The Office of the Commissar for the Jewish quarter was set up by order of the Governor General of April 19, 1941 (V.Bl.G.G., p. 211). Any report on the activities of this Office can therefore only begin from this date. But in the following a short account will be given of the development of the Jewish quarter in Warsaw.
From the beginning of the German Administration in Warsaw the idea arose inevitably, owing to the great number of Jews there, that they should be concentrated in a Jewish area of residence. The most important reason was, first of all, the desire to isolate the Jews from the Aryan world on general political and ideological grounds. In practice there were grave requirements in the fields of health and economy....
The general situation in the Jewish quarter has up to now given no cause for anxiety. Even the beginning of the war with Russia and the introduction of the blackout did not change this.
The three most important problems in connection with the Jewish quarter were, and are, the food situation, health and the economy.
The situation as regards food and health is closely linked. A sudden leap in the number of deaths in May of this year indicates that the food shortage had turned into starvation. The food supply was thus revealed as the most urgent task. [The aim] was first of all to improve nutrition by means of popular soup-kitchens, increasing both nutritional values and the number of food portions supplied. This improvement succeeded in large measure, as may be seen from the following figures: the number of food portions distributed daily by the Jewish Social Self-Help less than 30,000 recently was raised to about 50,000 by the end of May of this year, and to about 115,000 by June; in July and August it was maintained at about 120,000. This was done with the aid of special allocations. These special allocations included, in the period May through August of this year, altogether 170 tons oats, 125 tons rye flour, 20,000 kgs. sugar, 24,000 kgs. [cooking] oil, 100,000 kgs. bread, 10,000 kgs. meat and some other supplies.
Nevertheless the quantity of legally supplied foodstuffs is far from enough to counter the acute starvation in the Jewish quarter effectively. The quantity of legally supplied foodstuffs is far from enough to counter the acute starvation in the Jewish quarter effectively. The quantity of foodstuffs smuggled into the Jewish quarter is not small, but owing to the high cost it is available only to the wealthier section of the Jews. If there is to be any successful large-scale exploitation of Jewish labor, it will be necessary to increase their food supply considerably.
The increase in the food supply described above was insufficient to stop the rise in the number of deaths resulting from the generally wretched condition of the Jews since the beginning of the war. The following figures give an impressive picture of the number of deaths:
January 1941 898 May 1941 3,821
February 1941 1,023 June 1941 4,290
March 1941 1,608 July 1941 5,550
April 1941 2,061 August 1941 5,560
It is seen that in August, for the first time, mortality remains unchanged at the level of the previous month. Improved nutrition appears now to be having its effect. This is confirmed by the preliminary figures for September, which indicate that the total for this month will scarcely exceed the figure for each of the past two months.
Another reason for the increase in deaths is the increase of typhus in the Jewish quarter. Despite energetic efforts to fight the typhus, the number of cases has risen steadily. Since July of this year the number of cases of typhus reported every week has remained fairly steady. They range from 320 to 450 new cases. The last figure for a month (August), at 1,788, is only slightly higher than the figure for the previous month at 1,736 cases....
Eksterminacja, pp. 129-132.