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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 183 
This photograph shows the last Jew executed outside the city of Ostrow Mazowiecka, Poland. On November 11, 1939, the local population accused the Jews of having set fire to part of the city earlier in the month. In retaliation German police executed (depending upon the account) between 162 and 500 Jews. Polish gentiles often aided the Germans in carrying out anti-Jewish policies. Gentile collaboration was not unexpected, as Poland--like other European nations--had a long history of antisemitism. Anti-Jewish feelings needed only a particular combination of circumstances to erupt into violence and murder.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Before the November 11 executions outside Ostrow Mazowiecka, the men of the East Prussian Police unit dug a series of pits outside the city. On orders from SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Krüger, the policemen carried out the killings themselves. Witnesses later reported that the perpetrators were troubled by the order but, in the end, were not deterred. The "action" at Ostrow Mazowiecka was among the earliest systematic murders of Polish Jews.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Nazis needed to be able to identify Polish Jews quickly, and armbands with the Star of David served this purpose effectively. The penalty for failure to wear the proper armband was summary execution. This photograph shows a Jewish boy selling armbands in the Warsaw Ghetto. Once again, Jews were forced to participate in their own persecution. It was a devilish sort of psychological warfare. In time, this bizarre state of affairs assumed an inescapable reality, and the normal world from which Poland's Jews had been wrenched seemed irretrievably lost.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
 December 12, 1939: In eastern areas of Greater Germany, two years of forced labor is made compulsory for all Jewish males aged 14 to 60.
 December 12, 1939: Jews are expelled from Kalisz in the Warthegau region of Poland; many flee to Warsaw.
 December 16, 1939: Jewish girls in Lódz, Poland, who have been impressed for forced labor, are forced to clean a latrine with their blouses. When the job is complete, the German overseers wrap the filthy blouses around the girls' faces.
 December 27, 1939: 106 non-Jewish Poles are murdered at Wawer, Poland.
 December 30, 1939: The riverboat Uranus reaches the Iron Gates gorge in Romania, on the Yugoslavian border, with 1210 fugitive Jews from Vienna, Austria, and Prague, Czechoslovakia. The boat's journey is halted after Great Britain, holder of the Mandate on Palestine, protests to the Yugoslavian government; See October 1941.
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 183 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.