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Figure 2. Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Flow control was also intrinsic to the consolidation of the industrial revolution as it aided the shift from cottage industries to factory production in British manufacturing.
In the eighteenth century, rivers became canals whose liquid infrastructure served to transport raw materials to mills and commodities to marketplaces. Inside the mills, water powered mechanised production and quite literally marked capitalist time. An early nineteenth century double-dialled clock used at Park Green Silk Mill in Macclesfeld exemplifes how water and hydraulic systems installed a temporal regime that optimised the extraction of labour from employees and with it the production of capital Figure 2.
Hartley, Macclesfeld, From the emancipatory processes of the nineteenth century up to the present, the strategic economic importance of hydropower and mining means that water remains central to the articulation of linear trajectories that present resource extraction as the best route to development. Martin Heidegger parsed its philosophical, material, and aesthetic dimensions in his discussion of German hydroelectric infrastructure, where he described how through modern technology the energy concealed in nature is unlocked, what is unlocked is transformed, what is transformed is stored up, what is stored up is, in turn, distributed, and what is distributed is switched about ever anew.
Unlocking, transforming, storing, distributing, and switching about are ways of revealing. The spectacular scale of 18 Lisa Blackmore dams evidently speaks to human mastery over nature but also displays a dark underbelly, since their construction entails modes of dispossession and spatial amnesia. The rising waters that create artifcial bodies of water that serve hydropower and industrial plants literally engulf cultural experiences of time and economic processes that do not synchronise with modernity.
As the recent infrastructural turn in cultural anthropology has shown, they are poetic and aesthetic phenomena, loaded with complex cultural meanings, temporal imaginaries, and contested affective, phenomenological, and sensorial valences. Rivers inscribe histories that challenge human comprehension; this is evident in the Orinoco Basin: Two billion years ago, great rivers fowed across this part of what we now call South America, meandering, fooding, constantly changing their routes, just as the Amazon and the Orinoco do today.
And, as rivers always have, they carried with them huge cargoes of sand, travelling hopefully, born from the disintegrating rocks of ancient mountains long since subdued and fattened. Again, the Orinoco Basin exemplifes this eloquently. As well as exemplifying the impacts of extractivism on river basins, the Orinoco Basin is a unique case study of how art dialogues with the temporal regimes of resource imaginations.
Although predominantly an oil economy, from the s onwards the Venezuelan state, with foreign investment and World Bank funding, established a new hub of resource extraction and steel production in Guayana. Completed in , the frst stage of Guri comprised a meter long, meter high dam and a 1, megawatt capacity powerhouse. From till , further construction increased the dam by almost 60 meters in height and almost doubled it in length.
This high modernist project engendered a resource imagination that framed the feats of industrialisation as a reordering of deep geological time, where a landscape steeped in myth was incorporated into modernity. The state disseminated this account in audiovisual and print media, among which the publication Art in Guri is emblematic. Departing from this remote territory, the visual narrative continues with photographs of the national grid that serve to illustrate how the energy that pulses through electric infrastructure connects territory and social body to the tempo of modernity.
These two artists were leading proponents of cinetismo, the kinetic art movement that, along with geometric abstraction, was in the ascendant in Venezuelan art from the mid-twentieth century onwards, lauded by critics as a leap into the future that put the country on a par with metropolitan centres of modern art. In the second, the Mural de color aditivo Additive colour wall lined the building with a metre long and 28 metre wide section of multicoloured stripes, some with black metal sheets in relief.
At one end of the hall, the wall was covered by the Chromosaturation, a large panel whose bulb lamp would change colour from red to green, then to blue, when visitors on the mezzanine level opposite pressed a button. The works did not represent the river but rather evoked its passage through the turbines through the spliced lines of colour that generate their own vibrational feld as they unfurl along the engine room walls.
Alejandro Otero designed his intervention for a site outside the turbine rooms, next to the embankment wall. His kinetic sculpture, Torre solar Solar Tower, Figure 2. The structure was clad in 57 tonnes of melted steel—an homage to one of the main industries in the Ciudad Guayana extraction and manufacturing hub. Like those buried in the engine rooms, the Torre solar is also a turbine, but one spun by air, whose blades refect the changing colours of the sky as they rotate like an earthbound satellite.
Boulton, in his commentary on the commissioned works in Art in Guri, replays this historiographical narrative, insisting throughout the book on the parity between progress in hydropower and art. Its poetic function is to exalt human dominance of nonhuman matter through the vast scale of its construction and constant generation of energy.
The site-specifc artworks commissioned for the hydroelectric plant were to amplify this poetic function. However, it is important to consider whether they might be read otherwise, not so much as complements to the narrative where hydropower and kinetic art symbolise the colonisation of nature but as openings onto ecological thinking, where non-human forces whose deep geological times and meteorological rhythms percolate the industrial present to create vibrant assemblages that are less stable in their cultural meanings.
In recent years, Venezuela has been subsumed in regular and protracted blackouts. These interruptions in its infrastructural circuitry, caused in by unprecedented droughts and in by breakdowns in the grid, alter the temporal regime of modernity, manifesting rendings in the resource imagination of hydropower. His method of splitting form fraccionar la forma breaks down colour into component parts that are reassembled through embodiment as the viewer moves past them. Whereas colour is usually perceived as a stable phenomenon, the spliced lines of colour in the Muro aditivo are full of rendings that create a vibrating, and thus unstable, chromatic feld.
Hydroelectric production is premised on smooth and constant fows, but both they and the polychromatic murals are open to more syncopated rhythms. Similarly, the viewer does not necessarily move past the murals in a single, fuid movement.
If we imagine a body moving past the murals, stopping and starting along the linear trajectory of the turbine hall, this stuttering motion interrupts the fuid generation of vibrating colour, creating Turbulent River Times 23 rendings in constant fow where the chromatic environment opens to other temporal experiences of inertia and stasis.
In short, imagining the rendings in constant fow produced by altered fow patterns of bodies of water, on one hand, and errant bodies, on the other, can go some way to de-stabilising the dominant imaginations of Guri and the Chomatic Environments. Moving beyond the monumental images of hydropower infrastructure by attending to these rendings opens cracks through which stuttering fows of water, time and colour re-emerge as turbulences that ultimately unhinge the anthropocentric paradigms of time that subtend hydropower.
However, this lithospheric dialogue might also be viewed as a reminder of the vast rending that separates the expansive geohistory of the Gran Sabana from the recent past of human extraction of its resources. Even so, the artist expressed keen interest in the ways non-human forces enlivened and coproduced his works.
In this opening to the formlessness of wind, the artwork participates in a temporality that is radically different from the metrics of harnessed fows that underpin the modern project. Turbulent and eddying rivers inspired the late French thinker Michel Serres to move beyond the linear paradigm that informs scientifc thought and historicism.
Drawing on sensorial attunement, fuid dynamics and the critique of modern reason, through his work he explored turbulence as a recurrent and multi-valent fgure of thought, positing it as a material imagination of water, temporal framework, counter-epistemology to Western reason, and methodology for exploring fuid interchanges between knowledge disciplines. If geometry is a set of fxed marks that designate precise distances and proximities, topology is a spatio-temporal disorder of nearness and rifts where the predominance of sight gives way to tactile experience.
Thinking about water topologically might also evoke an epistemological delta where the indigenous mythologies that enliven the great river basins of Latin America and, of course, North America percolate the colonised fows of industrialised rivers with more-than-human forces. This occurs in Amazonian cosmology, where water is Yacumama from the Quechua yaku, for water, and mama, for mother , a deity that protects water sources.
In southern Colombia, the same river serpent form is a life-creating force associated with the Milky Way. Polychronic bodies of water are rich in affective and communal attachments but also typcially rife with political struggle and violence, especially as dam building advances apace and transnational corporations and national governments disseminate public relations campaigns that posit extractive industries and hydraulic technologies as incontrovertible motors of economic development.
Rivers are the veins of the planet, their waters associate communities and ecosystems. A geochoreography is a psychosocial space, performed by the body, individual or collective, being fully aware of the relationship with its environment. A geochoreography aesthetically imprints a living image on the landscape, producing an expansive motion of the body and its location. Expanding the body helps to avert fear, and to counter physical and psychological displacement. Disputing the developmentalist discourse supporting dam building projects, which uses metrics of hydrology and demography to fatten and commodify rivers, this publication is comprised topologically, gathering diverse and polychronic voices, geographies, and histories in the pleats of time as folds that can be activated by the body.
Ostensibly, the book is structured according to a linear logic of time and hydrology, since its component parts trace the river not any single river from its sources, through its upper, middle and lower courses, down to the delta where it meets other bodies of water.
We need the other to exist. This means neither temporal nor hydrological linearity are fxed but are constantly negotiated through the embodied experience of reading and manipulating the object. For Serres, topology is fun, instructive, and has a strong infuence on intuition. More intuitively, this time can be schematized by a kind of crumpling, a multiple, foldable diversity. Activated in workshops and assemblies of community groups affected by dam building Figure 2.
Source: Image courtesy the artist. Source: Image courtesy of the artist. You can play with the foldouts to build different fows and current. Polychronic Rivers Rivers of mud washing away vehicles and homes. Water gushing from burst diversion pipes. Mountains of viscous tailings erupting from embankment walls. Multitudinous funeral marches to protest the murder of anti-dam activists. Half a century after the peak of megadam construction, the resource imaginations surrounding hydropower and hydraulic technologies are fooded by catastrophic failure, climate disaster, civic resistance, and indigenous knowledges.
Tracing this historical framework also exposes the infrastructural, visual, and discursive apparatuses that subtend dominant resource imaginations through different periods of industrial history, which have sought to justify the harnessing of liquid fows to synchronise them with the prospect of development and the tempo of modernity.
Art-making has long been imbricated in the formulation of resource imaginations of hydropower, but its role in these dynamics is by no means foreclosed, since artworks too are fuid in their cultural meanings. This would be too simplistic.
