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Count Helmuth James von Moltke’s Memo to Hans Wilbrandt and Alexander Rüstow on Conditions in Germany and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (July 9, 1943)

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The Munich Student Riots

Reports concerning the recent student riots at Munich University indicate that they were on a far larger scale than the first accounts that reached the outside world had suggested. The ruthless measures taken by the Gestapo are due to the dangerous extent of the disorders. Prof. Huber of Munich University has not been shot or beheaded as reported in British broadcasts; he is still alive, and is slowly tortured to death by the Gestapo.

The Catholic Movement in Germany.

The Catholic revival in Germany is spreading in an astonishing manner. Attendance of Divine Service is the only way of registering a silent protest, and the churches can hardly contain the huge congregations. The German bishops enjoy a tremendous popularity, especially Count Preysing, who is given similar ovations as Count Galen.

It is highly significant that according to recent reports an average of 30% of Catholic schoolboys about to take their school certificates (Abiturium), when asked in the customary way what careers they propose to enter, state that they wish to study Theology and become priests. Special attention is drawn to one case which occurred at a Stettin gymnasium (Classical High School for Boys), where except for three young men who had decided to go in for Law, Agriculture, and the Army, respectively, all stated that they wished to read Theology and take orders. As a result, all members of the gymnasium have been arrested and detained by order of the Gestapo. These cases concern boys of ages from 15 to 17. These are not local occurrences, but similar accounts come from all parts of the Reich.

The Battle in the Ghetto of Warsaw.

Concerning the fighting that took place in the Ghetto of Warsaw last May the following details are now available:

Approximately 30,000 – 35,000 Jews interned in the Warsaw Ghetto had for months been working tenaciously to transform their barracks and stone houses into a defensive system, and had dug subterranean passages connecting the Ghetto with the outer city, in preparation for the expected arrival of SS "annihilation squads" for the partial or total liquidation of the Ghetto. Through underground ducts and dug-out connecting passages to the surrounding parts of the city, the Jews had succeeded with the help of Polish partisans and German soldiers in transporting food, building materials, and arms into the Ghetto. The most modern equipment, from light automatic weapons to the heaviest arms, had been secured – in some cases bought – out of army and SS stores and secretly accumulated in the Ghetto. Several hundred German deserters had also taken refuge in the Ghetto and worked on the makeshift fortifications together with the Jews.

Late in April, 2 platoons of the regular German garrison of Warsaw received orders to conduct a certain transport of Jews from the Ghetto to one of the nearby railway stations, where they were to be taken over by SS guards and consigned to one of the "annihilating institutes" which have been set up in Poland.

These two platoons did not return. Two further platoons which were sent out to find out what had become of them, and to execute the order, did not return either. It has been ascertained that both units met with armed resistance, that a large part of them went over to the defenders with all arms and equipment, while the rest were overcome and taken prisoners. These events, it is important to note, were preceded by a protest by officers of the regular army against their employment for tasks unconnected with the military service of warfare.

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