. A considerable part of the Jews caught were pulled out of the sewers. We continued systematically blowing up or blocking up the sewer entrances. In one case the Engineers laid a strong concentrated charge and had to proceed to an adjoining entrance where they had something to do. In the meantime a Jew emerged from the sewer, removed the fuse from the concentrated charge, and appropriated the charge. In the further course of this operation we succeeded in catching the Jew, still in possession of the concentrated charge.
In order to ascertain the movements of the Jews during the night, today I used for the first time 5 scouting parties, each 1/9 strong, at irregular intervals during the night. In general, it has to be stated that our men need extraordinary diligence and energy to discover the Jews who are still in so-called dug-outs, caves, and in the sewerage system. It can be expected that the remainder of the Jews who formerly inhabited the Ghetto will now be caught. The sum total of Jews caught so far has risen to 38,385. Not included in this figure are those who died in the flames or in the dug-outs. One patrol discovered an unascertainable number of corpses floating in a main sewer under the Ghetto. Outside of the Ghetto, in the immediate vicinity of Warsaw, the gendarmerie has shot a total of 150 Jews who could be proved to have escaped from Warsaw.
Again we captured pistols and explosives.
Our losses: 1 policeman-wounded yesterday, died from wounds.
Termination of today's large-scale action: 2200 hours. Will be continued on 2 May 1943, 1000 hours.
The SS and Police Fuehrer in the District of Warsaw.
Progress of large-scale operation on 2 May 1943, start 1000 hrs. 9 raiding parties combed out the whole area of the former Ghetto; moreover a larger detachment was detailed to clean out or destroy one block of buildings grouped around the two armament enterprises Transavia and Wischniewski. To find more dug-outs, the raiding parties took along with them some Jews caught on the previous day to act as guides. In these operations the raiding parties pulled out 944 Jews from dugouts; 235 more Jews were shot on this occasion. When the block of buildings mentioned above was destroyed, 120 Jews were caught and numerous Jews were destroyed when they jumped from the attics to the inner courtyards, trying to escape the flames. Many more Jews perished in the flames or were destroyed when the dug-outs and sewer entrances were blown up. The Jews were removed from two armaments concerns and the managers were requested to evacuate within a short time.
Altogether we caught today: 1,852 Jews. The sum total of Jews caught thereby rises to 40,237 Jews. 27 dug-outs were discovered, forcibly opened and destroyed, arms and ammunition captured. When the external barricade was shot at and when some Jews who broke out from a sewer entrance outside the Ghetto made an attack, we suffered 7 losses, 4 Policemen and 3 Polish Policemen. The scouting parties used during the night encountered armed resistance from some Jews who under the protection of darkness ventured to emerge from their holes and dugouts. We did not suffer losses thereby. On the other hands a considerable number of Jews were killed or wounded in this operation.
Present at today's large-scale operation was the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer East, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and General of Police Krueger.
Termination of operation: 2030 hours. Will be continued on 3 May 1943, 0900 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 3 May 1943, start 0900 hours. l In the combing-out operation of the former Jewish Ghetto today 19 more dug-outs were discovered and the result was as follows:
Pulled out of dug-outs - 1,392 Jews
The sum total of Jews caught thereby rises to 41,806 Jews. In most cases the Jews offered armed resistance before they left the dug-outs. We had two casualties (wounded). Some of the Jews and bandits fired pistols from both hands. Since we discovered several times today, that Jewesses had pistols concealed in their bloomers, every Jew and bandit will be ordered from today on, to strip completely for the search. We captured among other things, one German rifle, model 98, two 08 pistols and other calibers, also home-made hand grenades. The Jews cannot be induced to leave their dug-outs until several smoke candles have been burned. According to depositions made yesterday and today, the Jews were asked during the second half of 1942 to erect air-raid shelters. At that time under the camouflage of erecting air-raid shelters, they began to build the dug-outs which they are now inhabiting, in order to use them for an anti-Jewish operation. Some of the scouting parties used in the Ghetto were shot at last night. One casualty (wounded). These scouting parties reported that groups of armed bandits marched through the Ghetto.
