The Warsaw Ghetto


All throughout history, the Jewish people have been persecuted and looked down upon by the human world. Even in Biblical times, the world blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus Christ. Even now, if someone says that they are Jewish, you always seem to look at them a little different. What events happened to cause Hitler to think that the Jews needed to be sent to ghettos, and what happened inside the ghetto?


Between 1527 and 1768, Jews were banned from living in Warsaw, Poland. Before 1939, there was 375,000 living in Warsaw, as many as in all of France. That is 40% of the population. While the Jews were banned from Warsaw before 1795, they lived in countries such as Russia, Prussia, and Austria. After that date, Jews started to flood back to Poland. From the beginning, the Jewish district was relocated to the southeastern end of old Warsaw. Nazi police enforced a boycott of all Jewish businesses, which started in 1933. The first night of this was called “The Night of Broken Glass.” On October 12, 1940, the Jews were sectioned off to where 113,000 Christians lived. They moved in. The sectioned off area forced 40% of Warsaw’s population to be enclosed to 2.4% of the city’s total landmass. 450,000 Jews were forced to live in very crowded conditions.


The chairman of the Jewish council, Adam Czeriniakow, delivered 6,000 Jews per day, seven days a week. A day later, the number was increased to 7,000. The next stage of Hitler’s plan was the liquidation of the ghettos and “transportation to the east” (death camps). By the time deportations started to be made, over 100,000 Jews had already died. Most of the Jews deported daily were sent to the death/labor camp, Treblinka. To ensure total humiliation of the “sub-human” race, the Nazis built a brick wall. It stretched eleven miles around the Warsaw ghetto to guarantee that the Jews would be totally isolated from the rest of society. It began construction on November 15, 1940. The ghetto was divided into two sections, the small southeastern end, and the larger north end.


In 1946, the ghetto inmates revolted and had a mini-war with the Nazi SS. The Jews ended up overtaking the SS and prevailing, but the ghetto was later destroyed by the German army and the Nazis. On July 22, 1942, Ukrainian and Latvian soldiers came dressed in Nazi SS uniforms. The squad of men surrounded the ghetto and liquidated it.


Very soon after the defeat of the Nazis at the ghetto, it was completely burned to the ground by Nazi troops. The Germans tried to disguise the ghettos and death camps from the rest of the world. Hitler would have succeeded, except for the fact that the American forces invaded Poland, Austria, and Germany to stop the reckless manslaughter that was occurring. Even today, Jewish people speak at seminars and museums about the Holocaust. They tell their story and the effects and emotional scars that had been left on them by the Nazi madness. No one can, or ever wants to forget what went down in Poland in the Warsaw Ghetto…