The deportations of the Jews of Schneidemühl  —  a synopsis
(Copyrighted material)

Drawing on hitherto ignored archival material (Cf. file 75 C Re1, No. 483, Bundesarchiv Berlin, and USHMM Archives: RG-14.003M; Acc. 1993.A.059), it is evident that deportations of all Jews from the Gau were primarily planned on orders of Franz Schwede-Coburg, the notorious Gauleiter of Pomerania, in cahoots with several Nazi authorities of Schneidemühl. The Gauleiter’s personal goal was to be the first in the Reich to declare his Gau Judenrein — cleansed of Jews. [Cf. Trial of Adolf Eichmann, doc. No. 795]

Thus on Wednesday, 21 February 1940 — merely one week after the Stettin deportations — one hundred and sixty Jews were arrested in Schneidemühl, while mass arrests of Jews took place concurrently within an 80 km radius of Schneidemühl. Those rounded up ranged from two-year-old children to ninety-year-old men. Surviving documents give a grim account of the subsequent Odyssey of those arrested.

By then it had been decreed in Berlin that the victims of the round-up should not be sent to Poland but be kept within the so-called Altreich, i.e. within Germany's borders of 1937.

Over the following eighteen months most of the arrested became ensnared in the Nazi's maw — on a journey of terminal despair.

Only one young woman from Schneidemühl survived the hell of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the death marches of mid-January 1945.

For a detailed account of the above incident — please refer to the relevant chapter in the recently published book
History of the Jewish Community of Schneidemühl: 1641 to the Holocaust