The forgotten children of the Holocaust. Part II. The Warsaw ghetto

Three homeless Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto (1941–1943). USHMM
The same three homeless Jewish children, now in despair, in the Warsaw ghetto (1941–1943).

Before WWII, Warsaw had a population of 1,300,000 inhabitants (350,000 were Jewish). The Jewish community of Warsaw was the biggest of Europe and the second biggest in the world (after New York).

28 days after the invasion of Poland, the Germans entered Warsaw (September 29, 1939). On November 23, all the Jewish people above 10 years old were ordered by the Germans to wear the Judenstern.

In November 1940, more than 400,000 Jewish men, women and children were sealed inside the Warsaw ghetto. The ghetto had only 2 square kms and was separated from the rest of the city by a 3-meter wall with a barbed wire.

Over 80,000 Jewish men, women and children died as a result of starvation, diseases and brutality in the Warsaw ghetto. In March 1941, the Jewish population of the Warsaw ghetto reached a peak of more than 460,000 (85,000 were children up to the age of 14).

In July 1942, the deportations to the extermination camps (mainly Treblinka) begun. The German code name for the deportations was Grossaktion Warsaw. Adam Czerniakow, head of the Judenrat refused to make the lists for the deportations and committed suicide. From July 22 to September 12, 1942, the Germans deported 265,000 Jewish men, women and children to Treblinka to be gassed. Another 35,000 Jews were murdered in the ghetto during the deportations. 

In January 1943, the Germans intended to liquidate the ghetto (80,000 Jewish men, women and children were left) but the Jewish people resisted. The Germans deported 5,000 Jews and withdrew. 

From April 19 to May 16, 1943, the Warsaw ghetto uprising took place. The Germans deported 49,000 Jews to Treblinka, Majdanek and other camps. After the liquidation of the ghetto 20,000 Jews continued living clandestinely in the “Arian” area of Warsaw.  

From August 1 to October 2, 1944, the Warsaw uprising took place. 150,000 Poles and 17,000 Jews died during the Warsaw uprising. Warsaw was completely destroyed.  

On January 17, 1945 (Warsaw’s liberation day), there were only 174,000 Poles and 11,500 Jews left alive in Warsaw. Let’s not forget that Warsaw had had a population of 1,300,000 people before 1939, including 350,000 Jews. 

Jewish men, women and children being sealed into the ghetto by the Germans Zelezny street. 1940. Yad Vashem
Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto, 1940. USHMM
Jewish men, women and children from other parts of the Generalgouverenment arriving in a train/tram for passengers (not a freight car) to the Warsaw ghetto. USHMM
Two starving Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto (1940–1943). USHMM 
Three Jewish children and a baby lying on a street of the Warsaw ghetto. Yad Vashem
Jewish men, women and children waiting in line for food. Nalewki street, 33. Warsaw ghetto.  Yad Vashem
 
Five Jewish girls and one Jewish boy eating bread and soup. Warsaw ghetto. Yad Vashem 
Jewish men, women and children living inside the synagogue of Nalewki street, 37. Warsaw ghetto. Yad Vashem
Jewish mother holding her child. Warsaw ghetto, June–August 1941. USHMM
Dying Jewish child lying on the street. Warsaw ghetto, September 19, 1941. USHMM
A Jewish boy and a Jewish girl on a street of the Warsaw ghetto. Yad Vashem
Jewish men, women and children selling and buying food. Warsaw ghetto, June–August 1941. USHMM 
Jewish woman and two smiling children in the Warsaw ghetto. 1941. IWM
Jewish men and boys smiling for the photo. Warsaw ghetto, June–August 1941. USHMM
Starving Jewish child eating a piece of bread. Warsaw ghetto, summer 1941. IWM
Two Jewish girls: Gina Tabaczynska -right-, b. 1925, and Hanka Birenbaum) in the Warsaw ghetto. 1940–1943. Gina survived the Holocaust. USHMM
Jewish boy with a jacket made of scraps. Warsaw ghetto, September 19, 1941. USHMM.  
A smiling Jewish boy selling the "Gazeta Żydowska - Jewish Gazette". Warsaw ghetto, 1941. IWM
A dying Jewish child begging in the street. Warsaw ghetto. Summer 1941. IWM
A Jewish mother with her two daughters in the Warsaw ghetto. Summer 1941. IWM
Two emaciated Jewish children in the street. Warsaw ghetto. Summer 1941. IWM
A street in the Warsaw ghetto, 1942. 
A crowed street in the Warsaw ghetto, 1942. USHMM 
Jewish boy selling candy in the Warsaw ghetto. IWM
Jewish people at the "market". Warsaw ghetto. IWM
Dying father with his children lying on the street. Warsaw ghetto. 1941. IWM