Strength: as on the previous day.
Termination of today's operation: 2100 hours. Will be continued on 4 May 1943. 0900 hours.
3,019 Jews were loaded.
Progress of large-scale operation on 4 May 1943, start 0900 hours. For mopping up the dug-outs a raiding party was used, 1/60 strong and reinforced by an Engineers' detachment provided by the Wehrmacht. This raiding party pulled 550 Jews out of dugouts and killed in battle 188 Jews. Discovering the dug-outs becomes more and more difficult. Often they can only be discovered by betrayal through other Jews. If the Jews are requested to leave their dug-out voluntarily, they hardly ever obey; they can only be forced to do so by the use of smoke-candles.
The main forces were detailed about 1100 hours to comb out, mop up, and destroy two large blocks of buildings, containing the former firms Toebbens, Schulz and Co., and others. After these blocks had been completely cordoned off, we requested the Jews who were still within the buildings to come forward voluntarily. By this measure, we caught 456 Jews for evacuation. Not until the blocks of buildings were well aflame and were about to collapse did a further considerable number of Jews emerge, forced to do so by the flames and the smoke. Time and again the Jews try to escape even through burning buildings. Innumerable Jews whom we saw on the roofs during the conflagration perished in the flames. Others emerged from the upper stories in the last possible moment and were only able to escape death in the flames by jumping down. Today we caught a total of 2,283 Jews, of whom 204 were shot and innumerable Jews were destroyed in dug-outs and in the flames. The sum total of Jews caught rises to 44,089.
As is learned from depositions made by the Jews, today we caught part of the governing body of the so-called "Party." One member of the committee which leads the gang will be used tomorrow for mopping up some more fortified dug-outs with armed Jews inside. When the armament enterprises were evacuated, we again observed that the goods carted away were by no means valuable military equipment, as had been pretended, but trifles, like used furniture and other requisitioned items. We took appropriate measures against this at once.
The scouting parties who patrolled during the night in the former Ghetto again reported movements of the Jews in the burned out and destroyed streets and courtyards. In order to be better able to take the Jews by surprise, the scouting parties at night tie rags and other stuff round their shoes. In skirmishes between the scouting parties and Jews, 30 Jews were shot.
We captured 1 carbine, 3 pistols, and some ammunition. During the conflagration a considerable amount of stored ammunition exploded.
Termination of operation: 2330 hours. Will be continued on 5 May 1943, 1000 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 5 May 1943. Start 1000 hours. In the beginning of today's operations the raiding parties seemed to have less results than on the preceding days. When the operation terminated, however, quite a number of dug-outs had again been discovered, owing to the tracking ability of the men and to betrayal; 40 of these dug-outs were destroyed. As far as possible, the Jews in these dug-outs were caught (1,070 altogether). The combing out patrols shot about 126 Jews. Today again the Jews resisted in several places until they were captured. In several cases the entrances (hatches) of the dugouts were forcibly held or bolted from the inside, so that only by using a strong explosive charge could we force them open and destroy the inmates. Today, we again captured arms and ammunition, including one pistol. From one enterprise still in existence (so-called Prosta) 2,850 Jews were caught for evacuation. This figure was included in the sum total reported earlier, so that only 1,070 have to be added; the present sum total therefore is 45,159.
Our strength: as on the preceding day.
Our losses: 1 SS man wounded, 1 Policeman wounded.
Sum total of losses to date: 8 dead, 55 wounded.
Termination of operation: 2200 hours. - Will be continued on 6 May 1943, 0900 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 6 May 1943, start 0930 hours.
Today we combed especially those blocks of buildings which were destroyed by fire on 4 May 1943. Although it was hardly to be expected that any living person could still exist in those blocks, we discovered quite a number of dug-outs in which a burning heat had developed. From these dug-outs and from other dugouts which we discovered in other parts of the Ghetto, we pulled out 1,553 Jews. While resisting, and in a skirmish, 356 Jews were shot. In this skirmish the Jews fired from 08 pistols and other calibers and threw Polish "pineapple" hand grenades. One SS Unterscharfuehrer was wounded and a total of 47 dug-outs were destroyed.
