Leland B. Morris on the “Establishment of a Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw” in 1940

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The establishment of a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw has not been unexpected as reports of some such impending action have been current in that city, particularly among Jewish circles, from the early days of the occupation. At the same time active

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preparations, which could be interpreted in no other way than as tending towards a complete segregation of the Jewish population, have been in course for some months. [...]

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A strange commentary on life in German-occupied Warsaw is presented by the fact that many a nationalist Pole has endeavored to take on the ‘protective coloration’ of the Jew in order to escape from the German police or to

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avoid compulsory labor. These ‘refugees’ have adopted Jewish insignia and taken up residence in the ghetto; many stories are current in Warsaw of Jews tearing off their racial badges and passing them over in the streets to fleeing Poles. It is noteworthy that during the period of anti-Jewish disturbances in Poland prior to German occupation the 600,000 people in the Jewish district, almost evenly divided between Poles and Jews, managed to get along together peacefully and lived in a community spirit which was not noticeable in the other parts of the city. The pending segregation of the Jews in an official ghetto affects an equal number of Poles and the move may in the long run bring greater discomfort to the latter than to the majority of the Jewish population. At any rate the Jews may well be in a better position to maintain a united front towards the occupying authorities and to find in community life a solace and protection until the time comes when a life of freedom and tolerance can at last be the lot of the unhappy thousands now to be concentrated in the greatest of Eastern Europe’s many Jewries by an alien conqueror and a ruthless race enemy.

References

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The United States of America were neutral during the first two years of the Second World War. They were brought into the conflict by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941 and became one of the decisive belligerent nations, defeating Japan in the Pacific and heavily contributing to the war effort against the Axis powers, e.g. during the Allied landings in North Africa, Italy and France. American forces invaded German territory early in 1945. On the eve of the Second World War...