To understand the outsize kinetic artworks at Guri merely as scenographic representations of ceaseless fow renders them nothing more than fxed mirrors to the triumphalist rhetoric of hydroelectric infrastructure. It also involves moving beyond critiques of this modernist framing of the kinetic artworks at Guri to avoid enclosing the poeisis of these artworks and the infrastructure in which they are embedded to the context of their production.
Their own material and symbolic existence within an infrastructural artefact that is ageing and malfunctioning reframes them in more urgent terms. Revisiting kinetics through ecocritical perspectives also renders more fexible the practice of art history, attuning it to the ecological challenges of a hydrological present whose patterns are becoming erratic and demand readiness for the unpredictable events that shape contemporary economic, political, and literal climates.
In their self-awareness of the political and economic regimes that shape contemporary extractive zones, her works reveal the fows of the transnational capital that fund megadam projects and the national policies that seek rent capture by commodifying the territories, confronting them with the lives and voices of communities whose coexistence with rivers often predates colonial and republican states alike and proposes sustainable modes of dwelling that do not harm them.
In so doing, she renders art-making an engaged platform through which to contribute to the shaping of a world in which alternate river times and modes of dwelling are not occluded from the public imagination but emerge as part of a complex topology. What is clear from the analyses developed here is that art calls into question anthropocentric epistemologies that continue to assert human mastery of nature even in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
In a liquid ecological perspective, rivers are a mingling of epistemologies where the human and non-human converge amid climatic, infrastructural, economic, socio-political, and cultural forces in constant fux. They bear in the sediments of time a vast geohistory that serves as material reminder that human life is feeting but that even so it holds a capacity to change planetary existence, generating violent encounters and collective gatherings.
When operating in this context, art has an powerful potential to encourage sensitivity to ecological issues. At best, it might even inspire the cultivation of water cultures that foster the well-being of human and non-human lives. Turbulent River Times 31 Notes 1. Elizabeth Emma Ferry and Mandana E. The principal proponents were Julian Steward et al. Ferry and Limbert, Timely Assets, 6.
Welland, Sand, Industries included diamond and gold mining, and the iron, steel, and aluminum industries at that point still managed mainly by US companies. See David E. Boulton, Art in Guri, Didi-Huberman, Confronting Images, Emphasis added. Serres, The Five Senses, Serres and Latour, Conversations, Nixon, Slow Violence, Carolina Caycedo, interview with the author, 28 September Mirzoeff, The Right to Look.
Caycedo, interview with the author, 28 September Serres, Conversations, Turbulent River Times 33 Bachelard, Gaston. Zurich: diaphanes, Boulton, Alfredo. Art in Guri. Caracas: Ediciones Macanao, Caycedo, Carolina. MFA diss. University of Southern California, Correa, Felipe.
Austin: University of Texas Press, Crary, Jonathon. London: Verso, Didi-Huberman, Georges. Minneapolis: Univocal, Translated by John Goodman. Ferry, Elizabeth Emma and Mandana E. Timely Assets. Flemming, Sean. Gandy, Matthew. The Fabric of Space. Guevara, Roberto. Arte para una nueva escala. Caracas: Maraven S.
Harvey, David. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, Heidegger, Martin. Translated by William Lovitt, 3— Josephson, Paul. Washington: Island Press, Kohn, Eduardo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Leslie, Jacques. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, McCulley, Patrick. Mirzoeff, Nicholas. Moore, Jason. Capitalism and the Web of Life. Niemark, Anna. Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, American Technological Sublime.
Opel, Andy and Vandana Shiva. Otero, Alejandro. Serres, Michel. Translated by Margaret Sankey and Peter Cowley. London: Bloomsbury, Serres, Michel and Bruno Latour. Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time. Translated by Roxanne Lapidux. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Steward, Julian. Irrigation Civilizations: A Comparative Study. Swyngedouw, Eric. Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo. Waters, Colin and Jan Zalasiewicz. London: Elsevier, Welland, Michael.
Sand: The Never-Ending Story. Berkeley: University of California Press, White, Richard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, By understanding liquids as ontological materials, this chapter addresses the memory work by a series of contemporary artworks that are critical ecologies. The artworks brought together in this chapter, I will argue, interrupt these silences and omissions as they use liquids against the obliteration of a social crisis, deeply entangled with the violent man-made transformation of landscapes.
The chapter further discusses the use of liquids and bodies of water in these artworks as a media-refexive dimension of art, mirroring a long engagement in Latin American and Caribbean arts with fuidity and liquidity as cultural metaphors that ground new analytical terrains. In her latest, site-specifc installation, Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits, Campos-Pons examines the Cuban sugar trade, offering a material and architectural inquiry into the Atlantic passage, the industrial landscape, and its ruins, recreating the material transformations of the landscape through sugar and rum distillation.
Echeverri has worked on diverse forms of violence related to the Colombian armed confict, specifcally forced disappearance. She stages the river in her audio-visual work to visibilize it as a place of burial and death and, signifcantly, as a counter-memory against the lacunae of Colombian historiography and its silences.
Campos-Pons reconnects the ocean with the sugar industry and Echeverri renarrates the agency of the river against the backdrop of modern mega-infrastructural river dams, entangled with ruins and processes of ruination of a present past.
Art has the capacity, they suggest, to reveal and make perceptible the psychic and material sedimentations of forms of violence and thus the economic history that often lies behind them. Their interventions refect a new sensibility to engage various contexts for the understanding of fuids and liquids as ontological materials that are bound to the material histories of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The chapter adopts a theoretical perspective to engage with the use of liquids and, in particular, water in these artworks and to connect them to the discursive depth that liquidity has experienced in recent discussion. First, I adopt the notion of performance elaborated by performance scholar and Latin Americanist Diana Taylor. Echeverri explores this continuity of knowledge in the forms of mourning and loss as lived experiences of the Colombian armed confict through the psychic and material impacts on the river, the main performative element in her audio-visual installations, inquiring into the memory work of the waters of Colombian rivers.
Campos-Pons, for her part, productively uses performance as an aesthetic practice to make tangible the submerged gestures of violence of the slave trade that embody the ephemeral materiality of memory work. With her performance work Agridulce Bittersweet , making herself present as an artist in her installation in Salem, she consciously employs performance to reenact what remains, anchoring this bodily knowledge of resistance in a time of cultural memory. Second, I wish to bring together this understanding of performance with the perspective of the posthuman feminist phenomenology that helps sharpen my discussion on liquid ecologies and the conceptualization of liquids as ontological material.
With Bodies of Water, the cultural studies scholar Astrida Neimanis laid the ground to reorient the discussion on water as perceived through the female body towards a more analytical framework of water as an inherent perspective of human and non-human relationships. Acts of Remaining 37 Adopting a phenomenological perspective means to recognize corporeity Leiblichkeit as central to the perception of the world and meaning in human time and experience, as sustained in the earlier works by the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and, I wish to add, memory.
Further, the idea of corporeity refers to the body corps propre as a condition of experience and constitutive dimension of the perception of the world that lays the ground for an embodiment of a feminist consciousness. Expanding on the posthuman feminist phenomenological perspective, it becomes urgent to reread the work of Campos-Pons, as it critically reconfgures various bodies of liquids that bind together the ocean water of the Atlantic passage with the bodies of the slave trade, her refection on the embodiment of water, as materialized in her work Everything is separated by water Accordingly, unfolding the ecocritical engagement of both artists by discussing fuids and liquids, as used as ontological materials in their art practices, I also aim to work out how they contest on a meta-level the forgotten history of the landscapes to which their artworks irreducibly relate.
Liquids and bodies of water thus become counter-narratives of these neglected and omitted histories of the social crisis and the embedded imperial debris revisited in a subtle, critical way by both artists. They contour a neglected discussion delving into the violent transformations of environment and personhood against the backdrop of the modern capitalist production of space.
Its frst materialization was with her early mixed-media relief Everything is separated by water, including my brain, my heart, my sex, my house Acts of Remaining 39 In her recent installation Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits, Campos-Pons works with constellations of sugar using various materials to relate to the landscape of Cuba and her childhood experience there, to the rusty industrial architecture of the former sugar mills, to the transformation processes of rum distillation and of the packing and shipping of sugar.
This allegory of material transformation of landscape and personhood through sugar is not at all trivial. The installation was shown at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, in , a place deeply interwoven with the sugar industry and the hidden history of the slave trade, which later becomes an important place for rum distillery.
Mimicking the industrial-looking, now ruined landscape of Cuba with the architecture of sugar refneries, Campos-Pons not only connects the island with the area of Salem and the rum distillery but also evokes the psychic ruins and processes of ruination and how the sugar industry impacted on the degradation of landscapes and personhood. In her installation, the materiality of this landscape is transformed into elliptical bulbous glass and tubular glass sculptures combined with steel elements as a resilient industrial material in luminescent colors ranging from a purplish brown and oceanic blue to a dark bottle green and transparent golden yellow or beige Plate Campos-Pons unfolds liquids as formless and ephemeral materials.
They reshape a sacred aura inscribed into the spirits of the Yoruba gods and goddesses, who are also materialized in the diverse range of colors in this specifc installation, which embeds a cultural resistance and a counter-narrative to the violent history of slavery.
The color blue, embodied in the glass tubes Figure 3. Further, the color certainly reconnects to both themes of bodies of water, ocean water, but also the laboring bodies of slavery. Everything is separated by water foretold how water is related in particular to the female body. Source: Photo by Peter Vanderwarker. Figure 3. Acts of Remaining 41 the Afro-Cuban diaspora. The meaning of alchemy and elixir refers to this mythical depth and sacred realm where liquids are cultural substances in these religious and ritual practices that challenge the space of modernity projected by an ever-expanding capitalism spurred by the sugar industry and the slave trade.
I argue that the use of liquids, as performed in the works by Campos-Pons, makes of water and alcohol ontological materials to refect on the relationship between the vulnerable body and the world and to refect on memory as an ephemeral and haunting form of being. This is especially problematized in both the installation and the recurrent real performance by the artist that accompanies this site-specifc installation.
