Douglas Reed quoted the following Holy Hoax tale in his 1943 book Lest We Regret.
On December 16, 1942, in his column in the Daily Herald, Hannen Swaffer quoted verbatim from the manuscript of an address made by Joseph Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire.
WAR'S WORST HORROR
DELIBERATELY I omitted from my report if the Chief Rabbi's address last Sunday, the most sensational paragraphs.
I could not hear them clearly enough. I wanted to see the manuscript and to know the source of his information.
For, as Dr Hertz himself said, some of the stories sound "unbelievable." Yet so is all Nazidom!
Babies As Footballs !
HERE, copied from the Chief Rabbi's manuscript, is a verbatim extract:—
"On July 27 all the Jewish inhabitants of a town near Kiev were ordered to the stadium. The women, of whom there were about 500, were instructed to hold their little children in their arms.
A few minutes after we had all assembled, an eyewitness declares, a group of German soldiers in football attire entered the stadium. They snatched the infants from their mothers' arms and used them as footballs, bouncing and kicking them around the arena.
Soon the ground was drenched with blood and the stadium was filled with anguished cries of women driven insane as they saw their children being murdered before their eyes."
NEVER since the days of the martyrdom of Christians in the Colosseum by Nero has such a story been told.
Yet Dr. Hertz never allows himself to be led into over-statement, even in the flash of oratory. He is most most reserved in his utterance.
He spoke too as the religious head of a great community and in the presence of its leaders—M.P.s. University professors, doctors of distinction and the Lord Mayor of London.
He would not jeopardise, I know, a case presented to the world by one exaggeration.
Voice of Authority
WHAT is the Chief Rabbi's authority? He has quoted a story told to the Soviet newspapers by Abraham Fivusovitch, a 26-year-old Russian soldier now fighting on the Stalingrad front. He gives the name of the village—Pogrehistchi.
It is now circulated by the World Jewish Congress, which is urging the United Nations to action in the vain hope of minimising the Horror [sic], and of the British section of which the Marchioness of Reading is president, and Professor Brodetsky, Jewry's first Senior Wrangler, and Philip Guedalla vice-presidents.
Daily Herald, December 16, 1942, p.3.