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16 November 2020 - 80th anniversary of sealing off the Warsaw Ghetto

A series of events organized by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum in cooperation with the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland are to mark the anniversary of the moment the Warsaw Ghetto was walled off. The Institute of National Rememberance is joining in to honour the residents of the Jewish Quarter who fell victim to the German terror.

  • Erection of the Warsaw Ghetto wall
    Erection of the Warsaw Ghetto wall

 

On 1 April 1940, erection of the wall separating the area inhabited by Jews from the rest of Warsaw began. It was built on express orders from Governor Fischer, and the Judenrat was forced to pay for it. In March, the Germans renamed that part of the city "Seuchenspergebiet" ("Epidemics Area"), in early October officially called it the "Jewish Quarter", and on 16 November cut it off from the rest of the world.

A third of the city population confined in 2,5% of its area meant gross overcrowding, which translated into diseases and hunger, and hunger spawned smuggling, black market, corruption and exploitation. These appalling conditions were exacerbated by the arrival of Jewish deportees from the Warsaw District, as well as from abroad, while slave labour and random German terror further increased the mortality rate.

However, worse was to come: in mid- 1942, the Jewish Quarter saw the deportation of three-fourths of its population to the gas chambers of Treblinka. In January 1943, the next batch went, and in April and May, after the Uprising, the remaining 60,000 either were killed on the spot or deported. Soon afterwards, the ghetto ceased to exist, its end marked with the destruction of the Great Synagogue, personally blown up by Jürgen Stroop.

Walling off the Jewish Quarter began 2,5 years of unprecedented ordeal for the residents, and 80 years later, that ordeal and its victims are to be commemorated. In cooperation with the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto Museum prepared a series of events and publications presenting the historical background and the reality of the residents and the divided city. The IPN is participating in that commemoration.

 

A film from the Warsaw Ghetto in the testimony of Stanisław Soszyński:


 

 

On 12 November, the Institute’s Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma hosted a press conference on the loaning of the Stroop Report to the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, on 14 November the IPN is organizing a dedicated seminar for teachers, and on 16 November, IPN's Deputy President  joined Albert Stankowski, the Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, and Artur Hofman, the head of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, in lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.

 

  • IPN's Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D. lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.
Photo S.Kasper IPN
    IPN's Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D. lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.
  • IPN's Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D. lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.
Photo S.Kasper IPN
    IPN's Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D. lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.
  • IPN's Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D. lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.
Photo S.Kasper IPN
    IPN's Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D. lighting a candle to the victims by the ghetto wall.

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