2 men of the external cordoning forces were wounded. The Jews who had broken out from the Ghetto seem to be returning now with the intention of assisting the Ghetto Jews by force or liberating them. One Jew who had escaped from Lublin was caught just outside of the Ghetto wall. He was armed as follows: 1 08 pistol, ample reserve ammunition, 2 Polish "pineapple" hand grenades. It could not be reliably ascertained so far whether the so-called "Party Directorate" of the Jews ("PPR") have been caught or destroyed. We are on their traces. It is to be hoped that tomorrow we shall succeed in tracing down this so-called Party Directorate. In order to enable us to intercept more effectively the Jews and bandits who approach the Ghetto, covering detachments of the external barricade were shifted farther inside the Aryan part. The former miniature Ghetto "Prosta" was searched by raiding parties today. We caught some Jews who had stayed behind. The firm Toebbens was requested to evacuate, this miniature Ghetto by noon on 10 May 1943. The so-called library, situated outside the Ghetto, was put at their disposal for temporary storage of their raw materials, etc.
The sum total of Jews caught so far rises to 47,068. The Polish Police take pains to deliver to my office every Jew who turns up within the city, because they are eager to win such premiums as have been paid in earlier cases. The undersigned received some anonymous letters in which he was notified of the fact that some Jews are staying in the Aryan part of the city. One anonymous letter draws a parallel between Katyn and the large-scale action within the Ghetto.
Termination of operation: 2100 hours. Will be continued on 7 May 1943, 0930 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 7 May 1943, start 1000 hours. The combing-out parties today obtained the following results: 49 dug-outs discovered. Part of the Jews were caught. A considerable, not ascertainable, number of Jews who refused to leave the dug-outs and offered armed resistance were destroyed when the dug-outs were blown up. Altogether 1,019 Jews were caught alive today, 255 shot. The sum total of Jews caught so far rises to 48,342. Today we again encountered armed resistance in several cases, whereby we lost 1 SS man (wounded). We captured 4 pistols of various calibers and some stores of ammunition.
The location of the dug-out used by the so-called select "Party Directorate" is now known. It is to be forced open tomorrow. The Jews testify that they emerge at night to get fresh air, since it is unbearable to stay permanently within the dug-outs owing to the long duration of the operation. On the average the raiding parties shoot 30 to 50 Jews each night. From these statements it was to be inferred that a considerable number of Jews are still underground in the Ghetto. Today we blew up a concrete building which we had not been able to destroy by fire. In this operation we learned that the blowing up of a building is a very lengthy process and takes an enormous amount of explosives. The best and only method for destroying the Jews therefore stir] remains the setting of fires.
Our strength: as on the preceding day. Our losses: 1 Waffen-SS man wounded.
Termination of operation: 2100 hours, will be continued on 8 May 1943 1000 hours.
Progress of operation on 8 May 1943, start 1000 hours.
The whole former Ghetto was searched today by raiding parties for the remaining dug-outs and Jews. As reported some days a number of subhumans, bandits, and terrorists still remain in the dug-outs, where heat has become intolerable by reason of the fires. These creatures know only too well that their only choice is between remaining in hiding as long as possible or coming to the surface and trying to wound or kill off the men of the Waffen-SS, Police, and Wehrmacht who keep up the pressure against them.