Zavala reminds us that the use of the performance by Campos-Pons calls to mind the ways that artists of color must negotiate the contexts within which their work is shown. Source: Photo by Stephen Petegorsky. In the way she recreates, with this latest installation, a complex body of smells and colors, sounds and surfaces, she refects on the modern materialities and technologies of the sugar production and rum distillery that have become the memory of the landscape.
Her work, through the suggestive use of liquids, has created evocative soundscapes that relate to modern time and the rhythm of industrial architecture such as the sugar mill. But she never demands a confrontational engagement with the cruelty of the slave trade and sugar production of past centuries. Liquids such as water and rum are thus mobilized here as ontological materials as they embody the visceral history and memory of this violent transformations of landscape and personhood against a spatial amnesia, inasmuch as these sites of sugar production and its ruins, both in New England and on the island of Cuba, largely remain forgotten.
Contested Waters: The River as Memory Work From a different perspective and in particular from within the perception of the body of fuvial water, the Colombian artist Clemencia Echeverri has worked since the mids on the psychic and material sedimentations of the slow history of violence and the impact of economic development on the Colombian river landscape.
The psychic and material impact of diverse forms of violence that shaped the experience and reality of Colombia in the s has been thematized since the return of Echeverri to her home country in the late s, particularly in her video art and installations. With the piece set up as a video installation, with two or more simultaneous video projections, Echeverri stages the river as both powerful material and protagonist to remember and mourn the losses resulting from political and environmental violence.
Art actively transforms facts into past; it produces the very experience of their passing by and consequently interrupts their immutability. Thus, by means of art and yet within its boundaries, the past appears ungraspable and mutable, it appears as what the present will never be able to store and keep to itself.
Nonetheless, and precisely for this reason, the past—in its ungraspable form—proffers new possibilities of comprehension. Therefore, art neither resolves nor leaves what has happened behind; it does, however, clear a different pathway for remembrance by revisiting the past, by accompanying its loss, and by mourning it.
The forces of the torrent run into a vortex, growing inside us and presently cropping up into the surface. Human voices draw echoes in that density. Echeverri is one of a number of contemporary artists who have started to work explicitly on the Colombian armed confict and specifcally on the form of violence that is forced disappearance. The river Cauca, which is present in many of her audiovisual works, is one of the deadly rivers of the Colombian fuvial landscapes, embodying many nameless corpses, making it the river of burial and death.
Suddenly, in this video work, the currents of the river throw up a shirt or trousers that become the only evidence of a human body, caught by someone, who in this act, next to the river, is the only witness who mourns the lost body in the form of a fuvial funeral rite. The installation invites us as spectator to participate in the act of waiting and searching in the dark black river water that offers a testimony, carrying the clothing forward in its streams. In this fragility of disappearance, the river water contests a landscape that buried countless disappeared bodies while witnessing their absence in a moment of embracing their memory of a past presence.
Furthermore, in her installation, water and bodies of water are burial places to become the materials of mourning and for mourning practices and thus a resistance to oblivion. The river water thus materializes these archaic ritual practices while embedding them into human time. As liquid, the material of water not only appeals to this profound symbolic function but also makes us participate through the sensorial realm of the body.
As body of water expanding the perception of human time, the river that mourns seems to give meaning to death if at all possible and thus becomes part of a profound human experience. Echeverri seems to suggest with this installation that corporeity, here both of the river and the human body, becomes the constitutive dimension of the experience and perception of the world and its past. In this audio-visual work, she materializes through the echoing of the water and the voices calling out the names of the disappeared, the psychic and material sedimentations of violence, suggesting in the form of a funeral song a last journey, an intimacy, as well as the possibility of mourning the disappeared, whose bodies often never surface or reappear.
In the way the river binds its knowledge to memory and thus the history of violence of disappearance, the artwork gains a performative character. Performance genealogies draw on the idea of expressive movements made and remembered by bodies, residual movements retained implicitly in images or words or in silences between them , and imaginary movements dreamed in minds not prior to language but constitutive of it, Taylor argues.
Yet as a speech act it works on the embodied gestures of a possible mourning, an embodiment the river performs against the silences. As ontological material in this sense, the river becomes the memory of the landscape related to the embedded history of violence. Yet this time the dark black river beginning as torrential water bursts into the space of the spectator, and along the evolution of the work it becomes smooth, seeming to have mutated into dead water full of wooden logs and all sorts Acts of Remaining 47 Figure 3.
Source: Photo by estudio C. The video installation seems to foretell Colombian waters and fuidities, its liquid ecologies that are part of the slow violence witnessed by the country and its landscapes. In this installation, this river can also become a cadaver that does not leave space for any more mourning. Liquid Ecologies and Embodied History I have shown how Campos-Pons and Echeverri foreground situations of political and environmental confict contouring a social crisis of the present past through their art interventions by using the medium of liquids and water in a subtle critical way.
Using liquids and specifcally water as a material signifer while inquiring into its nature as an ontological material, the artists unfold liquid ecologies as critical entanglements of humans, non-humans, and the environment, against a background of cultural memory in the Americas with its latencies and eruptions, resiliences and omissions.
Their work, which I understand as performative acts, makes available past and present environments in the form of resistance, remembrance, and renovations allowing for new semantic situations and alternative horizons to contest the complex history of environmental violence, tracing it back to political and economic forms of confict. Acts of Remaining 49 Campos-Pons, for her part, argues for an interactional and contra-punctual constitution of cultural identities and memories.
In their works they both embody gestures of witnessing against forgetting, and thus they establish an intimate but powerful relationship with the oceanic and fuvial landscapes respectively. She writes: When we approach performance not as that which disappears as the archive experts , but as both the act of remaining and a means of reappearance.
As theories of trauma and repetition might instruct us, it is not presence that appears in the syncopated time of citational performance but precisely again the missed encounter—the reverberations of the overlooked, the missed, the repressed, the seemingly forgotten.
In doing so, she focuses not on language or its connotative contextual remnants but rather on the body-event and its multiple mediatization as a specifc historical archive. This means a radical reversal of perspective to not only study the corporal practices as forms of recording, preservation, and actualization of history but also to allow a refection on cultural phenomena in which culture as a space of mediation in an active act between body and body, and as a feld of a visceral and embodied history, becomes tangible.
Schneider in her analysis does not only conceive the event as performance as a form of documentation but also the gesture of the archiving itself as an event that succumbs to the order of the ephemeral yet is the constitutive part of memory.
As acts of remaining, these art interventions contest the long-lasting degradation and processes of ruination of landscapes and personhood, thus interrupting the forgotten and invisibilized histories of environmental violence with its embedded economic and political conficts. Neimanis, Bodies of Water, Ann Laura Stoler ed. We attempt to broach, albeit indirectly, a set of questions not often addressed: What conditions the possibilities by which some features of colonial relations remain more resilient, Acts of Remaining Lisa Freiman ed.
Freiman, Everything Is Separated by Water, Stoler, Imperial Debris, x. Also see the study by Flora M. Also see the discussion in the chapter by Gina Tarver in this present volume. Treno: Video and Photography Installation. Accessed October 17, Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire, 5. The way I see it, performance makes visible for an instant, live, now that which is always already there: the ghosts, the tropes, the scenarios that structure our individual and collective life.
These specters, made manifest through performance, alter future phantoms, future fantasies. Accessed January 13, Stoler, Imperial Debris, Resistencias al olvido: memoria y arte en Colombia. Alloa, Emmanuel and Adnen Jdey eds. Copeland, Huey. Enwezor, Okwui. Edited by Lisa Freiman, 64— New Haven: Yale University Press, Freiman, Lisa ed. Acts of Remaining 53 Neimanis, Astrida. Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology.
Saez de Ibarra, M. Sajewska, Dorota. Neue Realismen und Dokumentarismen in Philosophie und Kunst. Zurich: Diaphanes, Schneider, Rebecca. New York: Routledge, Stoler, Ann Laura ed. Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination. Taylor, Diana. Durham, London: Duke University Press, While conficts over access and possession of water are not new, then, it shows up today as a loaded terrain on which the struggle between new forms of extraction and counter-narratives to this process is played out.
If water poses a particular challenge in such struggles, it is due in part to its liquidity or, more accurately, to a mutability in form that goes beyond its liquid state. Some of these not only document the conficts but also stage the epistemological problematization of water that such conficts impel. By this I mean, following Michel Foucault, that the flms, as a form of thinking, take on the challenge presented to a previously settled distribution of the sensible and intelligible.
How do we factor in visuality when water is presented on screen? It also exemplifes the way attempts to represent conficts over water can depend on a certain stabilization and abstraction of water as a resource that can be contained and presented on screen. In both cases, and in contrast to Even the Rain, water is not abstracted as water so much as embodied in different forms on screen. What are the forms through which water is made intelligible, and how does water, in turn, inform social, economic, and political life?
Despite the widely differing use-values of all three, the terminology sets up an equivalent relation between water, oil, and gold. Not only do they thus have exchange-value, but the equivalence also casts oil and water as determinant of value in some way, just as gold once anchored the circulation of currency.
By pouring water into the logic of exchange and property, its relationship with confict becomes intelligible. In contrast to more commonly circulating notions of cultural relativism that assume a single world viewed in different ways where a stable world is ontologically prior , Viveiro de Castro argues that Amazonian epistemologies propose instead the coexistence of different worlds as a consequence of different perspectives.
But for us, people native to this place, boiled water gives diarrhea. Our bodies are different from your bodies. My point in citing Viveiros de Castro is to show that if dissent is taken far enough, the materiality of water—as a certain kind of thing in the world—cannot be presumed to function as an ultimate ground, anchoring the confict over water in a prior consensus, as the place or meaning assigned to such materiality may itself be open to dispute. An Expanse of Water 57 Still, even within a perspective that assumes the materiality of water as ground, the mutability of its material forms makes for slippery ground.
