|.) When Ludwik Hirszfeld, a renowned specialist and convert, started to give lectures for medical practitioners in the Warsaw ghetto, he was boycotted by Jewish nationalists. See Dembowski, Christians in the Warsaw Ghetto, 122. The blatant hostility and humiliations faced by Christian converts in the Warsaw ghetto are documented by Alceo Valcini, the Warsaw correspondent of the Milan Corriere della Sera, whose diary was translated into Polish as Golgota Warszawy, 1939–1945 (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1973). Converts were repeatedly harassed when they left church after mass and, on occasion, even the German police had to intervene to protect them from enraged Orthodox Jews. Converts who did not figure in community lists were denied food rations and material assistance. Ibid., 235–36. Valcini’s portrayal is fully supported by a report filed by a Jewish Gestapo informer: Crowds of Jews would gather in front of the Christian churches on Sundays and Christian holy days to take in the spectacle of converts attending mass. At Easter in 1942, the crowd of onlookers was so large at the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Leszno Street that the Ordnungsdienst (Jewish police) stationed a special squad there to maintain order and protect the converts. Cited in Christopher R. Browning and Israel Gutman, “The Reports of a Jewish ‘Informer’ in the Warsaw Ghetto—Selected Documents,” in Yad Vashem Studies, vol. 17 (1986): 263. Hostilities also occurred during the Sunday mass at All Saints’ Church, where a large mob of Hasids gathered with sticks to beat up the converted Jews as they left church. The Jewish order police was called in to disperse the Hasidic pogromists. This incident is described in the memoirs of Stanisław Gajewski, which are found in the Yad Vashem archives. See Engelking and Leociak, The Warsaw Ghetto, 654; Dembowski, Christians in the Warsaw Ghetto, 85. A Pole who entered the ghetto recalled the caustic remarks made by onlookers about Jews who attended religious services at All Saints’ Church. See Waclaw Sledzinski, Governor Frank’s Dark Harvest (Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Mid-Wales: Montgomerys, 1946), 120. A Jew who was not a convert describes in her memoirs how Jewish scum in the Warsaw ghetto harassed Jewish Christians who attended church services. See Ruth Altbeker Cyprys, A Jump For Life: A Survivor’s Journal from Nazi-Occupied Poland (New York: Continuum, 1997), 32. This is confirmed by another Jew who observed Jewish youths standing outside in the street as converts walked to church services and calling after them “Good Yontiff!” See Gary A. Keins, A Journey Through the Valley of Perdition ([United States]: n.p., 1985), 86. A similar situation prevailed in Kraków: when priests and nuns would enter the ghetto to tend to the spiritual needs of converts, they were spat on and cursed by indignant Jews. “Converts were not popular in the ghetto. … We’re foreigners and they hate us.” See Roman Frister, The Cap, or the Price of a Life (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999), 84, 89–90. Those who did not abide by religious traditions were also abused, especially by intolerant Orthodox Jews. A teenaged girl from Łódź, who took refuge with her parents in Łosice, recalled the abuse hurled on her for performing a chore on the Sabbath. See Stella Zylbersztajn, A gdyby to było Wasze dziecko? (Łosice: Łosickie Stowarzyszenie Rozwoju Equus, 2005); Marek Jerzman, “A gdyby to było nasze dziecko,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, no. 3 (March 2009): 59.
The fate of the downtrodden Gypsies, who were rounded up and sent to Jewish ghettos, was even harsher since they had no communal welfare organizations. They were universally regarded as intruders and thieves. See, for example, Katsh, Scroll of Agony, 294–95 (“they occupy themselves by stealing from the Jews”). There is no record of Jews displaying solidarity with or offering assistance to Gypsies, and it appears that most of the Gypsies in the Warsaw ghetto, who were beggars and forced to wear distinctive armbands, were rounded up and deported to the death camps in the summer of 1942. Gypsies apprehended in “Aryan” Warsaw were taken to the prison on Gęsia Street where they were guarded by functionaries of the Jewish police. See Institute of National Memory, Warsaw Regional Commission for the Investigation of Crimes against the Polish Nation, file no. S 5/20/Zn. Within the confines of the large Jewish ghetto in Łódź, the Germans built a smaller, isolated ghetto for some 5,000 Gypsies. Conditions there were even worse than those of the Jews and, without connections or any outside assistance (such as almost all Jewish ghettos received from the surrounding Polish community), the Gypsies were soon decimated by hunger and disease. Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Jewish council, argued with the German authorities about the arrival of the Gypsies: “We cannot live together with them. The Gypsies are the sort of people who can do anything. First they rob and then they set fire and soon everything is in flames, including your factories and materials.” See Alan Adelson and Robert Lapides, eds., Łódź Ghetto: Inside a Community Under Siege (New York: Viking, 1989), 173. A Jewish doctor from Łódź admits candidly: “There was no pity in the ghetto for Gypsies.” See Arnold Mostowicz, Żółta gwiazda i czerwony krzyż (Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1988), 25–27. That the Jews were indifferent to the fate of the Gypsies is confirmed in other sources: “The Jews shut their eyes to the fate of the Gypsies. Rumkowski was ordered to set up special barracks for them, to provide food and medical services, and to see that the dead were buried in the Jewish cemetery. A typhus epidemic, in which several Jewish doctors lost their lives, broke out in the Gypsies’ quarters. They were strictly quarantined during their short-lived existence in the ghetto. In December, 1941, they were deported. The Jews neither knew where nor cared. The Gypsies ended at the death camp of Chelmno.” See Leonard Tushnet, The Pavement of Hell: Three Leaders of the Judenrat (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1972), 44. It should be noted that Jews in the Łódź ghetto did not starve, although their food rations were reduced from 1,600 calories in 1940 to 1,000 in 1942. In the analogous period, food rations for Poles in the Generalgouvernment were 736 and 400, respectively. See Grzegorz Berendt, “Cena życia—ekonomiczne uwarunkowania egzystencji Żydów po ‘aryjskiej stronie’,” in Zagłada Żydów: Studia i materiały, vol. 4 (Warsaw: Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów, IFiS PAN, 2008): 115, 118. In the summer of 1942, a group of Gypsies was placed in the Jadów ghetto. The Jews were ordered to feed them and to ensure that they remained in the ghetto. When a second group of Gypsies arrived, they were shot nearby and the Jews were ordered to fill in the graves. See Dean, Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, vol. II, Part A, 379. In Głębokie, “In the fall of 1941, Gypsy wagons were brought into the Gendarmerie yard. The Gypsies were brought with their women and children. … A rumor spread that they were to be put in the second ghetto with the Jews. To prevent this, the Judenrat asked for another bribe quota for the Germans. It turned out that the Gypsies were shot with their women and children before dawn.” Dov Katzovitch (Petach Tikva), “With the Partisans and in the Red Army,” in David Shtokfish, ed., Book in Memory of Dokshitz-Parafianow [Dokszyce-Parafianowo Memorial Book], (Israel: Organization of Dokshitz-Parafianow Veterans in Israel and the Diaspora, 1990), Chapter 4, Internet: . These attitudes were steeped in tradition: “Generally, Gypsies were treated with suspicion and disdain. My parents would never have permitted me to talk to them under ordinary circumstances. Bielsko’s mothers warned their children that a Gypsy woman could cast a spell on their souls; its fathers watched their wallets when Gypsies were nearby, it being common knowledge that they were born pickpockets. … Decent folk kept away from them.” See Frister, The Cap, or the Price of a Life, 277–78. However, sociologist Nechama Tec blames the Gypsies for the conflict. See Nechama Tec, “Resistance in Eastern Europe,” in Walter Laqueur, ed., The Holocaust Encyclopedia (New Haven and Yale: Yale University Press, 2001), 544. An inmate of the death camp at Bełżec recalled: “the gypsies were tough and ruthless and stole whatever they could lay their hands on from us.” See Tuviah Friedman, Nazi Hunter (Haifa: Institute for the Documentation of Nazi War Crimes, 1961), 33. A survivor of Auschwitz claimed that, unlike the Jews, “If the Gypsies thought of anything besides food, however, it was certainly not of resistance or escape.” See Frister, The Cap, or the Price of a Life, 279. Gypsies could also turn on non-Gypsies, especially Jews. Zahava Glaz Wolfeiler recalled: “One day I decided to go to a suburb [of Kraków] called Prondnik [Prądnik], to look for work. On the way to Prondnik, there was a Gypsy camp. Some Gypsies attacked me and pulled off the cross and chain I was wearing around my neck in order to pass as a Christian.” See Denise Nevo and Mira Berger, eds., We Remember: Testimonies of Twenty-four Members of Kibbutz Megiddo Who Survived the Holocaust (New York: Shengold, 1994), 28. A survivor from Parczew wrote: “There were a few hundred [gypsies in the ghetto in Siedlce], and when a Jew from the outside arrived, the gypsies robbed him, taking away even the clothing he had on.” See Benjamin Mandelkern, with Mark Czarnecki, Escape from the Nazis (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1988), 68. Another Jew recalls that when Jews and Gypsies were hearded in a large courtyard near the train station in Bełżec, the Jews had to “put up with a great deal of trouble from the Gypsies, being beaten by them, and being robbed of everything they had.” See David Ravid (Shmukler), ed., The Cieszanow Memorial Book (Mahwah, New Jersey: Jacob Solomon Berger, 2006), 167.