We continued today the operation against the dug-out of the so-called select "Party Directorate'' which we had discovered yesterday, as reported in my teletype message yesterday. We succeeded in forcing open the dug-out of the Party Directorate and in catching about 60 heavily armed bandits. We succeeded in catching and liquidating Deputy Leader of the Jewish Military Organization "ZWZ" and his so-called Chief of Staff. There were about 200 Jews in this dug-out, of whom 60 were caught and 140 were destroyed, partly owing to the strong effect of smoke-candles, and partly owing to heavy explosive charges which were laid in several places. The Jews whom we caught had already reported that innumerable Jews had been killed by the effect of the smoke-candles. The fight of the first six days was hard, but now we are able to state that we are catching those Jews and Jewesses who were the ringleaders in those days. Every time a dug-out is forced open, the Jews in it offer resistance with the arms at their disposal, light machine guns, pistols, and hand grenades. Today we again caught quite a number of Jewesses who carried loaded pistols in their bloomers, with the safety catch released. Some depositions speak of 3 to 4,000 Jews who still remain in underground holes, sewers, and dug-outs. The undersigned is resolved not to terminate the large-scale operation until the last Jew has been destroyed.
A total of 1,091 Jews were caught today in dug-outs; about 280 Jews were shot in battle, innumerable Jews were destroyed in the 43 dug-outs which were blown up. The sum total of Jews caught has risen to 49,712. Those buildings which had not yet been destroyed by fire, were set on fire today and we discovered that a few Jews were still hiding somewhere within the walls or in the staircases.
A policeman wounded on 7 May 1943 died today from wounds. We captured about 15 to 20 pistols of various calibers, considerable stores of ammunition for pistols and rifles, moreover a number of hand grenades, made in the former armament factories.
Termination of action; 2130 hours, will be continued on 9 May 1943 1000 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 9 May 1943, start 1000 hours.
The operation carried out today had the following result: The raiding parties at work today discovered 42 dug-outs. From these dug-outs we pulled out alive 1,037 Jews and bandits. In battle 319 bandits and Jews were shot, moreover an uncertain number were destroyed when the dug-outs were blown up. The block of buildings which formerly contained the "Transavia" concern was destroyed by fire; in this operation we again caught a number of Jews, although this block had been combed through several times.
Again we captured some pistols and hand grenades.
Cordoning Forces:DayNightGerman Police1
/871/36Waffen SS------1/300Trawniki 160-------Polish Police1/1601/160
Our losses: None.
The total of Jews caught up to date has risen to 51,313. Outside the former Ghetto 254 Jews and bandits were shot.
Termination of operation: 2100 hours, will be continued on 10 May 1943, 1000 hours.
Progress of large-scale action on 10 May 1943 start 1000 hours.
Today raiding parties again combed out the area of the former Ghetto. As on preceding days we again pulled out of the dug-outs, against all expectations, a considerable number of Jews. The resistance offered by the Jews had not weakened today. In contrast to the previous days, it seems that those members of the main body of the Jewish battle group who are still in existence and have not been destroyed have retired into the ruins still within their reach, with the intention of firing from there against our men and inflicting casualties.
Today we caught a total of 1,183 Jews alive, 187 bandits and Jews were shot. Again a not ascertainable number of Jews and bandits were destroyed in the blown-up dug-outs. The total of Jews caught up to date has risen to 52,693.
Today at 0900 hours a truck drove up to a certain sewer in the so-called Prosta. Someone in the truck exploded two hand grenades, which was the signal for the bandits who were standing ready in the sewer to climb out of it. The bandits and Jews- there are always some Polish bandits among them armed with carbines, small arms, and one machine gun, climbed into the truck and drove away in an unknown direction. The last man of the gang, who stood sentry in the sewer and had the duty of closing the sewer lid, was captured. It is he who gave the above information. He testified that most of the members of the gang, which had been divided into several battle groups, had either been killed in battle or had committed suicide because they had realized the futility of continuing the fight. The search for the truck, which was ordered at once, had no results. The bandits testified further that the Prosta is now the refuge for the still existing Jews because the Ghetto has become too hot for them. For this reason, I resolved to deal with the Prosta in the same manner as with the Ghetto, and to destroy this miniature Ghetto.
Today, we again captured small arms and some ammunition.
The Security Police yesterday succeeded in capturing a workshop outside the Ghetto which manufactured 10,000 to 11,000 explosive charges and other ammunition.
Our strength: as on the preceding day. Our losses: 3 SS men wounded.
