A Surplus of Memory

The Schmaltzer: Pay Up or Take the Train to Treblinka

   By Gary Dorion
           It was difficult enough for a Jew to survive in the Warsaw Ghetto-established not long after the German occupation of Poland in 1939. But many Jews had to leave the ghetto for Aryan Warsaw either legally (with a pass) or illegally to get food or check on loved ones in hiding or to try to get weapons from the Polish underground armies. Many also never lived in the ghetto or had escaped from the ghetto and were hiding in “Aryan” Warsaw. When they ventured out into the city they entered a minefield of risk where Schmalzers-the unscrupulous ever-vigilant blackmailers of Jews-were on the hunt. "Pay up or take the train to Treblinka."

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