One approach is to fgure water as inhabiting, temporarily, a successive catalogue of forms: Eventually water, Having been possessed by every verb Been rush been drip been Geyser eddy fountain rapid drunk Evaporated frozen pissed Transpired—will fall Into itself and sit. Indeed naming water water abstracts it away from a body, turns it into the pure potentiality and restless motion in his poem so that its only persistent quality is its verb-ness.
What is named water seems formless until we perceive it temporarily at rest, falling into or becoming pond. At the same time, one might go further and notice that in the optics of science, water, the moment of liquidity, is itself a resting state for a molecular combination that has solid and gaseous forms. To call it water is to stabilize this combination in its fuid form; water can become steam, or ice, but is not yet. If naming water water gives it a resting place in liquidity—so it is not just a verb but an infnitive waiting to be conjugated— then it is halfway to form rather than formless, one stop within a predictable cycle.
Insofar as this fuidity is also conjugated in relationship to more stable and solid forms of embodiment, it is already a way of locating water. Water as nature appears as that fowing substance that culture may be mobilized to channel—think of canal locks, dams, and irrigation networks.
When posed against the apparent solidity of canal locks, fowing water fgures as a substance to be squeezed into human-determined forms. Note, however, that water-as-river is itself infrastructural: cutting through land, rivers divide it, and their length turns them into channels of mobility. The counter-point to a linear world where identities have a clear and distinct edge is an imagination anchored in what Da Cunha calls a rain terrain, a feld-like world where identities extend into one another for varying extents.
Against wetness, water is collected, located, given rest somewhere, even in drops, even in a cycle. It so happens that the moment they pick to flm their flm coincides with the water wars of This is only relevant to them, however, because Daniel, the Bolivian actor who plays the leader of indigenous resistance to the Spanish Empire, takes a leadership role in the water wars.
In this narrative, water enters essentially through a metaphorical structure: it works as a stand-in for the way the current inhabitants of Bolivia are treated as a natural resource An Expanse of Water 59 from which surplus value can be extracted by the global flm industry, just as international companies sought to extract surplus value from water.
Processes of privatization of water are not new—selling municipal water systems, fencing in access points to beaches—but what is marked with particular outrage is the expansion of such processes beyond water as stabilized even if temporarily in one container or another groundwater, river, lake into other parts of the water cycle to include water falling from the sky.
How can ownership be claimed of the rain? In a speech given by Daniel, he pushes this logic further to its seemingly absurd consequences: will they claim ownership of his tears, he asks the large crowed? His sweat? His response is that they will only get his piss. The movie projects therefore an expanded sense of water to include other scales and internal geographies—scaled up to include rain and down to include sweat and tears— but held together by the circulation of water from droplet to ocean, trickle to food, cup to lake.
The short flm is the product of a cultural exchange between Bolivia and Denmark and was written by eight Bolivian students as part of The Animation Workshop under the artistic direction of French cartoonist Denis Chapon. The plotline of the short follows the water-spirit who frst wanders and waters the land freely both cultivated lands but also landscapes with scarce human presence but is then captured, hooked into a factory, and forced to squeeze out water from her body including her tears in bottle form Figure 4.
This constriction of fow into certain ordered and proftable channels that pass strictly through a relation to the human causes drought to proliferate. Predictably, the situation is resolved by a giant storm and food she brings down upon the land that wash away the various forms of containment and allow her to wander freely again.
Embodying water differently in the short has a number of effects. Indeed, signifcantly, her body does not metonymically represent other delimited waterbodies no other water bodies like lakes or rivers appears in the flm but indexes a resting state in the circulation of water between ground and sky. Source: Abuela Grillo minutes Animation. Directed by Denis Chapon. Produced by Animation Workshop of Denmark. Outside pieces of her body follow her like supplements, so that she sometimes—but not always—trails clouds, rain, and snow.
This fuctuating externality of her body or instability of her body accompanies a certain unpredictability in the effects of her presence. In one early scene she is shown accidentally bringing a food upon a small village that had invited her to stay there temporarily.
Staying still—trying to stop the transformation and errancy of water or binding it to the human even if, in this frst instance, it is done in an open and generous way, with a gift of food to her and an invitation to stay —is coded as potentially dangerous. This embodiment also changes the kind of work visuality is made to perform as the medium in which the senses of water are delivered. Although Even the Rain turns a lens on the process of producing flms and the unequal power and labor structures subtending it, it does not question the visual form itself as a means of access.
Thus for Daniel to offer water as a gift seems to indicate forms of value that exceed the market economy. Insofar as the quantity of water is minimal it also exceeds any use-value. It is only a gift. At the same time, the presentation of yaku as embodied in the vial mirrors its stabilization as something that can be presented on screen.
In the frst shot of the sequence, the camera trains its focus on the vial of water being lifted out of a box; in the second moment, we are shown Costa holding up the vial and looking at it. In the third shot, as Costa says the word yaku, we are shown the eyes of the Bolivian taxi-driver who glances back at them and the vial in the rearview mirror: although we have no idea what he may think of the gift exchange, he is nonetheless brought in to participate in it visually.
If the vial of water bears a message that is decoded by eyes, a message whose circulation expands through a series of glances, the emphasis on the glances themselves suggest a reversal in priority. It is not so much that eyes are carriers of and thus subordinate to the message they carry but instead that the message and the vial function to reinforce the importance of the visual infrastructure that bears it.
In this way, I would argue, the drive to make water visible and to abstract it, as well as the way this is put in the service of buttressing visuality itself, mimics the very processes that the movie attempts to problematize. The body of grandmother-water, on the other hand, neither contains nor makes water visible in the same way.
Although we are sometimes given visual images of rain or foods onscreen in Abuela grillo, often we are also just given the body of the abuela herself, who stands in for water but where liquid water is not visible as such Figure 4. She both is and is not water. The disjunction remains. Figure 4. Through a series of interviews, the flm collects and archives testimonies of the existing relationships that will be severed when the dam goes into effect.
While the assorted voices we hear are sometimes superimposed on images of the river or surrounding region, when those speaking are shown it is often through a decentered perspective where either hands are shown instead of faces or where we see only the bottom half of the faces. Eyes, the exchange of looking that anchors face-to-face oral communication, are de-emphasized. Source: Carolina Caycedo. Land of Friends The drawings also puncture what is otherwise marked by a documentary poetics including the submerged shots.
The motif of the painted line reinforces this unity, like a skin, stitching together the variegated shots of the river that we are otherwise shown on screen so that it becomes a thing to be seen and experienced through human eye and practice. While this motif thus depends on a simulated aerial viewpoint, on processes of abstraction and the codes through which we pin rivers to maps, the fact that the paintbrush is shown precisely in the process of tracing a wandering and unfnished line does interesting work.
It suggests, frst, the river as an errant being that should be allowed to fow freely. Neither is the river, in a push-back to its reduction to determined forms of human use, animated as an entity with agential qualities. It takes shape instead as an open-ended expanse of water, drawing on older archives of waterembodiment like the River Oceanus that the Greeks imagined encircling habitable land and occupying the place of the horizon.
The flm is called Viento Sur—where the title refers to a change in the weather that might allow two brothers to cross a large unnamed river—but it is the river rather than wind that occupies the horizon of the flm, looming as the threshold against which the brothers hover in indecision. They have been driven towards the river by the threat of being detained, tortured, and killed.
One brother wants to cross the river and sees it as a line of fight to safety because the far bank of the river represents another country. Thus, while the river presents certain material diffculties to the brothers as a natural barrier, the fact that it doubles as a nation-state frontier means that it promises a change in social and political conditions once traversed.
The waiting ends when one brother decides to cross the river. Through the name, the river also takes on the fgure of a ground: something against which and out of which his new identity emerges. Importantly, such alterity is not organized in stable fashion around a divide between the human and nature.
And no friendship is possible with this expanse of water that is associated with death, with a loss of self or a radical form of becoming whether it is crossed horizontally, from side to side, or vertically, from the surface to the river bottom.
If I die I want to be found so women can mourn for me. Like music, the principle thread is given by the cadence and rhythm of the voices in the contrapuntal exchange of words. It is not even clear whether or not we ever see the brothers. Instead, what we see are shots with a tenuous relationship to their situation: for example, a hut on the edge of the river that might serve as a hide-out, a boat on the river and images of boys playing with sticks on the edge of a river Figure 4.
These could be the two brothers at an earlier time of their life, so that we might imagine these images as bearing an indexical relationship to the words we hear. But we are also shown images whose relationship to what we hear is less clear: a woman washing clothes, two girls by the river, two spent shoes, a cut orange, a knife, a boy creating forms in mud and then wiping them out, a boy kicking water with his foot, two boys with buckets, two sticks on the edge of the river, drifting slightly.
The images acquire a thickness and opacity in which meaning, coordination, and connection are not fully transferred but withheld and tethered to their own materiality. In the process, visuality takes on the quality of a material surface rather than a medium through which to access something else. The images in Viento Sur are grainy, and the screen is often dark or black. The lightning illuminates nothing, however; it is itself a light-event, spilling or sweeping across the surface of the screen.
Source: Paz Encina. Viento Sur. Short 23 minutes. The visual images, layered upon the running stream of voices in the flm, present themselves as analogous to the water that appears visually largely as a rippling sheet, lapping against rocks or against the edge. In other words, rather than seeing a river as a complete entity, rather than an abstraction of the river in a fowing line, we face the surfaces of a watery expanse.
Of course, as a kind of epidermis, a surface is also constituted by the drawing of a line. Yet as a surface and not a fully constituted body, it is open-ended. We may interact with water at such a limit or edge but it stretches back and beyond, away from thresholds of usefulness and intelligibility so that we are forever in the shadow of the river that traces the very horizon of meaning-making. An Expanse of Water 67 Coda I have situated my project here against the background of the extension of processes of extraction.
The increased drive to shape water, to unsettle its forms and uses and generate proft from narrowed streams of access, and the resistance and pushback that have emerged have opened up water to new forms of contestation. Films I suggested—experimental, documentary, and fction—have partaken not only in exposing and narrating such conficts but in probing and even redistributing the changing contours of the sense and sense of water.
