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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 167 
A German military train bound for Poland at the outbreak of the war bears an inscription that reads, "We are traveling to Poland to thrash the Jews." With 3.3 million Jews residing in Poland, Nazi plans for the racial reordering of Europe were put to their first major test. Rapid military victories were followed by massive relocations of Polish gentiles and Jews. Jews were concentrated in urban centers and placed under the authority of the SS. The process of ghettoization was an important step in the future destruction of Polish Jewry.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Orthodox Jews in Poland were pressed into service once the war with Germany began. Unlike in Western and Central Europe, where most Jews were highly acculturated and difficult to distinguish from their fellow countrymen, many Jews of Eastern Europe were readily identifiable by virtue of their traditional garb and use of Yiddish, the vernacular language of East European Jewry. The two bearded men in the foreground wear clothing typical of Poland's Orthodox Jews.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
German troops and Polish civilians stand on the outskirts of Warsaw as smoke rises from the burning city. The German ground invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, was accompanied by an extensive aerial campaign that decimated Warsaw and other Polish cities. Although the Poles fought valiantly against the invading Germans, the Polish Army was no match for Hitler's finely tuned military machine. The Nazis threw 1.5 million men against a Polish Army that was outnumbered three to one and unprepared to defend against the lightning-fast pincers movements that were executed by Nazi armor and ground forces.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
 August 25, 1939: The Anglo-Polish Alliance is signed, by which Great Britain will assist Poland should Poland become the victim of aggression.
 August 27, 1939: The German economy shifts to a wartime footing. The Nazi government issues restrictive Lebensmittelkarten (ration cards) to Gypsies and resident aliens within the borders of the Reich. Ration cards for Jews restrict the holders to a starvation diet of 200 to 300 calories per day.
 August 30, 1939: Because of a protracted shooting schedule in New York, popular Polish-Jewish film stars Leon Liebgold and Lili Liliana miss their ship back to Poland two days before the Nazi invasion of their homeland. The couple remains in New York.
 August 31, 1939: Sixty German-Jewish children are shepherded by train and boat through Holland to safety in the British port city of Harwich.
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 167 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.