Owing to the excellent understanding between us and the Wehrmacht, the detachment of Engineers was reinforced. Moreover, a considerable amount of explosives was put at our disposal.
Termination of operation: 2200 hours. Will be continued on 11 May 1943, 0930 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 11 May 1943, start 0930 hours.
The scouting parties sent out last night again reported that there must still be some Jews within the dug-outs, since some Jews were seen in the ruined streets. The scouting parties shot 12 Jews. On the basis of these reports, today I again formed raiding parties who in combing-out operations discovered, captured, and destroyed a total of 47 dug-outs. Today again we caught some Jews who had taken refuge in ruins which were still protected by a roof. The Jews and bandits are still seeking this new refuge, because staying in the dug-outs has become unbearable. One dug-out was discovered which contained about 12 rooms equipped with plumbing, running water, and separate bathrooms for men and women. Considerable amounts of food were captured or secured, in order to make it more and more difficult for them to get necessary food.
A total of 931 Jews and bandits were caught. 53 bandits were shot. More of them perished when dug-outs were blown up and when a small block of buildings was destroyed by fire. The total of Jews caught up to date has risen to 53,667. We captured several pistols, hand grenades, and ammunition.
We have not been able to smoke out the sewers systematically once more, since we are short of smoke-candles. "OFK" is ready to provide new smoke-candles.
Termination of today's operation: 2145 hours, will be continued on 12 May 1943, 0930 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 12 May 1943, start 0930 hours.
When the raiding parties combed out the area for remaining dug-outs in which Jews were hiding, they succeeded in discovering 30 dug-outs. 663 Jews were pulled out of them and 133 Jews were shot. The sum total of Jews caught has arisen to 54,463.
Furthermore today the units cordoning off the miniature Ghetto were reinforced and destroyed by fire. Probably a considerable number of Jews perished in the flames, no accurate information in this regard could be obtained since the fire was still burning when darkness set in. One concrete building in the Prosta, from which Jews had been removed, was heavily damaged by blowing-up operations in order to make it impossible for the bandits to use it as a base later.
It is noteworthy that the Poles, without having been warned, took appropriate measures for protecting their window-panes, etc., before the blowing-up started.
The transports of Jews leaving here will be directed to T.II beginning today.
Termination of today's operation: 2160 hours, will be continued on 13 May 1943, 1000 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 13 May 1943, start 1000 hours. In combing out the Ghetto and the miniature Ghetto (Prosta) today we found 234 Jews. 155 Jews were shot in battle. Today it became clear that the Jews and bandits whom we are catching now belong to the so-called battle groups. All of them are young fellows and females between 18 and 25 years of age. When we captured one, a real skirmish took place, in which the Jews not only fired from 08 pistols and Polish Vis pistols, but also threw Polish "pineapple" hand grenades at the Waffen-SS men. After part of the inmates of the dug-out had been caught and were about to be searched, one of the females as quick as lightning put her hand under her shirt, as many others had done, and fetched from her bloomers a "pineapple" hand grenade, drew the safety-catch, threw the grenade among the men who were searching her, and jumped quickly to cover. It is only thanks to the presence of mind of the men that no casualties ensued.
The few Jews and criminals still staying in the Ghetto have for the last few days been using the hideouts they can still find among the ruins, retiring at night into the dug-outs whose location is known to them, to eat and get provisions for the next day. Lately we have been unable to extract information on the whereabouts of further dug-outs from the captured Jews. The remainder of the inmates of that dug-out where the skirmish took place were destroyed by using heavier explosive charges. From a Wehrmacht concern we evacuated 327 Jews today. The Jews we catch now are sent to T.II.
The total of Jews caught has risen to 55,179.
270 ------->Polish Police 1/160 1/160
The 2 Waffen SS men lost their lives in the air attack against the Ghetto.
33 dug-outs were discovered and destroyed. Booty: 6 pistols, 2 hand grenades, and some explosive charges.
Termination of today's operation: 2100 hours, will be continued on 14 May 1943, 1000 hours.