Even as some flms, like Even the Rain, attempt to bring attention through such conficts through strategies of witnessing, I have argued that they may depend on a containment of water in visual forms that partake of the same logics of extraction being denounced and that, moreover, feed back into strengthening visual forms themselves as carriers. In a context where visual forms as carriers are attributed with qualities of transparency and immediacy, with delivering a suffciently full reality, the thinness of drawn lines that connote but cannot denote water in both Abuela Grillo and Land of Friends might abstract it differently by simultaneously presenting a disjunction between the line or body that both is and is not water, where water is shown to be clearly mediated.
Bibliography Ballesteros, Andrea. Bruno, Giuliana. Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality and Media. Chen, Cecilia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Edited by Paul Rabinow. New York: The New Press, Toronto: Blackwood Gallery, September Helmreich, Stefan. Johnson, Adriana. Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space.
Cambridge: Blackwell, McKay, Don. Michelet, Jules. The Sea. Padios, Jan. Ranciere, Jacques. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics. Weiss says: "It was the practice of Nazi officers to cut off the beards of any bearded Jew they saw. It made no difference whether the wearer was an old and venerable rabbi or a young man witlr a stubby growth. Sometimes the shearing was done at home, when the Nazis came round to take a census.
Sometimes it was done summarily on the street. An officer driving along in his car would sight a bearded Jew in the distance. The car would put on speed and draw up alongside the unfortunate Jew and off would come the beard. A common variation of this practice was to cut only half of the beard, taking care to pull off bits of flesh with it. The measure was allegedly introduced to prevent the spread of infection during the typhus epidemic.
Actually, however, it had nothing to do with the epidemic, for synagogues were closed in districts where it was not present, and even small convecticles minyans in pri- vate houses came under the ban. Haitglass says: "Numerous synagogues have been burned to the ground, many rabbis, including Rabbi Kahane of Warsaw, had their beards plucked out when the Germans searched their homes. On several occasions Germans entered synagogues during services and beat the con- gregation.
This happened before the order forbidding assembly of Jews for purposes of prayer had been issued. Shouting wildly, they drove everyone out of the room. A few days later two Gestapo men came again, and their behavior this time was even more offensive. One of them said to his companion, 'Look at this man! It was he and his brothers that brought about this war. They flung it onto the ground shouting, 'That is what is left to you of your temple!
This is your sinister morality! Tliis was especially true of the primary racist tenet which forbids tire mixing of Aryan with Jewish blood. Nazis forced tlieir way into Jewish houses and raped Jewish women, and even young girls. Their bratality in such cases reached extreme proportions. Schrampf were present. The session had under consideration a proposal by Professor Richter to open a brothel in Warsaw for the German military forces, the Health Department to supply the house with prostitutes, including fifty Jewish girls.
When Dr. Lencki, former Chief of the Health De- partment, who took part in the discussion, asked how this thing could be organized by the Department, which did not have any prostitutes at its disposal, Professor Richter or Dr. Schrampf replied that in such a case the Germans themselves would round up attractive-looking girls on the streets. Confirmation of the fact that Jewish leaders in Warsaw were ordered to organize these houses and provide Jewish girls for them is made by Dr.
Henryk Szoszkies, a former member of the Executive of the War- saw Jewish Community Council, in an affidavit signed in New York City on January 14, , and published in the Contemporary Jewish Record, March- April, "I hereby affirm that to my own knowledge proposals were made by Nazi officials to the Jewish Community Council to organize houses of prostitution in Nazi-occupied towns, and that Jewish girls be provided for the use of the army.
After asking me to be seated, with no preliminaries of any sort, he declared: 'As you know, we have in War- saw cjuite a large garrison of young, healthy men who are suffering from a lack of sexual relations. Casual meetings with women of the streets have already resulted in many cases of venereal diseases. This is a situation which we cannot allow to continue. As a rnattei of fact, we will need two brothels; one for the officers and a separate one for privates. We will indicate to your lepre- sentatives how to assemble and segregate the girls.
Incidentally, this will not be a bad business venture — perhaps the best in present-day Warsaw. Do you realize that our Community Council is a religious institution? I tell you now catego- rically, your order will never be carried out! Nobody in our community will accept it — even if death is the penalty for all of us! Szoszkies, you take the matter much too tragically.
After all you are a man and you can understand us; we need women and we believe that we are proposing a plan for the Jewish community from which it can profit. War is war, and in such a situation all theories die out. Although I am married and the father of young children, I would rather choose death than conduct any negotiations with you about your suggestion.
As usual he did not say good-bye. Before leaving, however, he added the command- 'Come on Saturday to room 37 with your answer. He is a man of over 60 years of age and a chemist by profession. His face was quivering with sup- pressed sobs as he informed me that at the same time Wende was mak- ing his infamous proposal to me, tire same suggestion was being made to him by the chief Unit Leader, Captain Botz. In accordance with the accepted custom, I stood rigidly at attention.
It must contain from 12 to 15 rooms. Here is a permit for you to confiscate such a home. Take a Jewish one if there are any, if not take a Christian one. Tomorrow, Saturday, I will expect an answer from you, and a sugges- tion about the location. I sat in the office of the Community Center. I knew who it was as this was the only automobile which appeared on the ruined street in which the Community center was located. His face was ablaze with anger.
He twisted his riding-stick in his hands. I arose, prepared for anything. We have been forced to postpone the set- ting-up of the brothels because in your wretched town all the suitable buildings are burned down.
In about two weeks, however, we will return to this question. What further negotiations were carried on with my friends and colleagues of the Community Council I only know from the newspaper reports. Many became infected with venereal diseases; many, unable to bear the moral and physical tortures, committed suicide. One afternoon a truck came to Solna Street in Warsaw, and Jewish women of the district were forced into it.
The procedure was frequently repeated afterwards. Girls would disappear for several days and come home after having been attacked. The Germans suddenly enter a house and rape or 1 6 -year-old girls in tire presence of their parents and relatives.
The surgeon-gynecologists, of course keeping secret the names of their victims, state that in their practice they have many cases of girls who have been raped under similar conditions, and it IS necessary to administer antitetanus injections. In one mirror-shop in Swietojerska Street there was a mass raping of Jewish girls.
The Ger- mans seized the most beautiful and most healthy girls in the streets and brought them in to pack the mirrors. After the work the girls were raped. There, after being forced to drink, the girls were ordered to undress and to dance for the amusement of their tormentors.
Beaten, abused and raped, the girls were not released till 3 A. Hartglass slates: "A story is current that one day 50 Jewish girls were seized in Warsaw, taken to an apartment formerly occupied by a wealthy Jewish family and now taken over by German officers, and there raped.
One night a party of Germans entered a Jewish home in Warsaw, locked the husband and wife in the bath- room and compelled their young daughter to disrobe. Then she was ordered to sit down. The girl seated herself on a cliair. No, she must sit on the floor! She sat down on a rug. No, on the bare floor! All the women were forced to strip and dance on the table, and the young couple to cohabit in the presence of all the others.
Every apart- ment in Warsaw is now occupied by several families of relatives or friends. When houses ate searched all the inmates are assembled and compelled to undress completely, so as to make certain they are not concealing anything. Certain Polish circles, especially the youth and the underworld, were carried away by the German propaganda, and during Passover of staged a pogrom in Warsaw.
The Polish workers and intellectuals refused to be identified with the movement and showed their sympathy for the Jews. Dr, S, S. It began sud- denly and stopped as suddenly. The pogrom was carried out by a crowd of youths, about 1, of them, who arrived suddenly in the Warsaw streets. Such types have never before been seen in the Warsaw streets.
Clearly these were young ruffians specially brought from tire suburbs. From the characteristic scenes of the pogrom I mention here a few: On the second day of Passover, at the corner of Wspolna and Marszalkowska Streets about 30 or 40 broke into and looted Jewish hat shops. German soldiers stood in the streets and filmed the scenes. The result was that he suddenly attaciced a Jew and began to beat him.
Then one of the Germans pretended to protect the Jew and beat the Pole, and the second German filmed this scene. The chief of the labor office in the Jewish Community, Mr, Rozen, went to Brandt, the chief official of the Gestapo who is in control of the Jewish Community, asking him to intervene in the pogrom. Brandt assured Rozen that he would give an order to stop the disturbances, and that he could quietly return to the Community office.
But when Mr. Rozen was on his way, just in front of the building of the Jewish Community, the hooligans dragged him from his car and began to beat him, breaking his hand and ribs. When a Jew passed by he let him through and then from the back began to beat him on the head. When the Jew did not flee immediately he beat him until he fell and then began kicking him.
When the Gestapo was again asked to give orders to stop the pogrom, the Germans demanded that the Jewish Community should send a written request asking the German authorities to act against the Poles. The reason why the pogrom was stopped was perhaps this : an official of the Joint American Jewish Joint Dis- tribution Committee who was called to Krakow to discuss the organi- zation of social relief, told tire official of Governor General Arlt, tliat so long as pogroms continued it was out of the question to arrange for any organized social relief.
Probably because of this the Germans ordered the ruffians to be sent away and the pogrom was stopped. The attitude of the Polish intellectuals toward the Jews was clearly a friendly one, and against the pogrom, It is a known fact that at the corner of Nowogrodzka Street and Marszalkowska a Catholic priest attacked the youngsters participating in the pogrom, beat them and dis- appeared. These youngsters received two zlotys daily from the Ger- mans.
Jewish homes were robbed systematically, street after street, house after house, Clearly, somebody had prepared the pogrom. For example, there was a time when the houses of Jewish lawyers were robbed, not a single one being omitted. Arrests were made on such a mass scale, and so suddenly, that people feared to sleep at home. There were many cases of torture of Jews. Zarichman, the owner of a house, was arrested.
The Gestapo demanded 8, zlotys for his release. The family could not at first get such a sum, but at last the wife of Mr. For a long time nobody knew where she was. After some time she was found at night in a street, unconscious, with broken legs and arms and wounded in several parts of the skull.
