Chaim Kapłan’s Diary

A new series of suffering and torment has begun as draconian rules.

Wide 27 marca 1

A new series of suffering and torment has begun as draconian rules — in connection with eliminating an epidemic of infectious diseases — were made. This time the Jews have suffered twice as much. A house where a case of infectious disease is reported is isolated for a period of 2 weeks, and then disinfection is conducted there. It is not ordinary disinfection, whose purpose is complete destruction of bacteria, but it is special disinfection as it destroys all appliances, bedclothes, pieces of underwear etc. [...] After disinfection of the flat, the residents have to immediately go to the bath house, where peculiar torment is awaiting them. Women have their hair cut and men — beards. After disinfection, clothing turns into rags, which are impossible to be put on. Bath in the bath house takes place in groups of 100 people and it lasts from 15 to 20 hours. [...] As a result, you get sick and tired of life. Some Jews have a solution even for that. Money does the trick, and it has nothing to do with an ordinary bribe. [...] Admittedly, certificates are personal, but to the bath house they send, for a small fee (5zl), substitutes. And so a new source of income was created.

Chaim Kapłan, 27th March, 1940, Warsaw

Ch. Kapłan, “The Chronicle of Life”, JHI’s Bulletin no. 1–2, 1963; part 2 no. 2, 1964; diary from JHI’s collections; Translated from Hebrew by A. Rutkowski and A. Wein

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