Central Jewish Historical Commission in Poland
at the Central Committee of Jews in Poland
Łódź, ulica Narutowicza 25, tel. 157-10
Account no. 228, Nat. Agricultural Bank
Łódź, April 18, 1947
at the Central Committee of Jews in Poland
In connection with the Civil Court’s approval of our project to organize a general initiative of evidence-gathering with the aim of exposing all German criminals guilty of crimes against the Jewish people in Poland—we send attached the draft appeal and form we have developed and proposed for this initiative.
The appeal, as well as the form, should in our opinion be printed in an appropriate number of copies and distributed with instructions for provincial, district, and municipal Jewish Committees to join the initiative. Regardless of this, relevant extracts and appeals would have to be delivered to the press with the aim of promoting preparation for the initiative.
At the same time we inform you that thus far we possess no information regarding the activities of Altszuler in the Buchach ghetto.
Gen. Secretary: Acting Director:
/-/ Dr. J. Kermisz /-/ N. Blumental
In accordance with the Allied governments’ agreement regarding war criminals,1 thanks to the Polish Government’s initiative a significant share of the Nazi criminals guilty of martyring and exterminating Polish Jews have already been delivered to the Polish authorities, with the evidence collected and presented by the Central Jewish Historical Commission of the Central Committee of Jews2 in Poland playing a decisive role.
Some of these criminals have already been tried in Polish courts and been justly punished for the crimes committed against our nation. The rest will be tried in the near future.
However, due to insufficient evidence, a large number of Nazi criminals guilty of crimes against our nation still remain in American or British camps, or even walk free, as there is no basis on which to demand their delivery to the Polish authorities.
This fact imposes a great moral obligation on the Jewish community in Poland. We must immediately launch a universal initiative to expose, gather incriminating material, and generate a full register of Nazi war criminals responsible for the tragedy of the Polish Jews in the years 1939-45. The material we collect will allow the Central Committee of Jews in Poland to demand, via the Polish authorities, that Nazi war criminals be handed over by the Allied authorities.
The Jewish committees, because of their pan-national character, should be at the forefront of this action. They should be in the field as agents organizing, managing, and responsible for the entire initiative.
Given the nature of this initiative, the entire Jewish community without exception should be brought into close cooperation, meaning: the Union of Jewish Participants in the War and Struggle Against Fascism,3 all political, youth, cultural-educational, economic, sporting organizations etc.
The active and mass participation of all of Jewish society would allow the organization of a dense network of exposure, evidence-gathering, and registration of Nazi criminals over the whole of Poland. Not a single German criminal should slip from our net.
Our initiative should be carried out on a basis of close cooperation with local governmental and municipal authorities as well as with Polish organizations and institutions (the Union of Former Political Prisoners,4 the Western Union,5 parties and political and cultural organizations, etc.).
A result of our initiative should be the generation of a complete record of all Nazi criminals operating to the detriment of Polish Jews in the period since 1939 in every camp, every town, village, city, county, and province.
The category of criminals must include all Germans initiating criminal activities against Jews from 1939-45, and belonging to the following organizations:
a) Gestapo6 - (all functionaries from the highest ranks to the lowest)
b) Kripo7 - '' " "
c) "SS"8 - " " "
d) Wehrmacht - commanders, officers and soldiers who during the occupation, and especially in 1939, performed criminal activity: murdering Jewish prisoners of war, civilians, etc.
e) N.S.D.A.P.9 - All members of the Nazi party active in 1939-45 in Poland.
f) German Administration – Starting with Governors and Gauleiters,10 and ending with the lowest official in the General Government and Polish areas annexed to the Reich.
g) S.A.11 - commanders, officers and members of the S.A. who participated in all criminal initiatives of the German authorities against Jews on Polish territory.
h) All other types of German Police - commanders, officers, soldiers of other types of police (Schupo,12 Grenzpolizei,13 Hilfspolizei,14 etc.), guilty of participating in the extermination of Polish Jews.
i) Representatives of German political life who, through their speeches, indirectly or directly caused the extermination of the Jewish population in Poland under Nazi occupation.
j) Representatives of so-called German cultural life, therefore directors of institutions of “science,” the press, and propaganda—guilty of propaganda that preyed on Jews, of the destruction and pillage of the cultural heritage of Polish Jews.
k) All other Germans not covered by the above-mentioned categories, Volksdeutsche,15 and also Poles (the Blue Police16 and others), as well as Jews who, for criminal activities against Polish Jewry and the Polish State, should be placed on par with Germans in the register of offenders and war criminals, and suffer due punishment.
In order for the register of offenders and war criminals to be of maximum value, we must make all efforts to obtain, as much as possible, complete and accurate personal information on every criminal, as well as a definition and characterization of his criminal activities.
It would be highly desirable for the management of this initiative to be entrusted to lawyers, within the limits of local capacities.
May a complete list of Nazi criminals, against the background enormity of the crimes they committed against Polish Jews, be an eloquent response to the Anglo-Saxon defenders of the “oppressed” Germans.
We must run our initiative until the last of the surviving German criminals is made an example of.
May the speed, universality, and efficiency of this initiative of exposure and registration of Nazi criminals be proof that Jewish society understands the significance and seriousness of the initiative we are undertaking to justly punish the murderers of our nation.
The Central Committee of Polish Jews
Central Jewish Historical Commission in Poland.