After she was brought to a hospital and examined, it was found that her legs and arms had been broken in several places in a bestial manner. The woman had lost her memory and could not remember what had happened to her. She remembered only that she was brought to a room in Szucha Street i. This occurred before the New Year. Hartglass says: "The relations are good in the areas annexed to the Reich.
The same kind of treatment is meted out on both peoples. In the Warsaw district the relations have improved. With few exceptions, the Polish intellectuals are friendly toward the Jews and help them when they can.
The same is true of the organized workingmen and of the thinking people. But the attitude of the Polish masses remains un- changed. It is such people who point out Jewish homes to the Germans and help tliem plunder the Jews.
Occasionally, they attack Jewish passers-by, but such attacks are not common. There is also another side to the picture. Poles often rise and offer their seats when women wear- ing the Jewish badge enter street cars. Once a German soldier came into a tram shouting ']nden raus! It is true, however, that there have been instances of elderly Jews being forced off cars by Polish youths.
Only one of the anti-Semitic groups, the Falange, made overtures to the Germans, suggesting that it be co-opted in governing the Jews, since its program was akin to that of the Nazis. All Jewish institutions, and the houses of worship were ordered closed. The Jewish community organization was broken up and many of its members left Warsaw. A rump commu- nity organization, however, continued to function temporarily. On October 4, , the Gestapo dissolved the existing Community Council and appointed a Judenrat consisting of twenty-four members under the chairmanship of Adam Czerniakow; its functions were mainly to carry out tlie orders of the occupation authorities.
But even those could not be carried out for lack of funds. The need of the Jewish population grew as thousands lost their homes and hundreds of families lo. This occupied ail its energies and by October 28, the census was completed, showing that the number of Jews in Warsaw at that time was , Senator Kerner reports the following on the first days of the Jiiden- lat and its relations with the Gestapo: "On October 4, , while tlie Jewish Civilian Committee Was in session in the Community building, Gestapo agents forced the locked door of the mGeting-room.
Brandishing their whips, they ordered the members out of the building, and proceeded to make a thorough search of every room. The sum of 27, zlotys was abstracted from the Com- munity's safe by Gestapo officers. Czerniakow, the chairman of the Community Council, was summoned to the Gestapo headquarters and instructed to appoint a council of twenty-four members to administer Jewish communal affairs.
Among those appointed were representatives of the Jewish parties and institutions. The order was accompanied by a threat that the lives of all the members of the Council would be forfeited in the event of non-compliance. A time limit of ten days was fixed. Next the Council was required to take a special census of Jews in the professions — lawyers, engineers, physicians, journalists, etc.
Apart from these censuses, the Council was forbidden to engage in any activity whatever. Immediately after the occupation, all the depart- ments of the Jewish Community Organization, with the exception of tliat in charge of burials were closed by order of the German authorities. Petitioning was required before the social department was given permis- sion to function. When Community representatives asked the authori- ties how the social services could be financed, seeing that tliey were not permitted to collect the communal taxes, the reply was that they did have one source of income, in the cemetery.
Its field of activity was circumscribed. Members of the praesidium heard all sorts of rumors about impending legislation to oppress Jews, each report being worse than the next. Senator Kernet tells about the extraordinary session of the pidenrat. Only ten of the twenty-four deputies attended the meeting, which was held in the Com- munity building. An officer and several sergeants of the Gestapo lined up ail present in two rows, the members on the right and the deputies on the left, When fourteen deputies were found to be absent, the Council was ordered to produce fourteen other deputies in the meeting- room within twenty minutes, and were warned that the least delay would involve the death penalty.
Since the time limit was so short and com- munication with other parts of the city still difficult, it was decided to appoint all who happened to be in the building at that time, and a few passers-by. The fourteen men were, in fact, assembled within a few minutes. A quarter of an hour after issuing his ultimatum, the officer re-entered the room, holding his watch in his hand, and reminded the assembly that only five more minutes remained at their disposal. When the time limit had expired, he read off the names in the list to make cer- tain that all the designated persons w'ere present.
To ensure compliance with the edict, the twenty-four deputies would be detained as hostages. The words were no sooner uttered than soldiers entered the room, led out the tw'enty-four deputies and carted them off to prison, beating them mercilessly on the way. One hundred and sixty thousand additional Jewish families and their household effects could not possibly be crowded into an already congested district. Moreover, a typhoid epidemic was raging in tire city at the time.
Many of the Jewish institutions hospital, cemetery, etc. When these difficulties were pointed out to the Gestapo officer, he replied that he had merely carried out his orders, and advised them to apply to the Commandant. The Council thereupon appealed to the German Gen- eral-in-chief, the chief medical officer of the German forces, the Polish civilian committee and the Mayor. General Neumann showed great astonishment when informed that such an order had been given.
He not only denied its issuance but informed the delegation that there was evidently some misunderstanding and promised to investigate the matter while keeping the delegation waiting. Furious at our complaint, the Gestapo chief swore, insulted us and struck at us with the whip in his hand, "We asked for the release of the twenty-four hostages but were told they would be executed despite their complete innocence.
For five ensu- ing days panic prevailed among the Jews. Crowds of women besieged the coramimity building for rescue of the hostages. On the sixth day, the twenty-four condemned Jews were freed. The introduction of a Ghetto in Warsaw was for the time being shelved and the Jewish population breathed a little more freely. But the decision to introduce the Ghetto was not rescinded and hung over the heads of the Jewish population until it was finally carried out in October, , at which time no action on the part of the Judenrat could be of any avail.
The Jews who lived in that section of Warsaw which was to become part of the Ghetto were not permitted to move out of its boundaries. The Jews expelled from the provincial towns who came into Warsaw were permitted to live only in sections assigned for the Ghetto. The homes of the Jews who lived outside the limits of the prescribed areas were confiscated.
Thus the way was systematically paved for the intro- duction of the Ghetto. On June 7, the regu- lations to carry the decree into effect were issued. According to the decree the Judenraten were to be elected by the Jewish population, but were in fact nominated by the occupying forces. It is responsible for the con- scientious carrying out of those commands.
The orders which it issues for the carrying out of those German commands must be obeyed by all Jews and Jewesses. The Jews had to bring their own implements, which they were forbidden to sell without permission under a severe penalty. The Judenrat was responsible for the registration of Jews for forced labor and for carrying it out.
At first Jews were rounded up on the streets, and even the sick and the aged were not spared. After the law was promulgated, the Community established labor battalions into which it recruited Jews to be sent to special labor camps.
The Warsaw Juden- rat managed to supply 8, Jewish laborers every day; 3, Jews worked every day in Biala-Podlaska. Their hollow excuses were of no avail. We simply went through the streets collecting them, and whoever, despite a friendly request, thought he had no time, was soon taught better. During a war there is no time to waste, and there are— thank God — plenty of ways of dealing with recalcitrant Jews.
The humiliations and tortures inflicted upon the Jewish workmen, who are compelled by their Nazi overseers to dance and sing and undress during their work, and are even forced to belabor each other with blows, show no sign of abating.
Besides it had to carry out certain jobs ordered by the German army. The Judenrat had to provide the Jews in the labor barradcs with medical attention and medical supplies. For breakfast the Jewish laborers received black coffee with bread, and for their midday meal only bread and thin potato soup. On return- ing from the labor camps they were broken in body and in spirit, and the Judenrat had to take care of them and their families until they could return to some semblance of a normal condition.
Although the decree of April, did not preclude the Jews from receiving remuneration for their labor, the Germans simply did not pay them, and the Judenrat had to pay them out of its own funds. The aged and the infirm were exempt from forced labor and had to pay a tax into the Judenrat which the latter applied to paying the poorest among the slave laborers, Jew- ish workingmen did not benefit from the public welfare bodies.
Accord- ing to the decree of March 7, they had to be members of the side benefit fund, but according to the same decree they could have medical assistance only to a limited extent, and they were excluded from sick and disability insurance. In practice, however, Jewish workers were entirely deprived of any kind of help from the sick benefit fund, to which they were forced to contribute.
Officially the Poles were to receive half of what the Germans received, while the ration for Jews was half of that for the Poles. But even within the limits of the official ration the Jews did not receive everything they were entitled to receive, and suffered acute hunger. Only a small niunber of Jews could manage to buy certain foods on the "black market.
In the summer of , 22, house committees were active among the Jewish popu- lation in Warsaw. The Germans did not issue any anti-diphtheria serum for the Jews and Jewish physicians who remained in Warsaw were permitted to attend Jewish patients only. The order wa. The Jewish hospital on Czysta Street, which before the war had 1, beds and employed physicians, 59 internes, nurses, 13 bacteriologists and 6 pharmacists, was now struggling against tremen- dous difficulties.
The financial subsidy which the hospital used to receive from the Warsaw municipality was now discontinued and the entire burden of maintaining the hospital fell on the Judenrat. The hospital had no medicines, and did not have the serums for anti-typhoid injec- tions, the Germans having looted the hospital of all its supplies, includ- ing even canned milk.
In December, the Germans ordered the evacuation of the Jewish hospital, in which there were at the time 1, patients, including 1, sick with typhoid fever. The Community sought to delay the evacuation and the Gestapo ordered a special session of the Judenrat. The superintendent of the hospital was arrested, the physicians were detained at the hospital and held incommunicado.
The Judenrat appointed a special committee to take care of the urgent needs of the hospital and voted 2, zlotys dollars for the most elementary daily requirements. Despite all efforts the Jewish hospital was evacuated and the Judenrat had to estab- lish small hospital units in various houses in the Ghetto. The extent of sickness among the Jews of Warsaw is shown by the following figures: In , TOZ the Society for the Promotion of Health among Jews rendered medical assistance to , persons in clinics and in private homes, gave medicines to , children, and distributed cod liver oil among 25, children.
The mortality among Jews compared to the period before the war grew to alarming proportions. The overcrowding, the unsanitary con- ditions and the lack of nourishing food, as well as the brutal attitude of the Gestapo were the causes of the increased mortality.
