, a translation of Danuta Dabrowska and Abraham Wein, eds., Pinkas hakehillot Polin, vol. 1 (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1976), 223–29.
420 Cyprys, A Jump For Life, 26.
421 Mordechai Lensky, A Physician Inside the Warsaw Ghetto (New York and Jerusalem: Yad Vashem and The Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project, 2009), 32.
422 Alexander Donat, The Holocaust Kingdom: A Memoir (New York: Holocaust Library, 1963, 1978), 9.
423 Katsh, Scroll of Agony, 187 (diary entry for August 25, 1940).
424 Engelking and Grabowski, “Żydów łamiących prawo należy karać śmiercią!”, especially 49–56, 61, 125. For examples of such letters see the illustrations between pages 48 and 49, ibid., and Engelking, “Szanowny Panie Gistapo,” letter no. 205.
425 Engelking and Grabowski, “Żydów łamiących prawo należy karać śmiercią!”, 70.
426 Cited in Itamar Levin, Walls Around: The Plunder of Warsaw Jewry during World War II and Its Aftermath (Westport, Connecticut and London: Praeger, 2004), 77.
445 This phenomenon is described in Engelking and Grabowski, “Żydów łamiących prawo należy karać śmiercią!”, 78–105. The examples are mostly from Warsaw, but also mention Jewish gangs operating in Otwock and Działoszyce.
446 Cyprys, A Jump For Life, 35.
447 Goldstein, The Stars Bear Witness, 80–81.
448 Alpert, A Spark of Life, 32.
449 Levin, Walls Around, 98.
450 Tuvia Borzykowski, Between Tumbling Walls (Tel Aviv: Beit Lohamei Hagettaot/Ghetto Fighters’ House and Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1972), 79.
451 Ibid., 93.
452 Ibid., 93–94.
453 Ibid., 94. A careful reading of Holocaust literature reveals a disturbing lack of solidarity and compassion among the Jews themselves. Many Jewish sources, as well as non-Jewish witnesses, comment extensively on the great chasm that separated the wealthy and poor inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto, and eventually all of its residents. Władysław Szpilman described the stark contrast between the existence of the well-to-do and the poor in the ghetto. Large crowds of beggars would converge on restaurants and cafés begging for food only to find themselves chased away by porters with sticks, as at the Nowoczesna. Wealthy passengers riding in rickshaws would also chase beggars away with canes. See Władysław Szpilman, Śmierć miasta (Warszawa: Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza Wiedza, 1946), 71–72, as cited in Engelking and Leociak, Getto warszawskie, First edition, 564. The memoirs of Władysław Szpilman were translated into English as The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45 (London: Victor Gollancz, 1999); large portions of the 1946 Polish edition, which is significantly different, is cited in Iranek-Osmecki, He Who Saves One Life, 41–42. See also: Makower, Pamiętnik z getta warszawskiego, 207, where the author speaks of the “complete breakdown of Jewish society”; Lewin, A Cup of Tears, 127, which describes the enormous disparities in the main midday meal; Acher, Niewłaściwa twarz, 48, which describes daily street robberies and the lack of sharing with the more misfortunate. In his diary, Chaim Kaplan notes that widespread tax evasion by the well-off residents of the ghetto seriously exacerbated starvation among the ghetto poor. See Katsh, Scroll of Agony, 262. One of of the most poignant contrasts in the Warsaw ghetto was penned by Shimon Huberband (cited in Levin, Walls Around, 127–28):
During the harsh, frozen winter of 1941–1942, with every step one saw half-naked children on the streets of the Jewish quarter. Thousands of Jewish women, finely dressed, made-up and perfumed, would walk by them with equanimity, and only occasionally did one stop for a moment to throw a poor child a penny, and generally this was a mature woman, from the older generation. … seldom do Jews open their wallets to another Jew who is starving to death.
Moreover, I’ve personally witnessed—and this isn’t a made-up horror story—the body of a 30-year-old Jewish man who starved to death against a large shop window filled with baked goods, wines, grapes and other delicacies. The corpse was completely nude, and it was, and at the same time, wasn’t ironic that elegant women had to step over it to enter the shop, then exit holding bags filled with good things; if only a portion had been given to the hungry, that Jew wouldn’t have died on the doorstep.