My intention is to terminate the large-scale operation on 16 May 1943 and to turn all further measures over to Police battalion III/23. Unless ordered otherwise, I am going to submit to the conference of SS and Policefuehrers a detailed report of the operation, including an appendix containing photos.
Progress of large-scale operation on 14 May 1943, start 1000 hours.
The raiding parties formed today went to work within the areas allotted to each of them under orders to force open further dwelling dug-outs and to catch the Jews. In this way a considerable number of bandits and Jews were caught, especially as some traces had been discovered during the night which were now followed up with good results. The night patrols clashed with armed bandits several times. These bandits fired a machine gun and small arms. In this operation we had four casualties- 3 Waffen-SS men and 1 Policeman. Repeatedly, shots were fired from the Aryan part against the external barricade. In the skirmishes about 30 bandits were shot and 9 Jews and bandits, members of an armed gang, were captured. One dug-out was taken during the night, the Jews captured, and some pistols, among them one of 12-mm caliber, were captured. In one dug-out inhabited by 100 persons, we were able to capture 2 rifles, 16 pistols, some hand grenades and incendiary appliances. Of the bandits who resisted, some again wore German military uniform, German-steel helmets and "knobeloecher." Apart from the carbines, we captured 60 rounds of German rifle ammunition. One raiding party had a skirmish with a gang, 10 to 14 strong, on the roofs of a block of buildings at the border of the Ghetto (Aryan part). The bandits were destroyed; we suffered no losses.
The captured bandits repeatedly testify that still not all persons in the Ghetto have been caught. They confidently expect that the action will soon be over, and that they will then be able to continue to live in the Ghetto. Several bandits stated that they had long been in a position to kill off the leader of the action, the "General," as they call him, but that they would not do so, since they had orders to that effect to avoid the risk of a further intensification of the anti-Jewish measures.
Today again some concrete buildings in which the bandits find refuge time and again were blown up by the engineers.
In order to force the bandits in the sewers to come to the surface, 183 sewer entrances were opened at 1500 hours, and smokecandles were lowered into them at an ordered x-time, thereupon the bandits, seeking escape from what they supposed to be poison gas, crowded together in the center of the former Ghetto, and we were able to pull them out of the sewer entrances there.
I shall come to a decision after tomorrow's operations regarding termination of the action.
Today SS-Gruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant General of Waffen-SS von Horff was present during the operations.
270 -------Polish Police1/1601/160
A total of 398 Jews were caught today, furthermore 154 Jews and bandits were shot in battle. The total of the Jews caught has risen to 55,731.
Booty: rifles, pistols, and ammunition. Further, a number of incendiary bottles (Molotov cocktails).
Termination of action; 2155 hours, will be continued on 15 May 1943 0900 hours.
Progress of large-scale operation on 15 April 1943. Start 0900 hours.
The 5 scouting parties who patrolled the Ghetto last night reported that they encountered Jews only sporadically. In contrast to the preceding nights, they were able to shoot 6 or 7 Jews. The combing-out actions today also had little result. 29 more dug-outs were discovered, but part of them were no longer inhabited. A total of 87 Jews were caught today and 67 bandits and Jews were shot in battle. In a skirmish which developed around noon, and in which the bandits again resisted by using Molotov cocktails, pistols, and home-made hand grenades, the gang was destroyed; but subsequently a policeman was wounded by a shot through the right thigh. A special unit once more searched the last block of buildings which was still intact in the Ghetto, and subsequently destroyed it. In the evening the chapel, mortuary, and all other buildings on the Jewish cemetery were blown up or destroyed by fire.
The sum total of Jews caught has risen to 55,885.
We captured 4 pistols of larger calibers, 1 infernal machine with fuse, 10 kilograms of explosives, and a considerable amount of ammunition. Termination of operation: 2130 hours. Will be continued on 16 May 1943, 1000 hours.
I will terminate the large-scale operation on 16 May 1943 at dusk, by blowing up the Synagogue, which we did not succeed in accomplishing today, and will subsequently charge Police Battalion III/23 with continuing and completing the measures which are still necessary.