Die Großaktion: Deportation and mass murder of the Jewish men, women and children of the Warsaw ghetto organised and carried out by the Germans (July 22–September 12, 1942)

Umschlagplatz. Deportation of Jewish men, women and children from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. Großaktion Warsaw. Summer 1942.
Umschlagplatz. Deportation of Jewish men, women and children from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. Großaktion Warsaw. 1942–43.
Umschlagplatz. Jewish men, women and children from the Warsaw ghetto ready to be deported. Großaktion Warsaw. 1942–43. USHMM

The Warsaw ghetto (April 19–May 16, 1943) and liquidation of the ghetto: 150,000 Poles and 7,000 Jews died during the uprising. The Germans deported 49,000 Jews to Treblinka, Majdanek and other camps. After the liquidation of the ghetto 20,000 Jews continued living clandestinely in the “Arian” area of Warsaw.  

The Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
German pigs cowardly bombing the Warsaw ghetto during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
Ruins of the Warsaw ghetto during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
Brave Jewish men ready to jump and commit suicide rather than being captured by the German murderers. April 22, 1943. USHMM
The bodies of Jewish victims lie in front of the ruins of the ghetto. Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
Jewish men and women captured during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
Jewish men, women and children captured after the Warsaw ghetto uprising being herded to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The little girl and the two women seen in the front perished. The man behind the little girl (Avraham Neyer) survived the Holocaust. USHMM
Jewish men, women and adolescents captured by German pigs being held next to the ghetto wall before being sent to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM 
A fat SS pig overseeing the deportation of the Jewish survivors of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
Jewish men, women and children captured by the Germans during the suppression of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. April 19–August 16, 1943. USHMM
Jewish men, women and children captured after the Warsaw ghetto uprising being herded down Nowolipie street to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
Jewish families surrendering to the German murderers. Warsaw ghetto uprising. A mother holding her little boy can be seen. April 19–May 16, 1943.
USHMM 
Probably the most famous photo of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The little girl on the left was Hanka Lamet. The little boy in the front has been identified as Arthur Domb Semiontek, Israel Rondel, Tsvi Nussbaum or Levi Zeilinwarger. USHMM
Jewish men, women and children captured by German murderers during the Warsaw ghetto uprising force to load a truck for deportation. April 19–May 16, 1943. USHMM
An aerial photo showing the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. After May 16, 1943. USHMM
The destroyed grounds of the former Warsaw ghetto. 1946. USHMM 
Postwar view of the former Warsaw ghetto, 1947. USHMM 

The Warsaw uprising (August 1–October 2, 1944): 150,000 Poles and 17,000 Jews died during the Warsaw uprising. Warsaw was completely destroyed.  

Polish women and children from Warsaw deported to  Ravensbrück after the Warsaw uprising. October 1944. USHMM
Jan Kostanski (right), b. 1925, during the Warsaw uprising. October, 1944. He helped many Jewish people. He survived the war and was recognised Righteous Among the Nations in 1984. USHMM

Never forget and never forgive. We remember!

Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, January 17, 2021

CREDITS

Yad Vashem

USHMM

Imperial War Museum UK: Daily Life in the Warsaw Ghetto

About Antonia Tejeda Barros

Madre de tres, flautista, violinista, profesora, alumna y súper fan de Woody Allen / Mother of three, musician, teacher, student, and Woody Allen fan
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