Also, as I walked down the street one freezing day in December 1941, I personally witnessed a 16-year-old lad lying on the sidewalk at the corner of Karmelicka and Nowolipki. Next to him lay three little children, each one smaller than the next. The three were almost completely naked. Dozens of people passed by, but only occasionally did someone hand them a donation. My attention was captured by a young student walking in arm with two girls. … The young people stopped alongside the miserable children. I was convinced that they would pull out their wallets, along with the bundles of goodies they held in their hands, and give something to the children. But these young people dallied for a bit, while one of the girls gave the boy an occasional shake; they then burst out in laughter and continued on their way.
… in times like these, when Jewish women waste hundreds and thousands of złoty in nightclubs, never giving a penny to charity, [it indicates] an endless decline in morals.
Moreover, these nightclubs even host dance contests, like the good old days, where Jewish women and girls, Jewish men, dance in these competitions and even win prizes … And so, the myth of the “united, merciful Jewry” had been destroyed. There is no more to say.
Alceo Valcini, wartime Warsaw correspondent of the Milan Corriere della Sera, specifically comments on the lack of a sense of solidarity among the ghetto dwellers in their common misfortune. See Valcini, Golgota Warszawy, 233–34. A similar state of affairs prevailed in other ghettos which were plagued by corruption, thievery (especially of food supplies), and black-marketeering (stolen goods were sold at exorbitant prices). Ties with the Gestapo greatly facilitated the success of these ventures. This assumed massive proportions in Łódź, the second largest ghetto in German-occupied Poland, and impacted adversely on the survival of lowly Jews with no connections. The wealthy hid away their belongings; milk destined for children was watered down; the sick were deprived of their food ration cards; people were known to kill off family members to get their ration cards. See Icchak (Henryk) Rubin, Żydzi w Łodzi pod niemiecką okupacją 1939–1945 (London: Kontra, 1988), 236, 243–47, 318, 319–23. Leon Kahn, whose family took refuge in the well-fed ghetto of Grodno in October 1942 after the annihilation of his shtetl, recalled that the Grodno Jews “were cold and inhospitable, and never even offered us a place to sleep, though many had extra room.” After the synagogue service one Friday evening, the shames announced that “there were strangers in the midst of the congregation who were homeless and had lost all their possessions. Would someone take these unfortunates home to share the Sabbath meal with them?” Kahn recalled their reaction: “We went to stand by the door so the congregation could see us easily as they filed out. Family by family left, carefully avoiding our eyes until at last our little group stood there alone.” See Kahn, No Time To Mourn, 94–96. In Goniądz, “The Jewish population … consisted of three classes. The first were the rich who were merchants before the War and also of manufacturers of such items as goods and shoes. They didn’t have to work for a living. Most of them had hidden their goods in bunkers or among peasants they knew in the villages. From time-to-time, they would sell off a bit of goods, which were high-priced then, and buy food and other necessities. They could have existed like this for years.” See Tuviah Ivri (Yevraiski), “The Destruction of Goniondz,” Part 14, in J. Ben-Meir (Treshansky) and A.L. Fayans, eds., Our Hometown Goniondz (Tel Aviv: The Committee of Goniondz Association in U.S.A. and in Israel, 1960), Internet: . Just as some Poles did, Jews who procured or manufactured forged documents generally did so for a handsome, sometimes enormous, profit. See, for example, Edward Stankiewicz, My War: Memoir of a Young Jewish Poet (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2002), 59; Testimony of Stefan Ehrlich in Jan Czekajewski, Musings of a Rebellious Emigrant (Columbus, Ohio: MJW Graphics, 2012), 303; Grabowski, “Ja tego Żyda znam!”, 101, 102. One resident of the Warsaw ghetto writes: “Prices of those very documents were considerably higher in the ghetto because of the large number of Jewish go-betweens who profiteered on this business. See Cyprys, A Jump For Life, 114. People who provided valuable services in the ghetto also often gouged their clients. Dr. Edward Reicher recalled that he had to pay dearly to have his wife’s hair dyed blond in anticipation of their escape from the Warsaw ghetto. Even though the job was mediocre, the coiffeur’s “price made my head spin: twenty times what a doctor would charge for a visit in the ghetto.” See Reicher, Country of Ash, 96. Jews sold their belongings to Jewish middlemen in the ghetto who re-sold them outside the ghetto for a profit. See, for example, the testimony of Stefan Ehrlich in Czekajewski, Musings of a Rebellious Emigrant, 301. Jewish policemen in Lwów demanded exorbitant sums of money for shelters during the liquidation of the ghetto, and those who hid there were did not welcome Jews who could not afford to pay. See Czekajewski, Musings of a Rebellious Emigrant, 301