In November , Jews died in Warsaw, while in the same month of the follow- ing year, 1, These figures do not include the thousands of Jews who died during the bombardment. On April 12, the Wmschmer Zetlung states that on March 31, out of cases of typhoid fever in Warsaw, were Jews, and that on April 8, there were Jews out of a total of cases. In alone the TOZ administered 51, injections against epidemics. The mortality among Jews grew from week to week and increased inordinately after the introduction of the Ghetto.
The rise in mortality and epidemics was also contributed to by the large number of refugees who flocked to Warsaw from many cities and towns and whose number reached tens of thousands. The precise irum- ber was known only aftei' the Ghetto was introduced. On July 1, the Warschauer Zehung published a decree according to which: 1 Jews coming into Warsaw from other towns must live in the Jewish district behind the wall; 2 Jews living in other parts of Warsaw must, on leaving their dwellings, move to the walled-in district.
At the same time an order was issued prohibiting Jews from leaving the walled-in district between 7 p. The Jewish population lived in constant terror. Rumors began to spread about the introduction of a Ghetto and the Judenrat stood on guard. After the erection of the walls around the Jewish district and after the restriction of their freedom of movement, Jews expected the worst. On October 1 3, a decree was issued establishing a Ghetto in Warsaw, and all Jews had to move into it, while tire Poles living witliin it had to move out by October 31, Approximately , Jews who lived outside the Ghetto were forced to leave their homes.
The decree created a panic among the Jews, , of whom had only four weeks in which to move from their homes and find new ones in a district which was already badly overcrowded. At the same time 80, Poles had to move out. The factories, places of business and workshops of the Jews which v;ere outside the Ghetto were confiscated by the Germans or simply looted by them.
The furniture was largely taken over by Germans. No cars, no horses, no help of any sort was available to us by order of the occupying authorities. Pushcarts were about the only method of conveyance we had, and tliese were piled high with household goods, furnishing much amusement to the German onlookers, who delighted in overturning the carts and seeing us scrambling for our eflfects.
Many of the goods were confiscated arbi- trarily without any explanation. Warsaw was an open highway, with the highwaymen in undisputed control. Everything that could not be transported in time was left behind after the moving and was declared ownerless and divided up among the Germans and their sympathizers. Thousands of people were rush- ing around at the last minute trying to find a place to stay.
Everything was already filled up but still they kept coming and somehow more room was found. The narrow, crooked streets of the most dilapidated section of Warsaw were crowded with pushcarts, their owners going from house to house asking the inevitable question; Have you room?
The sidewalks were covered with their belongings. Children wandered, lost and crying, parents ran hither and yon seeking them, tlieir cries drowned in the tremendous hubbub of half a million uprooted people. As they came to the various points where thoroughfares and streets crossed from the Jewish section into the non-Jewish districts, they ran against barbed wire strung across and guarded by German police who were stopping all trafiic out of the Jew- ish section.
Hastily they tried other streets, avenues, alleys, only to find in every case barbed wire or a solid brick wall well guarded. There was no way out any more. Other people came out of their houses and started to stare at the barricades, pathetically silent, stunned by the frightful suspicion that was creeping into their minds. Then, suddenly, 4e realization stmck us. What had been, up tin now, seemingly unrelated parts — a piece of wall here, a blocked-up house there, another piece of wall somewhere else— had overnight been joined to form an enclosure from which there was no escape.
The 12 Tlir. Like cattle wc had been herded into the coiral, and the gate had been barred behind us. The Jewish section was sealed. Despair swept over us like a cloud, blotting out all hope. This, then, was the fate that had been reserved for us — to be locked up there, our houses taken away, our means of support inaccessible, and left to starve or to perish from the diseases that accompany overcrowded conditions.
Following are descriptions of tlie scenes on the streets of Warsaw, taken from the Gazeta Zydotuska, the Jewish newspaper published twice and later three times a week in Krakow in the Polish language under strict Naxi control; 'Throngs of people are gathered in front of the display posts to get the latest news and to study the map of the new Ghetto.
Every one has a question to ask and every one needs advice. The walls of the houses are covered with cards announcing available apartments. This is the cheapest and the most popular way of advertising. Business is conducted right there on the spot. With the breaking of dawn, the streets are filled with moving vans, large and small, carriages, automo- biles.
These are overloaded with furniture, luggage, parcels and moun- tains of bedding. There is a ceaseless procession of moving vans. They come from all sides and follow all directions. It looks as though all roads are in a state of confusion and that all travelers had lost their way. This will last another day or two until everyone readies his destination and the borderline will divide man from man.
Near the office there is a little coffee house. Its walls arc now covered with thousands of cards all of the same con- tent: 1 am changing from the Aryan district to the Jewish district. I have an apartment, a store, a shop; address and size of the place are given in detail. One hears: 'Do you know what a beautiful apartment I have?
Eleven gates led to the Ghetto and no Jew was permitted to leave it without a special permit. The exits were guarded by German, Polish and Jewish police. The Ghetto was so overcrowded that ten to twelve persons had to live in one room. Nearly half a million Jews were thrust into one large prison to live in congestion, squalor and terror.
In November, began a new chapter in the life of the Jews in Warsaw. The process of extermination, starvation, torture and brutal treatment entered upon a new phase. The Gazeta Zydounka gives an account of the spirit of the Jewi. With the creation of the Jewish District more than , Jews were forced to move. This requires a great deal of effort, help and most of all, presence of mind.
Every one who is to remain where he is must help those who are forced to move. This help must be organized and must be practical. Those who seek help must confront a human, brotherly heart. During all the periods of tribulations in our history, the most beautiful human traits revealed themselves. In those limes the Jew was prepared for self-sacrifice. Now, too, the Jews in many cities have demonstrated a great deal of sacrifice for their brethren in need.
We must guard our national responsibility within every one of us. In times of trial like the present we must get out of the depths of the Jewish soul the most noble feelings and qualities which constitute the glory of our national life.
This was only a pretext. Behind the decree was the preconceived program for segre- gating the Jews from the rest of the population in order to have them conveniently at hand for future measures. ETalf a million Jews were herded into a small area where before the outbreak of the war was a population of , to , Later, when many Jews driven out of smaller towns came to Warsaw, they swelled the population of the Ghetto to about , No one could enter or leave without a pass.
No street cars ran between the Ghetto and other parts of the city. There was only one hospital in the Ghetto, without linen and with few drugs. Carts went through the Ghetto streets at night to pick up the dead left lying there. Some months ago Nazi soldiers caught a small boy who was returning to the Ghetto with a bag of food; lifting a manhole cover, they dropped the boy into a sewer.
The Nazis were proud of the conditions they had created in the Ghetto. Regular tours passed through its twisted, somber streets, the sightseers being Germans who had settled in Poland or been brought tliere from bombed areas in the Reich. Poles were often forced to lake these tours too, but they utilized them to make mental note of persons suffering worse than others.
Later they threw small packages of food over the Ghetto wall near those spots. It is a vivid portrait, presenting the persecutor as clearly as the victims; "Wherever we looked we saw' Jews. And what figures! Filthy, ragged, and with an expression in which a perpetual grin mingled with hesitation and uncertainty. The stores in the streets resemble caverns and holes.
They were thicic with dirt. The deeper we went into the Ghetto, the more dismal it became. The streets grew narrower; tire dirty houses with their filthy windows without curtains, became smaller. In the rooms which were on the ground floor the Jews had hung card- board or newspapers over tlie windows so that one should not be able to look into their filthy stables. Wherever we looked, we saw miserable, fallen creatures.
Most of the new arrivals were physically and mentally broken, and many of them had to travel in the bitter cold under the most harrowing conditions. The congestion in the Ghetto assumed enormous proportions; for example, in the building of 35 Nalewki Street there were 1, Jews; at 17 Krochmalna Street there were 1,, and at 3 Bagno Street there were I,0l6 inhabitants.
According to the statistics of the Warsaw City Council, the average for the end of was 14 people to a room. The Ghetto had 1, buildings of which 1, were residences; were entirely destroyed by bombardment, 81 were factories or warehouses, and the rest were wooden shacks.
The Ghetto boundaries were drawn so as to exclude all playgrounds and the only park in the Jewish section — the so-called Krasinski Park — - was declared to be outside the Ghetto limits and entry to the Jews was forbidden. Fresh air became a commodity for sale: wherever there was a tree or two near a house, tire owner placed a benclr close by and charged a fee for sitting on it, The lack of sanitation and the congestion caused the rapid spread of epidemics in the Ghetto.
According to official German figures, out of 17, cases of spotted typhus in Warsaw in , tlie Ghetto accormted for 15, The epidemics, especially typhus, wrought havoc in the Ghetto. The special health council of the Jewish community had no adequate supply of medicaments for fighting the disease. The Germans dfd not permit medical supplies to be brought into the Ghetto and there was a woeful lack of anti-typhus injections and other serums. No medicaments could be bought m the open market, and the Jewish hospitals had been looted by the Germans of all med- ical supplies.
The fudemtit had to wrangle with the German authorities for every ounce of medicine or scrum. Three types of ration cards were introduced in Poland; one for the Germans, another for the Poles, a third for the Jews. The Poles could obtain half as much food as the Germans, the Jew's half as much as the Poles. In practice, however, the Jews obtained even less food than was provided for in the ration cards.
By the end of the Jews received no fats or sugar and of all the articles tliey were entitled to they could in fact get only bread and potatoes. During the early tnonths of they could still get saccharine and substitutes for fats, but even those things later became unavailable.
During the first half of the Jews received 3 oz. They received no sugar, butter, eggs, fat or vegetables, jewfish children did not get any milk. Poland Fights of August 15, printed a letter from Poland about the conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto: "The Jews are entitled to 6 lbs. But the right to buy this small quantity of bread means nothing in reality, for we are never able to obtain it.
For the past two months we have not seen a loaf of bread. No other food is available. We are actually starving. In the case of minors between the ages of 7 and 14 selling goods to Jews out- side the Ghetto walls, their parents were held responsible.
