The Warsaw ghetto is closed

Children begging on the streets of the Warsaw ghetto

Children begging on the streets of the Warsaw ghetto, 1940. Soon conditions deteriorated as the whole population was put on a starvation diet and people began to die on the streets.

Four hundred thousand Jews, a third of the Warsaw population, were now imprisoned. The ghetto, announced on the 12th October was finally closed off on the 15th November 1940. The Jewish population were confined behind newly erected brick walls, sealing them off in the poorest part of the city. Ordinary Poles were not allowed to enter. Suddenly even illicit access to food and other resources became much more difficult. Now, hidden from witnesses, the German persecution became even more murderous.

What we dreaded most has come to us. We had a premonition that a ghetto life awaited us, a life of sorrow and poverty, of shame and degradation but no one believed that the fateful hour our would come so soon.

See The Scroll of Agony: The Warsaw Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan.

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