About Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto (Getto Warszawskie) was established by the Nazis to forcibly house the city’s Jewish population, with up to 400,000 people confined here from October 1940.
History of the Warsaw Ghetto
Betwen September 1939 and October 1940, the Nazis began to seal off parts of the city of Warsaw, and round up all those classified as Jews, confining them to this area. Unsurprisingly, conditions were dire: it’s thought up to 100,000 people died of starvation and disease alone by the summer of 1942.
The implementation of the ‘Final Solution’ – the Nazi plan to annihilate the Jewish people – saw over 250,000 Jews transported from the Warsaw ghetto to the extermination camp at Treblinka. By the time the majority of these transportations had left, only 50,000 people remained in the ghetto.
In 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising took place, a dramatic rebellion which stemmed from growing resistance to transportations. The uprising was sparked by the Nazis attempting to liquidate the ghetto. Instead, they razed it to the ground, blowing up the Grand Synagogue and bombing the Jewish command bunker. It’s thought over 13,000 Jews perished in the uprising. .
Very little of the Warsaw Ghetto survives today. There are fragments of the original ghetto wall and several memorials including the Mila 18 monument where the uprising headquarters were located and an inscription where insurgent leader Mordechaj Anielewicz and the last of the uprising fighters perished. There is also the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters Monument and a monument at Umschlagplatz, the site from where Jews were transported to the death camps.
The Warsaw Ghetto today
There are few traces of the Warsaw Ghetto left in the city today, other than maps and markers which show the boundaries of the former ghetto. A museum is currently under construction, due to open in 2023. Prozna Street remains a focal point for remembrance too: several of the houses on this street were residential buildings which housed Jewish families in the early years of the ghetto.
Getting to the Warsaw Ghetto
The remnants of the ghetto are found across the north side of the centre of Warsaw. Look for the Bridge of Sighs on Chłodna and a preserved part of the ghetto wall just north of Zlota.