A Polish Academic Information Center Exhibit         
Warsaw: Life and Death in the Ghetto which the Germans established there during WWII

"The SS-men charge in where the ghetto police are doing a roundup. With shouts, whips and shots they terrorize the people. Corpses fall. They make everything happen lightning fast. Quick, quick, on the double. All the inhabitants of the designated blocks, several thousand, are out on the street already, lined up by fours. Now the selection. The SS-man approaches, one look at the documents, a touch of the whip, to the left - that's freedom, to the right - that's the Umschlagplatz. Politely, the Germans send the parents to the Umschlagplatz, the daughter to freedom. Politely the daughter approaches and asks whether she can join her parents. Politely this is allowed. Politely he separates the spouses, separates wives from husbands, children from their parents, parents from their children. Politely, calmly, quietly, without a shout, without hysterics.

Three groups are formed. One, that's the privileged family members of the ghetto police, a second one - that's those with employment papers, free to go home. The third group - that's those for the Umschlagplatz. What? How? Just as they are standing on this scorching day, in light summer dresses and sandals, children barefoot, all without any outer clothing? Impossible! Without a change of clothes, without any luggage? Where are they to be transported? What does this all mean? 'Forward march!' The cortege moves forward. Ghetto policemen at the front, at back, on the sides. Surrounded by SS-men. Police dogs all around."

from the diary of Jan Mawult


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