Lodz, Feb. 6 (Delayed) -- "Good
morning, gentlemen, we are from the Ghetto here. There are
only 878 of us left."
Thus, did Dr. Albert Mazur, a nose and
throat specialist, introduce himself and two companions as
they came into the hotel dining room to tell us about what
had happened to the 250,000 Jews who had formerly lived in
Dr. Mazur spoke enough English to tell us that he had
visited America and had many relatives there. Then he lapsed
The doctor explained that he ad been one of 160 Jewish
physicians in Lodz, out of which only a dozen had survived
the occupation. He had done what he could, he said. But
without medicines, without adequate food and clothing, and
with the excessive labor which the Germans demanded from
Jews, it had been a hopeless task.
At least 70,000 inmates of the Ghetto had
died of tuberculosis, he said.
Sent to death camps as soon as they
became unable to produce their daily quota of the sort of
work demanded by the Germans, the rest of the 250,000 Lodz
Jewish casualties had died there.
Only those Jews qualifying as heavy
laborers, tailors, cobblers, carpenters, technicians or
engineers received rations sufficient for subsistence.
Engineers and technicians, willing to collaborate, got jobs
in German war industry. The others stayed in the Ghetto to
produce shoes and uniforms for the German Army, or were
taken out to dig fortifications or build temporary houses to
replace those destroyed in bombings.
Every few weeks, at night, there were
"deportations" of dissidents and physically unfit, to
Majdanek or Oswiecim, where they were gassed.
A Ghetto police force, composed of Jewish
collaborationists, was organized under the command of an SS
officer from Bremen, named Bibow, who was known to the Jews
as "the vampire" because of his insatiable desire for girls.
Bibow ran the Ghetto under the order of a man named
Bradtfisch, the Gestapo chief of Lodz.
Before the Russians came, Dr. Mazur said,
both Bradtfisch and Bibow came to the Ghetto and made
speeches calling on the Jews to go to Germany voluntarily in
order to be spared the suffering caused by "Russian
bombings." When all the Jews they could prevail upon to
accompany them had left, they had set fire to the Ghetto
with incendiary bombs. The 878 survivors are those who
refused to go to Germany and who managed to escape from the
Ghetto in time to avoid being burned to death or shot by the
Dr. Gaspari, an eminent cancer specialist
and personal friend of the late Field Marshal Erich von
Ludendorff, and Baron Hirsch of Vienna, a well-known Jewish
philanthropist died of starvation in Lodz, Dr. Mazur said.
The Lodz Ghetto is one of the most
hideous spectacles this correspondent has ever witnessed.
The Germans constructed a 10-foot brick wall topped with
broken glass, around the Jewish quarter, as they did in
Warsaw. Several highways ran through the Ghetto and they
could not keep it hermetically sealed. So they erected
barbed wire fences between sidewalks and streets in order to
prevent Jews from "contaminating" Aryans passing through.
Often the despair of the Jews reached
such a point, Dr. Mazur said, that they would approach the
barbed-wire stockades and slowly begin to climb to the top.
The bored German sentries, would not even shout a word of
warning. When the Jew had reached the top of the stockade
they would pick him off with their guns.
Thousands of Lodz Jews died this way, Dr.
Mazur added. It was the simplest way of committing suicide.