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The Warsaw Ghetto

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The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest Jewish ghetto established in 1940 by Nazi Germany. At the beginning its population was about 440,000 people. In spite of the grave hardships, the Warsaw ghetto carried on educational and cultural activities, conducted by underground organizations. More than 100,000 people died in the Ghetto from starvation, diseases and random shootings.
 
In 1942 the Nazis started its systematic liquidation by massive deportations of the residents to extermination camps. About 254,000 Ghetto Jews were sent to Treblinka death camp. On April 19, 1943 the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising broke out after German troops and police entered the ghetto to deport its remaining inhabitants. The Uprising was led by Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa (the Jewish Combat Organization) and Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy (the Jewish Military Union) in a heroic attempt to stop the ultimate annihilation of the ghetto. Seven hundred and fifty fighters fought the heavily armed and well-trained Germans. At the beginning the fight took place in the streets but soon the Jewish fighters were forced to the „underground ghetto” - the system of fortified shelters and bunkers. To seize the shelters the Nazis used warfare gases. They burned the houses to the ground and shot civilians on the spot.
 
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
 
The revolt officially ended in mid-May with the symbollic demolition of the Great Synagogue of Warsaw. The whole area of the Ghetto was turned into dust and rubble. About 14,000 Jews were killed during the Uprising and about 56,000 sent to death camps.
 
In the memory of the Ghetto Heroes and Holocaust
 
  • The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, erected at plac Bohaterow Getta (Ghetto Heroes square) at Zamenhofa street. There is also a an oak planted to commemorate the Holocaust.
  • The Museum of the History of Polish Jews located at Warecka 4/6. The museum not only commemorates the Holocaust but also illustrates the rich history of the Jewish people in Poland.
  • Another memorial is located at the former Umschlagplatz (the intersection of Stawki and Dzika Street), where Jews gathered for deportation to the Treblinka extermination camp. The memorial has a form of a wall with names of the Jews who were deported from here to Treblinka death camp. From Umschlagplatz 300,00 Jews were sent to death camps.
  • The remaining parts of the Ghetto wall are still present at Sienna 55, Zlota 60 and Walicow 11.
  • Syenite blocks at Zamenhofa street to commemorate the Ghetto Uprising leaders.
  • The small mound and memorial stone on the site of the death of the Ghetto Uprising Commander – Mordechaj Anielewicz and the military staff of the Jewish Combat Organization.
  • The memorial at Gibalskiego street adjacent to the Jewish cemetery at Okopowa street. It was erected on the common grave of 7,000 Jews and Poles who were shot dead on the site in 1940-44.
  • Zydowski Instytut Historyczny (The Jewish Historical Institute) located at Tlomackie 3/5. The institue houses a permanent exhibition The Warsaw Ghetto, which recounts the history of Warsaw Jews under the German Nazi occupation, from the early anti-Jewish regulations in 1939 to the murder of the entire population and the 1943 uprising; supplementary to the exhibit is a documentary, shown in four language versions (Polish, English, Hebrew and German).

Commemorations

 
anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto UprisingEvery year around 19 April, there are official ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The main ceremony takes place at the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes and it is attended by Polish and Israeli top state officials. To honour the victims of the Holocaust, there is also a March of Remembrance along the streets of the former Ghetto.
 
The official ceremonies are accompanied by a wide range of cultural events such as concerts, meetings, performances and exhibitions. The anniversary is also marked in Polish schools, where 19 April is the Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

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