Letters from Zbaszyn
On October 27, 1938, German authorities began to round up Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany; around 17,000 were taken to the Polish border and concentrated near the towns of Bytom and Zbaszyn. On October 31, the Polish authorities decided to prevent Jews from leaving the area, hoping to exert pressure on Germany to take them back. The local inhabitants, the Polish Red Cross, the Joint, and a Polish Jewish committee organized relief measures. When negotiations with Germany dragged on, the Jews were gradually released. In January 1939, an agreement was reached to allow deportees to return to Germany to settle their affairs. An English translation of the correspondence of members of the Schiffmann family dating from May 1939 to December 1940, relating their troubles are now in the Yad Vashem archives, including facsimiles of postcards (pp. 296-311). Their fates are unknown.