Ghettos in German-occupied Europe (1939-1944)

During World War II ghettos were established by the German Nazis to confine Jews and sometimes Gypsies into tightly packed areas of the cities of Eastern Europe turning them into "de-facto" concentration camps. Though the common usage is ghetto the Nazis most often referred to the areas in documents and signage at their entrances as 'Jüdischer Wohnbezirk' or 'Wohngebiet der Juden' (German), both translate as Jewish Quarter.

The World War II Ghettos

Starting in 1939, the German Nazis began to systematically move Polish Jews into designated areas of large Polish cities. The first large ghetto at Piotrków Trybunalski was established in October 1939, the one in Tuliszkow was established in December 1939 or January 1940, followed by the Łódź Ghetto in April 1940 and the Warsaw Ghetto in October with many other ghettos established throughout 1940 and 1941. The Ghettos were walled off, and any Jew found leaving them was shot. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of these Ghettos, with 380,000 people and the Łódź Ghetto, the second largest, holding about 160,000.

The situation in the ghettos was brutal. In Warsaw, 30 percent of the population was forced to live in 2.4 percent of the city's area, a density of 9.2 people per room. In the ghetto of Odrzywol, 700 people lived in an area previously occupied by five families, between 12 and 30 to each small room. The Jews were not allowed out of the ghetto, so they had to rely on food supplied by the Nazis: in Warsaw this was 253 calories (1,060 kJ) per Jew, compared to 669 calories (2,800 kJ) per Pole and 2,613 calories (10,940 kJ) per German. With crowded living conditions, starvation diets, and little sanitation (in the Łódź Ghetto 95 percent of apartments had no sanitation, piped water or sewers) hundreds of thousands of Jews died of disease and starvation.

In 1942, the German Nazis began Operation Reinhard, the systematic deportation to extermination camps during the Holocaust. The authorities deported Jews from everywhere in Europe to the ghettos of the East, or directly to the extermination camps — almost 300,000 people were deported from the Warsaw Ghetto alone to Treblinka over the course of 52 days. In some of the Ghettos the local resistance organisations started Ghetto uprisings. None were successful, and the Jewish populations of the ghettos were almost entirely killed.

Partial list of Nazi-era ghettos

* Białystok Ghetto
* Budapest Ghetto
* Cluj Ghetto
* Kovno Ghetto
* Kraków Ghetto
* Łachwa Ghetto
* Lwów Ghetto
* Łódź Ghetto
* Marcinkance Ghetto
* Theresienstadt concentration camp, sometimes called a Ghetto
* Warsaw Ghetto
* Wilno Ghetto

See also

* Ghetto
* Ghetto uprising
* Jewish ghettos in Europe
* Judendienstordnung
* Judenrat

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe — See also: List of Nazi era ghettos Large Nazi German Ghettos in which Jews were confined, and later shipped to concentration camps …   Wikipedia

  • German war crimes — The government of Germany ordered, organized and condoned several war crimes in both World War I and World War II. The most notable of these is the Holocaust in which millions of people were murdered or died from abuse and neglect, 60% of them… …   Wikipedia

  • Occupation of Poland (1939–1945) — Occupation of Poland redirects here. For other uses, see Occupation of Poland (disambiguation). For general history of Poland during that period, see History of Poland (1939–1945). Fourth Partition of Poland aftermath of the The Nazi Soviet Pact; …   Wikipedia

  • History of Poland (1939–1945) — History of Poland This article is part of a series Chronology List of Polish monarchs …   Wikipedia

  • Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950) — Flight and expulsion of Germans during and after World War II (demographic estimates) Background …   Wikipedia

  • Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland — Before the Second World War, Second Polish Republic was home to 3,500,000 Polish Jews. After the 1939 German invasion of Poland, Nazi occupied Poland witnessed the Holocaust, with over 90% of Polish Jewry perishing over the next few years.The… …   Wikipedia

  • Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Lithuania — The Holocaust in Nazi occupied Lithuania resulted in the near total destruction of Lithuanian JewsRef label|a|a|none living in the Nazi controlled Lithuanian territories, known as the Generalbezirk Litauen of Reichskommissariat Ostland from 17… …   Wikipedia

  • Antisemitism in Europe — The first years of the twenty first century have seen an upsurge of antisemitism Fact|date=July 2008. Several authors argue that this is antisemitism of a new type, which they call new antisemitism.In 2004 the UK Parliament set up an all… …   Wikipedia

  • List of World War II topics (G) — # G H (navigation) # G Men vs the Black Dragon # G and H class destroyer # G for George # G. B. Pegram # G. Mennen Williams # G. N. Glasoe # G. Warren Nutter # G.I. Robot # G.I. Stories # G.I. Wanna Home # G?siówka # Göppingen Gö 9 # Göran… …   Wikipedia

  • The Holocaust — Holocaust and Shoah redirect here. For other uses, see Holocaust (disambiguation) and Shoah (disambiguation). Selection on …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.