A Nazi document marked top secret revealing the life of Jews and their extermination in southern Poland, inadvertently recounts Jewish heroism. The document outlines how Jews prepared places hiding spaces to save people, arms being amassed for self-defense and more.
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It was exhibited along with others found, before Israel's ambassador to Poland Dr. YACOV LIVNE in Warsaw, during his visit to the national archive where many WWII-era documents were kept. The visit was at the archive's invitation and some of the papers were viewed by Israelis for the first time.
The elegantly bound document was called "A solution to the Jewish problem in Galicia," and identified as "A secret matter of the Reich," And describes the extermination of Jews in the southern Poland region.
The ambassador was shown a file containing a diary from 1940, with the picture sent by a German soldier to his fiancé, titled "The Polish episode." It is a private account of the young soldier's actions including his inhumane treatment of Jews whom he considered sub-human, in accordance with Nazi conduct.
Another paper dated August 1942 contains the original trail traffic from Warsaw to the Treblinka concentration camp where nearly one million Polish Jews were murdered. The Schedule notes "special trains" for the people transported from the capital and adds that the trains returned to Warsaw empty.
Another document was the report by Jurgen Stroop the Waffen SS commander who oversaw the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto after the revolt there exactly 80 years ago.
The Jewish resistance and the revolt surprised the Germans and took them three long weeks to quash. Later the entire area was destroyed.
Stroop wrote a detailed report that was sent to the Nazi leadership. Livne was shown a leather-bound file containing dozens of typed pages reporting the events, including photos, some that have since become symbols of the Jewish struggle against the Nazis. " The Jewish quarter in Warsaw exists no more," the report states.
Towards the end of WWII, the Nazis tried to erase any hint of their terrible crimes and therefore destroyed a great deal of evidence. There are only two copies of the Stroop reports still in existence, the second is in a safe in the U.S. National Archive.
I was moved to see the documents that are a chilling testimony to the Nazi extermination machine but also evidence of Jewish heroism and the struggle against total evil," Livne said. "I held in my hand one of the few remaining copies of the Stroop report about the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto and read it as it was written in a dry and remote tone, in German, as if it did not deal with the murder of millions. It is shocking to thing how people of culture could have committed such a crime," he said.