Warsaw ghetto

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    <br><br>Warsaw ghetto (German Warschauer Ghetto, Polish Getto warszawskie, Yiddish ווארשעווער געטא, official name Jewish residential area in Warsaw, it. Jüdischer Wohnbezirk in Warschau) is a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, created by the Nazis during the occupation of Poland.<br><br>During the existence of the ghetto, its population decreased from 450 thousand to 37 thousand people. During the operation of the ghetto, there was one uprising, which eventually led to the abolition of the entire ghetto and the transfer of prisoners to Treblinka.<br>Background<br> Tram car for Jews only. Warsaw. October 1940.<br><br>Until 1939, Warsaw’s Jewish quarter almost a fifth of the city. The townspeople called it the northern region and considered it the center of Jewish life in the interwar capital of Poland, although Jews also lived in other parts of Warsaw.<br><br>After the troops of the Third Reich entered Poland in October 1939, the occupation authorities issued an order according to which Jews were ordered to hand over cash to financial institutions. It was allowed to leave no more than 2,000 zlotys per person.<br><br>In public transport, the Nazis pasted up offensive posters in order to hatred.<br><br>Speaking about the reasons for the creation of ghettos in the settlements of Poland, the Nazis argued that Jews are carriers of infectious diseases, and their isolation will help protect the non-Jewish population from epidemics. In March 1940, a number of urban areas with a high concentration of the Jewish population were declared a quarantine zone. About 113 thousand Poles were evicted from these areas and 138 thousand Jews from other places were settled in their place.<br><br>The decision to organize a ghetto was made on October 16, 1940 by Governor General Hans Frank. By this time, there were about 440 thousand people in the ghetto (37% of the city’s population), while the area of ​​the ghetto was 4.5% of the area of ​​Warsaw.<br><br>Initially, leaving the ghetto without permission was punishable by 9 months in prison. From November 1941, the death penalty began to be applied. On November 16, the ghetto was fenced off with a wall.<br>Life in the ghetto<br>The issues within the ghetto were regulated by the Judenrat, which was under the control of the German authorities. The chairman of the Judenrat was Adam Chernyakov. The head of the Jewish police in the ghetto was Józef Sherinsky.<br><br>Officially established food norms for the ghetto were calculated to cover the death of residents from hunger. In the second half of 1941, the food ration for Jews was 184 kilocalories. However, thanks to the illegally supplied foodstuffs in the ghetto, real consumption averaged 1,125 kilocalories per day.<br><br>Some of the residents were employed in German production. For example, Walter Tebbens’ sewing factories employed 18,000 Jews. The working day lasted 12 hours without days off and holidays. Of the 110,000 workers in the ghetto, only 27,000 had permanent jobs.<br><br>On the territory of the ghetto, illegal production of various goods was organized, the raw materials for which were supplied secretly. Products were also secretly exported for sale and exchange for food outside the ghetto. In addition to 70 legal bakeries, 800 illegal bakeries worked in the ghetto. The value of illegal exports from the ghetto was estimated at 10 million zlotys per month.<br><br>In the ghetto, a stratum of residents stood out, whose activities and position ensured them a relatively prosperous life – merchants, smugglers, members of the Judenrat, agents of the Gestapo. Among them, Abram Ganzweich, as well as his competitors Morris Cohn and Zelig Geller, enjoyed particular influence. Most of the inhabitants suffered from malnutrition. The worst situation was with the Jews resettled from other parts of Poland. Without connections and acquaintances, they experienced difficulties in finding work and providing for their families.<br><br>The demoralization of youth took place in the ghetto, youth gangs were formed, and street children appeared.<br>Illegal organizations<br>Illegal organizations of various orientations and numbers (Zionists, Communists) operated in the ghetto. After several Polish communists were sent to the ghetto at the beginning of 1942 (Jozef Levartovsky, Pinkus Kartin), members of the Hammer and Sickle groupings, the Society of Friends of the USSR, and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Fighting Organization joined the Polish Workers’ Party. Party members published newspapers and . They were joined by left-Zionist organizations that supported the ideology of Marxism and the idea of ​​creating a Jewish Soviet Republic in Palestine (Poale-Zion Levitsa, Poale-Zion Pravitsa, Hashomer-Hatzair). Their leaders were Mordechai Anelevich, Mordechai Tenenbaum, Yitzhak Zuckerman. However, in the summer of 1942, with the help of provocateurs, the Gestapo identified most of the members of the pro-communist underground.<br><br>The Anti-Fascist Bloc was created in March. The anti-fascist bloc established contacts with other ghettos and created a of about 500 people. The Bund branch numbered about 200 people, but the Bund refused to coordinate with the Communists. Resistance organizations did not become widespread.<br><br>Under the leadership of Emmanuel Ringelblum, an underground Jewish group „Oneg Shabbat” was created to archival documentation of life in the ghetto. The written evidence collected by the group was named in the post-war period the Ringelblum Archive, which was included by UNESCO in the list of the most important written documents “Memory of the World”.