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Germans search Jews for weapons

German personnel on Grzybowska Street arrest and search Jewish men who supposedly hid weapons prior to the German occupation of Warsaw.  Warsaw, Poland, October-December 1939.

This is one of a series of photos taken by Arthur Grimm, an SS propaganda company photographer, documenting the investigative work of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) in occupied Warsaw for the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. Although only some of the photos were published, it is likely that the incidents depicted in the BIZ were staged for propaganda purposes, even despite the fact that the SD did indeed conduct searches for weapons in Polish cities during the first months of the German occupation. According to Grimm's report, a Polish man informed the SD that Jews had hidden weapons. Several (4 to 6) men were then arrested and supposedly confessed to burying weapons in the grave of a Polish soldier. Four Jews were subsequently brought to the site of the grave and forced to dig up the weapons. Afterwards, their beards were publicly shorn and the "suspects" were made to stand trial before a German judge.


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  • Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

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SS men search Jews for weapons. Warsaw, Poland, October or November 1939. [LCID: 46185a]