Most Jews could not afford to buy food on the black market, and often could not find enough money to buy the food permitted by the ration cards. They had to pay for their food by their labor. During the early part of tlae Warsaw Jews received small amounts of potatoes and vegetables sent to the Jewish community by the halutzhn farm at Grochow, near Warsaw. Later the Germans closed down the farm. In the Ghetto proper the Jews utilized every inch of ground in the court- yards of the houses to plant vegetables.
Jewish young men and women cultivated vacant lots, where they planted potatoes, cabbages, let- tuce, radishes, tomatoes and onions. Vegetables were planted even in the Jewish cemetery on Gesia Street. Radishes and onions were also planted in flower pots and boxes on the window sills. The amount of food yielded in this manner was naturally negligible, but the fact illus- trates the terrible hunger that prevailed in the Ghetto.
The Polish population received at the end of , according to the ration cards: 95 deka about 2 lb. In theory the Poles received about 3 oz. From time to time the Poles would receive very small portions of marmalade. The Jewish population starved. In , 80 Jewish soup-kitchens handed out , meals every day. But these soup-kitchens could not solve the food problem of the population.
The meal at the soup-kitchen, for thousands of Jews almost their only meal during the day. The smugglers were chiefly small Jewish children who risked their lives to obtain food for their families by stealing out of the Ghetto at dawn or late at night. Hundreds of them were shot dead by the Nazis when caught on the Ghetto walls or outside the Ghetto. A Pole who escaped from Poland in reports that "the smug- gling of food IS carried on in many different ways. Holes are made in the Ghetto walls to bring in food.
Children climb up to the tops of the walls to catch food packages thrown to them. When the Nazis catch the children, they shoot them on the spot. The streets are full of hun- gry Jewish children begging for bread. Many of them sleep in the ruined houses.
Before I escaped from Warsaw the Germans caught about thirty Jewish children trying to steal out of the Ghetto and publicly drowned them in the water of the lime pits on Okopowa Street. The Nowy Kurjer Warszawski whicli is under Nazi control, carried advertisements by bakeries requiring 3 or 4 tons of sawdust. People became sick from eating bread thus made. Adam Sokolski, a Polish- American who returned to the United States in the second half of after spending several years in War- saw, stated that the friendly attitude of the Poles towards the Jews is evidenced by their treatment of Jewish children who steal out of the Ghetto to beg for food.
The diildren are careful to avoid the houses of Germans where they ate likely to be turned over to the Gestapo, but they never leave a Polish house empty-handed. The Nazis seek to stop this traffic on tlie pretext that the children might spread epidemics. Sokolski himself once witnessed the mur- der of a Jewish cliild by a Gestapo agent on Zelazna Street, when the tail, broad-shouldered Gestapo agent noticed a lean, emaciated 8 year- old Jewish beggar in the crowd.
Special kitchens were open also for the employees of Jewish communal institutions, the members of the Jewish police and the Jews employed in forced labor. In addition some 60, plates of soup were given out to the side and to the aged people and small children who could not come to the soup-kitchens To further alleviate the hunger to some extent cooperative kitchens were established for the inhabitants of the larger houses, and soup- kitchens for the inliabitants of several blocks.
By the early part of April there were such collective kitchens feeding some 14, inhabitants. Some of these kitchens prepared meals daily. In all soup-kitchens the beneficiaries were not only the old, the sick and the children, but many of those who were only partially employed The most urgent concern of the Jewish population was to feed its chil- dren whose physical condition, as a result of starvation, had induced a feeling of profound despair in the community.
One drags out an animal existence and one cannot even think. It would not do any good, any- way. After running around all day, I feel happy in tlie evening to have my own coiner with a bed. There is little employment to be had, and there is so much want that one could work day and night to satisfy it; but even that would be of no avail The best tiring would be not to walk out on the street and not to see anything.
Sometimes, I think tliat my brotlrer who lost his sight in the bombardment of Warsaw is belter off than I am, since his heart is not torn each time he sees it all. The old Warsaw Ghetto has been enlarged with the addition of a few more streets, and has now become the segregated Jewish section whose communication and contact with the rest of tlie city is under com- plete control.
It is not possible to ascertain exactly whether the number of the Jews living in the Ghetto is , or , Some carry full bags on their shoulders, others offer the prescribed arm-bands with the Zion insignia for sale. Bienstock of tlie Overseas News Agency who arrived in New York from Lisbon in the early part of , published his impres- sions based on reliable information he had obtained from official and private sources.
He wrote; "Nearly one-third of the Jews in the Ghetto wear torn clothes which offer no protection from the cold. Over three-quarters of the Jewish population is very weak and ailing as a result of the lack of proper food. This is a situation which breeds typhus, cholera, spotted typhus, dys- entery and other diseases which are also the result of inhuman living conditions, The Jews receive no disinfectants, except the very small quantities v.
There is a danger that the epidemic will spread beyond the demarcation line. The liv- ing conditions are appalling, and 10 to 15 persons live in one room. On the streets of the Ghetto one does not see any stout people at all. Every one is thin, pale and emaciated.
One also sees Jews whose bodies ate partly swollen. No one walks fast; no one has the necessary energy for it. Every day there are Jews who collapse on the street ex- hausted from hunger. Potatoes are the main food in the Ghetto and are not easily obtainable. The bread is of the poorest quality, black and hard, mixed with sawdust. The thousands of Jews caught on the streets never saw their families again.
In November , when my informants left Warsaw, Jews were caught in large numbers, young and old and even children, and pressed into labor for building a new military airdrome near Warsaw. A large number of them perished at work, unable to stand tlie cold and the exhaustion. This winter there may be no bread for Poles in Warsaw. Forty percent sawdust, the bread is dark and indigestible. Many families are subsisting on a thin potato soup without meat and containing a few cabbage leaves and beets.
Food cards theoretically entitle the Poles each week to slightly more tlaan three ounces of meat the equivalent in the United States, say, of one thin chop , each month to three-and-a-half ounces of marmalade, and one egg. They rarely receive these. Meat, when sold, is malodorous and mostly bone. No provision is made on the food cards for butter, cheese or green vegetables. Adults may not receive milk, an adult being anybody older than six months. Furthermore, Ghetto rations were the first to be reduced.
Seeking food outside the Ghetto, bands of boys crept through holes in bombed buildings and emerged from cellars and excavations. They roamed tire streets of Warsaw, begging. One has the impression of being at a railway aossing. German soldiers mount guard. We are before one of the entrances to the house of Israel.
At a certain point I was assailed by the fear that the air itself must be in- fected and that I might carry away the germs of who knows what con- tagious diseases. I could not refrain from asking: How is it that cholera has not yet broken out here? Spotted fever, for instance, which almost always kdls Aryans, very rarely succeeds in sending a Jew to the next world. It seemed to be a phenomenon to which they are accustomed Men and women crouched on the ground before heaps of things which one could with greatest difhculty describe as merchandise It was very hard to guess what was being sold there.
The place, however, was filled with people. The sight of them was extremely depressing "I feel the need to tell my readers as well as myself, why, before such a terrible sight, neither I nor others [meaning his Nazi comrades] were moved.
Your heart should explode, and instead you remain indif- ferent. Had I become callous, unfeeling? No, but all ties of human solidarity have been cut off. And through no fault of ours, only because of their hatred and hostility. One day we discovered big holes in the walls which enclose the Ghetto.
Who could do that? For what purpose? We found out finally that a Jew had hired a gang of boys, who at night crept like rats through the holes, went to the city to sell hidden foodstuffs and brought other goods into the Ghetto. There, crowded one against the other, like sardines, were buried the corpses of common people. Here probably will be the last resting place of that Jew whom we saw lying dead on the sidewalk of the Ghetto.
I had enough, I could not stand it any longer. Tonight, my readers, I will have to take at least ten glasses of vodka to forget, to give my spirit a powerful push towards less gruesome impressions. I will need it badly. She arrived in this country' by way of Portugal in June In an interview with the Naszd Trybuna issue of June 26, , she re- ported the following: "Officially the Jews in the Ghetto receive 2 kilo- grams of bread monthly, 25 dekas of marmalade ersatz, or honey ersatz, one piece of soap and 10 dekas of sugar.
As a matter of fact, however, the Jews receive only 2 kilos of bread montlily, a little marmalade and sometimes 1 0 dekas of sugar. The number of soup-kitchens is insufficient compared to the tens of thousands of the needy.
Witold Majewski, who had been twice thrown into prison by the Gestapo in Eastern Galicia but managed to escape, arrived in Palestine. In the Polish Consulate there, Dr. Majewski, who had visited the Warsaw Ghetto three times before his escape from Poland, gave the representatives of the press his impressions of the Ghetto.
Witold Majewski, the well-known Orientalist, has been noted for some time by official Polish circles. His material has been thoroughly checked with the material and reports of others who managed to escape from Poland. I had permission to visit it as a physician.
The entrance into the Ghetto is under the con- trol of German and Polish police; the interior is supervised by Jewish police. The Warsaw street cars stop 60 or 70 meters from the gates of the Ghetto. When they pass the streets of the Ghetto, the cars dash through so swiftly that no one is able to jump off. Typhus and other epidemics rage in the Ghetto. Children under 3 years of age and adults over 45 may not receive medical attention in the Ghetto.
Jews receive half the food which the Poles receive. The Poles receive grams of bread daily, the Jews receive grams by ration cards every other day. Sometimes kasha is given out, but not regularly — everything is acci- dental. The children in the Ghetto are worse off. Sometimes a bottle of milk is pushed through the sewer pipes near the Ghetto walls. Food is smuggled through the walls in many different ways. We had a potato a day each, and they tasted delicious. We also had some soup.
The dog had brought home a bone; of tliis we made soup. How often I envy the dog. The chil- dren saw neither milk nor butter for many weeks. They sometimes get a warm meal from the community kitchen. We used the grease which we used to put on our boots for cooking, but now this loo is finished.
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