<br>Destruction of inhabitants<br>In the ghetto, rumors circulated about the mass extermination of Jews in the provinces of Poland. To mislead and reassure ghetto residents, the German newspaper Warschauer Zeitung reported that tens of thousands of Jews were building an industrial complex. In addition, new schools and orphanages were allowed to open in the ghetto.<br><br>On July 19, 1942, rumors of an imminent eviction appeared in the ghetto due to the fact that the owners of the Kon and Geller company had taken their families to a suburb of Warsaw. The Warsaw Commissioner for Jewish Affairs Heinz Auerswald told the chairman of the Judenrat Chernyakov that the rumors were false, after which Chernyakov made a statement.<br><br>On July 22, 1942, the Judenrat was informed that all Jews, with the exception of those working in German enterprises, hospital workers, members of the Judenrat and their families, members of the Jewish police in the ghetto and their families, would be deported to the east. The Jewish police were ordered to ensure the daily dispatch of 6 thousand people to the railway station. If the order was not followed, the Nazis threatened to shoot the hostages, including Chernyakov’s wife.<br><br>On July 23, the head of the Judenrat, Chernyakov, committed suicide after learning that children from orphanages were preparing to leave. His place was taken by Marek Lichtenbaum, who was engaged in speculation. Lichtenbaum’s sons collaborated with the Gestapo. The Judenrat called on the population to assist the police in sending residents.<br><br>On the same day, a meeting of members of the underground Jewish network was held, at which the participants decided that the sending of residents would be carried out for the purpose of resettlement in labor camps. It was decided not to resist.<br><br>Every day from the hospital building designated as a collection point, people were driven onto the loading platform. The physically fit men were separated and sent to labor camps. In addition, those employed in German enterprises were released (after the intervention of the management). The rest (at least 90%) were herded 100 people each into cattle cars. The Judenrat made statements denying rumors that the carriages were heading to the extermination camps. The Gestapo distributed letters in which, on behalf of the residents who had left, they told about employment in new places.<br><br>In the early days, the police captured beggars, disabled people, orphans. In addition, it was announced that three kilograms of bread and a kilogram of marmalade would be given to those who volunteered at the collection points. On July 29, the encirclement of houses began with a check of documents, those who did not have certificates of work at German enterprises were sent to the loading platform. Those who tried to escape were shot. Lithuanian and Ukrainian collaborators also took part in these checks. By July 30, 60,000 people had been removed.<br><br>On August 6, about 200 children from the orphanage were sent to Treblinka, the director of which was teacher Janusz Korczak. The Judenrat achieved the release of Korczak, but he refused and followed his pupils. In August, for the first time, workers from the institutions of the Judenrat (700-800 people) were sent.<br><br>On September 21, the houses of the Jewish police were surrounded, most of the policemen, along with their wives and children, were sent to extermination camps.<br><br>Within 52 days (until September 21, 1942), about 300 thousand people were taken to Treblinka. During July, Jewish police dispatched 64,606 people. In August, 135 thousand people were taken out, for September 2-11 – 35 886 people. After that, from 55 to 60 thousand people remained in the ghetto.<br><br>In the following months, a Jewish military organization of about 220-500 people took shape, headed by Mordechai Anelevich and a Jewish military union of 250-450 people. The Jewish Militant Organization proposed staying in the ghetto and resisting, while the Jewish Militant Alliance planned to leave the ghetto and continue operations in the forests. The members of the organizations were mainly armed with pistols, improvised explosive devices and bottles with a combustible mixture (Molotov cocktails).<br>Insurrection<br>From April 19 to May 16, 1943, an armed uprising took place in the Warsaw ghetto. The uprising was suppressed by the SS troops. During the uprising, about 7,000 ghetto defenders were killed and about 6,000 were burned alive as a result of massive arson of buildings by German troops. The surviving inhabitants of the ghetto, numbering about 15,000, were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp. On May 16, the ghetto was finally liquidated.<br>Warsaw ghetto in cultureKorczak is a film by Polish director Andrzej Wajda about an orphanage for Jewish orphans led by Janusz Korczak, whose pupils were resettled in the ghetto in 1939.The Zoo Keeper’s Wife (2017) is a real story of the brave feat of the Warsaw Zoo caretakers Jan and Antonina Zhabinski, who gave shelter and saved the lives of more than 300 Warsaw Jews from the ghetto during World War II.The life of Jews in the „Warsaw Ghetto” is revealed in the film by Roman Polanski – „The Pianist”Irena Sendler’s Braveheart is about a Polish resistance activist who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw ghetto.Swedish band Army of lovers sang about this ghetto in their song Israelism”Unfinished Film” is a documentary film by J. Kherson based on the materials of a German propaganda film about the ghetto, filmed under the guise of “documentary filming”.British group Nitzer Ebb has a song „Warsaw Ghetto”

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