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Warsaw Ghetto Begins to be Liquidated, 1942

On This Day in Jewish History: July 22, 1942:


On July 22, 1942, the Nazi’s began to implement the Grossaktion (Great Action) as part of the Final Solution. Under the guise of a resettlement in the East, between 250,000-265,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka Extermination Camp within merely 2 months. This event also occurred on Tisha B'Av of that year and is commemorated as one of the many tragedies to befall the Jewish People on this day.


On July 20, the SS appeared in the ghetto, notifying the Judenrat (Jewish council) of the new policy. As the Nazis withheld the truth about the deportations to the newly completed Treblinka Extermination Camp, the Judenrat compiled a list of names for the first transports. This meant that all Jewish persons living in Warsaw were to be resettled in the East with the exception of those employed by the German Authorities, Judenrat, Jewish Police or other areas of work that aided the Nazi regime.


On July 23rd, when word began to seep into the ghetto about the true intentions of the deportations, Adam Czerniaków, head of the Warsaw Judenrat, committed suicide. He did, however, obtain exemptions for numerous inhabitants who were not part of the previous list of exemptions.


With the knowledge that Jews were sent directly to the gas chambers upon arrival at Treblinka, inhabitants began creating hiding places, namely bunkers. This ultimately led to the creation of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) and the birth of armed resistance in the ghetto. Slide 5: Between 5.000-7.000 people were deported on a daily basis, some of whom chose to be deported after hearing the false promises of free food, better work after arriving at their destination as well as improved living conditions. During Grossaktion, 35,000 Jews were murdered within the ghetto walls and by the summer of 1943, only 60,000-70,000 Jews remained in the ghetto, a fraction of the previous Jewish population in Warsaw.


May the memories of the Jewish community in Warsaw be a blessing.


 

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