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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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Early in May, motorized units were brought up to crush the resistance of the Ghetto. A regular battle began, during which the assault troops had occasion to convince themselves that the Jews were equipped with the most up-to-date weapons, automatic guns, field guns, even antitank and anti-aircraft guns, and were entrenched in veritable fortified bunkers. Up to the middle of May, many hundred officers and men from the companies charged with breaking the resistance of the Ghetto deserted or went over with their arms to help the defenders, until on May 16 the regular companies had to be retired to be replaced by mechanized SS [Waffen-SS]. Bitter fighting then went on between the defenders and large detachments of SS troops, during which several thousand German Officers and men were killed or wounded. The resistance of the Ghetto was almost entirely broken down by heavy tanks and dive-bombers, and the Ghetto itself all but razed to the ground. Only a few thousand of the 30,000 odd interned Jews are reported to have survived the battle; they have been transferred to new camps where they have probably been "liquidated" by now. Only a few Jews and a small number of the defending German soldiers are said to have succeeded in escaping to the city by way of the underground passages. The extensive investigations started by the Gestapo, SD (Sicherheits-Dienst), and SS (Security Service) have brought to light the fact that in addition to several hundred German deserters about 1200 – 1500 German officers and men had gone over and helped in the defence of the Ghetto. The defence was conducted under the command of a German colonel, who is reported to have made this escape during the last days of the fighting.

The proceedings instituted in the matter have been kept a close secret, and the Gestapo has done everything in its power to keep the news from leaking through even to the OKW and the Party. Hundreds of arrests, deportations, and executions are said to have taken place in order to confine the circle of those informed of the occurrences to the most trusted members of the Gestapo, SD, and SS. According to a secret report of the German Sicherheitsdienst, the motive of the German officers and men in taking action against the "liquidation" of the internees of the Ghetto has been their refusal to take any further part in the perpetration of massacres and atrocities, from their conviction that the German soldier's duty was to defend the German people against an external enemy, if the interest of the State demanded it, but not to assist in senseless and inhuman cruelties against innocent and helpless men and women by order of a party which professed to act in the name of the German people.

U.S. War effort.

Party circles still detect some chances for a successful termination of the War for Germany, if it can be drawn out. It is argued in this connection that time is working for Germany; this belief has been strengthened lately by the impression that America is showing signs of moral disintegration and war-weariness which, it is felt, will become more and more pronounced as the War drags on. The argument is based upon the long-drawn and constantly recurring strikes, and upon signs of wavering and symptoms of a revival of Isolationism which are given publicity in some American journals.

It is incomprehensible why the American Labour troubles are incessantly dwelt upon in British broadcasts. The effect of this can be studied with profit in the German press of the last weeks, which devoted a special campaign to gloating over the strikes and drawing encouraging conclusions from them.

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