The Warsaw Ghetto
Good morning, we will continue January and the Holocaust with a DW Documentary about the Warsaw Ghetto. This is a German-produced documentary.
This documentary features Warsaw Ghetto survivors and citizens who remember the ghetto. A Polish businessman risked his life to film the conditions of the ghetto. The Warsaw story starts with the war and how the citizens react. The citizens remember the war and how it came. The terror began right away for the citizens. What was the Nazi’s plan for the citizens of Warsaw?
This documentary starts with the stories of the residents of Warsaw. They remember when war came to Warsaw. The Nazis planned on destroying Warsaw. However, these plans were not realized. However, the plans were discovered and an artist did a reconstruction of the city. It was going to be a German city. The Jewish and Polish populations were to be exterminated.
At the start, the Nazis planned on establishing two Jewish housing areas. That was reduced to one area. Before the war, over 1.2 million people lived in Warsaw and it was home to the second-largest Jewish population. The Jewish population was 1/3 of the city and they were integrated into city life. When the Ghetto was created, it divided the population for the first time in centuries.
One ghetto resident did not think she was Jewish and questioned why she had to move from her home. When they arrived in the ghetto they were greeted with horrible posters. It left this girl humiliated. She wondered why this was happening. The Nazis established a Jewish quarter, and their propaganda indicates it was created “to prevent the spread of disease.”
In 1941, a film was created featuring the Warsaw Ghetto. It was on 8 mm film. This film was featured through the documentary. All known film was created by the Nazis. However, this film was created by a Pole and was the first of its kind ever made. He had a pass to the ghetto. Here he would film the conditions. This Pole was risking his life filming the ghetto.
One Ghetto survivor recalls how the Polish population who lived in the Ghetto had to move out and the Jews who lived outside the ghetto moved in. People had to carry all their worldly possession on carts. Walls and fences were created to surround the ghetto. People could only leave and get into the ghetto with special passes.
The ghetto residents looked for contacts outside the ghetto to get food. One Warsaw citizen recalls how his father smuggled food into the ghetto. His contact suddenly disappeared and they never knew why. The survivor recalls how her sister and her father just disappeared one day. She never knew why. These contacts would smuggle food into the ghetto. Someone who had money could easily get supplies. Others had Polish contacts outside the ghetto.
The City center ceased to function normally. The ghetto was in the heart of the city. The Nazis carved out their section and did it for “their protection.” The Polish citizens would have to do with the rest. Eventually, the Nazis shipped more Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto. People were crammed into the ghetto. The individual would disappear in the crowd.
To continue to learn more about the Warsaw Ghetto, watch the rest of this documentary.
If you need a documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto, this documentary would be a good start. It is a slow build-up to how the Ghetto was created, the living conditions, and how it was cleared out. This documentary did a good job incorporating the survivors and primary source documents about the Warsaw Ghetto.
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