Gary Mokotoff <mokotoff@...>
Terry Ostrach poses some questions about the Warsaw ghetto.
I have always found it valuable to read history books when I run into tough
genealogy problems that require a historical context to understand the
problem. This is the case with the Warsaw ghetto questions being posed by
The Warsaw ghetto was an section of Warsaw artificially created by the
Germans when they conquered Poland in 1939. In 1940, they forced all Jews
living in Warsaw and its vicinity (its vicinity may have been as much as 50
miles) to live in the confines of this very small section of Warsaw that
became known as the Warsaw ghetto. They built a wall around the area to
assure that the Jews would remain in the area. This ghettoizing occurred
throughout Poland. The strategy was to concentrate Jews into ghettos and
then when the Final Solution was created, to transport them >from the ghettos
to concentration camps or extermination camps. The total number of Jews
living in the Warsaw ghetto was estimated at 450,000. I have seem estimates
that the population density was about 6-7 people per room. Starting in the
summer of 1942, Jews were deported to their deaths at Treblinka, some 35
miles northeast of Warsaw. In the final round of deportations in April 1943,
the remnant of Jews rebelled and held off the Germans for a number of days.
This all is a very cursory explanation of the ghetto days. I recommend that
anyone interested in that era read one of the many history books on the
As to some specific questions posed by Terry:
1. Is it true that ALL Jews in Warsaw ca 1900 lived in the Ghetto? Based on
the first sentence in my description of the ghetto, it is highly likely that
any Jew living in the vicinity of Warsaw in 1939 was sent to the ghetto.
2. What side of Warsaw was it on? There are maps in history books that show
the exact boundaries of the ghetto.
3. Are there Ghetto records anywhere? Sadly, there are virtually no records
naming individuals >from the Warsaw ghetto era. There were no deportation
lists to Treblinka and few ghetto records were created that identify