April 1st, (April Fool’s Day) 1944

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There is a tradition among the Polish nation that [on April 1st] one tries to trick another. One Christian woman came from Opoczno in order to buy soap and she told us that her neighbor tricked her in a following way – when she was busy with her house chores, a neighbor came and told her: “Come, quick! The gendarmes took a Jew called Cukier. They take him to the Jewish cemetery in order to shoot him!”.

She ran out in order to see how come there still was a Jew remaining alive. When she came back, her neighbor kept laughing that he pulled off on her such a great April fools’ joke.

Another time, two engineers and a lady engineer arrived in the village to take measure of the land. They also entered the house in which I was hiding. They heard that one could buy good soap here, so they wanted to buy a few bars of soap. One of the engineers said that a transport of Jews arrived in Piotrkow. When all fell for the trick and started talking about the Jews, he mentioned that a transport of soap arrived, soap made of the Jews. And so they all laughed on the account of the Jewish nation…

Testimony of Alter Szymszynowicz; Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute, collection 302/5 “Walka państwa hitlerowskiego o Zagładę narodu żydowskiego w Polsce” [“The struggle of the Nazi state to destroy the Jewish nation in Poland”]


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