Progress of large-scale operation on 16 May 1943, start 1000 hours.
180 Jews, bandits, and subhumans were destroyed. The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large-scale action was terminated at 2015 hours by blowing up the Warsaw Synagogue.
The measures to be taken with regard to the established banned areas were handed over to the commander of police battalion III/23, whom I instructed carefully.
Total number of Jews dealt with 56,065, including both Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can be proved.
No losses today.
I will submit a final report to the Conference of SS Police Fuehrer on 18 May 1943.
I beg to reply to the above teletype message: No. 1:
Of the total of 56,065 caught, about 7,000 were destroyed in the former Ghetto during large-scale operation. 6,929 Jews were destroyed by transporting them to T.II; the sum total of Jews destroyed is therefore 13,929. Beyond the number of 56,065 an estimated number of 5 to 6,000 Jews were destroyed by being blown up or by perishing in the flames.
A total of 631 dug-outs were destroyed.
No. 3 (booty):
7 Polish rifles, 1 Russian rifle, 1 German rifle.
59 pistols of various calibers.
Several 100 hand grenades, including Polish and homemade ones.
A few 100 incendiary bottles.
Home-made explosive charges.
Infernal machines with fuses.
Large amounts of explosives, ammunition for all calibers, including machine-gun ammunition.
With regard to the bag of arms one must take into consideration that in most cases we were not able to capture the arms themselves, since the Jews and bandits before they were captured threw them away into hideouts and holes which we could not discover or find. The smoke which we had developed in the dug-outs also prevented our men from discovering and capturing the arms. Since we had to blow up the dug-outs at once we were not in a position to search for the arms later on.
The hand grenades, explosive charges, and incendiary bottles captured were used at once against the bandits.
Furthermore, we captured:
1,240 used uniform tunics (partly equipped with medal ribbons, Iron Cross, and East Medal).
600 pairs of used trousers.
Pieces of equipment, and German steel helmets.
103 horses, 4 of them in the former Ghetto (hearse)
We counted up to 23 May 1943:
4.4 million Zloty. We captured moreover about 5 to 6 million Zloty, not yet counted, a considerable amount of foreign currency, including-
$14,300 in paper.
$ 9,200 in gold.
Large amounts of valuables (rings, chains, watches etc.)
With the exception of 8 buildings (police barracks, hospital and accommodations for working parties) the former Ghetto has been completely destroyed. Where blowing-up was not carried out, only partition walls are still standing. But the ruins still contain enormous amounts of bricks and scrap material which could be used.
[Translator's note: captions of photos follow in order]
1. The building of the former Jewish Council.
2. Out of the factories.
3. Discussion of the evacuation of a factory.
4. The Jewish section chiefs of the armament factory Briar.
5. Brauer Company!
6. Column marching to the railway station.
7. On the way to the transhipping place.
8. Search and interrogation.
9. Jewish Rabbis.
10. Jewish Rabbis.
11. A patrol.
12. Dregs of humanity.
13. Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs.
14. Just pulled out of a dug-out.
15. Just pulled out of a dug-out.
16. These bandits resisted by force of arms.
17. Bandits destroyed in battle.
18. A dug-out is opened.
19. Jewish traitors.
21. Smoking-out of the Jews and bandits.
22. A place which had been prepared for escape and jumping down.
23. Destruction of a block of buildings [2 photos].
24. Destruction of a block of buildings.
25. [no caption]
26. On the way to the transhipping place.
27. Jews are marched away.
28. On the way to the transhipping place.
29. Photos showing parts of so-called dwelling dug-outs.
34. Measures for covering a street.
35. They were found in underground dug-outs.
36. (1) These bandits are avoiding arrest by jumping down.
(2) Bandits after having jumped down.
37. The radio car of the command post.
38. Ascaris who were used in the operation.
39. The C.O. of the large-scale action.
40. This is how the former Ghetto looks after having been destroyed.
41 48. [no caption]
Sources: The Avalon Project