The Eve of Deportation
from the Warsaw Ghetto
(July 20, 1942)
At the Gestapo at 7:30 in the morning. I asked Mende how
much truth there was in the rumors. He answered that he had heard nothing
about it. After this I asked Brandt; he answered that he knew nothing of
the kind. To the question whether a thing like that could nevertheless
happen, he answered that he knew nothing. I came away unsure. I went to his
superior officer, Commissar Boehm. He said that it was not his department,
that perhaps Hoheman* might be able to make some statement in connection
with the rumors. I observed that according to the rumors the deportation
was due to start at 19:30 today. He answered that he would certainly know
something if it were so.
For lack of any other choice I went to Scherer, the
Deputy Director of Section 3. He said he was amazed at the rumor and
claimed that he too knew nothing about it.
Finally I asked whether I could inform the population
that there was no reason for fear. He said I could, that all the reports
were nonsense and rubbish (Unsinn und Quatsch).
I gave orders to Lejkin that he should make this known
through the area station....
July 22, 1940 
At the Community at 7:30 in the morning. The borders of
the small ghetto are guarded by a special unit in addition to the usual
At 10 oclock Sturmbannfuehrer Hoefle appeared
with his people. We disconnected the telephone lines. The children were
moved out of the little garden opposite.
It was announced to us that the Jews, without regard to
sex or age, apart from certain exceptions, would be deported to the East.
Six thousand souls had to be supplied by 4 oclock today. And this (at
least) is how it will be every day....
Sturmbannfuehrer Hoefle (Beauftragter –
[person in charge] – of the deportation) called me into the office and
informed me that my wife was free at the moment, but if the deportation
failed she would be the first to be shot as a hostage.**
A. Czerniakow, Yoman Getto Varsha ("Warsaw
Ghetto Diary") – September 6, 1939-July 23, 1942, edited by
N. Blumental, A. Tartakower, N. Eck, J. Kermish, Jerusalem 19592,
* The reference is apparently to Hoemann, an SS officer
** The next day Czerniakow committed suicide.
Source: Yad Vashem