121.866A/302

The President’s Personal Representative to Pope Pius XII ( Taylor ) to the Cardinal Secretary of State ( Maglione )

My Dear Cardinal Maglione: I have the honor to bring to the attention of Your Eminence the following memorandum which has been received from my Government:

“The following was received from the Geneva Office of the Jewish Agency for Palestine in a letter dated August 30th, 1942. That office received the report from two reliable eye-witnesses (Aryans), one of whom came on August 14th from Poland.

  • “(1) Liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto is taking place. Without any distinction all Jews, irrespective of age or sex, are being removed from the Ghetto in groups and shot. Their corpses are utilized for making fats and their bones for the manufacture of fertilizer. Corpses are even being exhumed for these purposes.
  • “(2) These mass executions take place, not in Warsaw, but in especially prepared camps for the purpose, one of which is stated to be in Belzek. About 50,000 Jews have been executed in Lemberg itself on the spot during the past month. According to another report, 100,000 have been massacred in Warsaw. There is not one Jew left in the entire district east of Poland, including occupied Russia, It is also reported, in this connection, that the entire non-Jewish population of Sebastopol was murdered. So as not to attract the attention of foreign countries, the butchering of the Jewish population in Poland was not done at one single time.
  • “(3) Jews deported from Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, and Slovakia are sent to be butchered, while Aryans deported to the East from Holland and France are genuinely used for work.
  • “(4) Inasmuch as butchering of this kind would attract great attention in the west, they must first of all deport them to the East, where less opportunity is afforded to outsiders of knowing what is going on. During the last few weeks a large part of the Jewish population deported to Lithuania and Lublin has already been executed. That is probably the reason why the deportees were not permitted to have correspondence with any one. A great number of the German refugees were taken to Theresienstadt. This place, however, is only an interim station and the people there await the same fate.
  • “(5) Arrangements are made for new deportations as soon as space is made by executions. Caravans of such deportees being transported in cattle cars are often seen. There are about forty people in each cattle car. It is especially significant to note that Lithuanian non-Jews are entrusted with fetching the candidates from the death Ghetto in Warsaw.
  • “(6) It is a tragedy that the Polish population is being incited by the Germans against the Jews and the relationship between the Poles and the Jews has been aggravated to the last degree. In Lemberg this is particularly true.”

I should much appreciate it if Your Eminence could inform me whether the Vatican has any information that would tend to confirm the reports contained in this memorandum. If so, I should like to know whether the Holy Father has any suggestions as to any practical manner in which the forces of civilized public opinion could be utilized in order to prevent a continuation of these barbarities.

I avail [etc.]

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Taylor
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