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Warsaw Ghetto Uprising - Term Paper Example

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Table of Contents Introduction Historical background Life in the ghetto Illegal organizations Destruction of the residents Relations with Polish organizations The uprising Conclusion Introduction The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the largest Jewish rebellion against the Nazis during the Second World War…
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Download file to see previous pages Historical background After the entry of troops of the Third Reich into Poland in October 1939, the occupation authorities issued the order according to which Jews had to pass their money to financial institutions. A person was allowed to keep no more than 2000 zlotys. In public transport, the Nazis placed offensive posters intended to incite ethnic hatred. Speaking about the reasons for creating ghettos in towns of Poland, the Nazis claimed that Jews were carriers of infectious diseases, and that their isolation would help to protect non-Jewish population from the epidemics. In March 1940 a number of urban areas with high concentrations of Jewish population had been declared a quarantine zone. From these areas about 113.000 Poles were expelled, and this place was inhabited by 138.000 Jews from other places. The decision to organize the ghetto was taken on October 16, 1940 by Governor-general Hans Frank. At this point in the ghetto, there were about 440,000 people (37% of the population), while the area of ghetto was 4.5% of the area of Warsaw. Initially leaving the ghetto without permission was liable to imprisonment for a term of 9 months. Since November 1941 the death penalty was applied. On November 16 the ghetto was fenced with a wall. Life in the ghetto Issues within the ghetto were regulated by Judenrat, which was under the control of German authorities. Chairman of the Judenrat was Adam Czerniakow, who “refused to take advantage of opportunities to leave Poland in the early months of the occupation, and he held Jewish leaders who did so in contempt as traitors to their people” (Niewyk & Nicosia 175). Head of the Jewish police in the ghetto was Jozef Sherinsky (Berenbaum & Peck 599). Officially established food standards for the ghetto were specially calculated for the people to starve and die. In the second half of 1941, food standards for the Jews included 184 calories. However, due to illegally supplied food, real consumption averaged 1125 calories a day. Part of the population was engaged in German manufacturing. Thus, in the sewing industry of Walter Tebens 18 thousand Jews were employed. The working day lasted 12 hours with no weekends and holidays. Of the 110 thousand workers of ghetto only 27000 had a permanent job. Inside the ghetto illegal production of various goods was organized, raw materials for which were supplied in secret. Products were also smuggled for sale or exchange for food outside the ghetto. In addition to the legal 70 bakeries in the ghetto there were 800 illegal ones. The cost of illegal export from the ghetto was estimated at 10 million zlotys a month. Among the inhabitants of the ghetto there was a layer of people, whose activities and position provided them with relatively good life (traders, smugglers, members of the Judenrat, the agents of the Gestapo). Most of the residents suffered from malnutrition. There were problems with health: Once the ghettos were sealed, the uncontrollable spread of typhus became a major problem. Some estimate that there was a case of exanthematic typhus in every family in the Warsaw ghetto, affecting from one-quarter to one-third of the population (Soumerai & Schulz 100). The worst situation was with the Jews, displaced from other parts of Poland. Not having connections and acquaintances, they had difficulties in finding and securing income for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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