These were the heart-wrenching words that came out of a young girl’s mouth, a Nazi victim who endured both imprisonment and starvation and struggled through another hell behind the walls of the Jewish ghettos.
“There is no justice in the world, not to mention in the ghetto.”
Life In The Warsaw Ghettos Of The Holocaust
After Poland was invaded in 1939 by the Nazis, Jewish ghettos were then set up in Poland just as they were in Europe.
Nearly every Jewish civilian was identified by 1941 and then placed into overcrowded districts by no choice of their own, these were typically separate from every other area within the city.
With a total of 490 Jews and a few Roma and Gypsy captives, the Warsaw ghetto was easily considered to be the biggest, where nearly every soul forced into living there struggled just to keep their heads above due to the harsh conditions.
In the Nazi plot, these Jewish ghettos were sadly only the first step in the systematic eradication of Europe’s Jewish population.
Without realizing this fact, the Jews in these camps waited, hoped, and prayed; that was all they could do at that point.
The Jews who were trapped in these camps never realized this and waited patiently, while they prayed and were filled with hope. At this point, that was sadly all they could do.
Many Jewish people would receive little to no food before being moved to the extermination camps and as a result, eventually starved to death.
Starvation wasn’t the only weapon the Nazis would use, other Jews in the overcrowded ghettos would also die from both typhus diseases and tuberculosis.
Many Jews perished in slave camps where living conditions were just as horrid as behind the ghetto walls.
Most ghetto dwellers still did everything in their power to survive, regardless of any cruel and inhumane treatment they were given.
They could’ve never imagined the horrors that were for them by the Nazis had planned for them.
Freedom Came Late
The next phase the Nazis had in store for the Jews had already begun by 1942: to have every Jew within the ghetto walls systemically exterminated.
Ghettos that had been inside captured portions of the USSR would soon become “extermination ghettos.” From time to time occupants from within these ghettos would be shot after having been dragged into the woods.
The Jews were transferred to death camps like Auschwitz from other ghettos, where they would inevitably be incinerated and gassed. Some of the Jews began to fight back when they realized their fate was death.
This realization the Jews had led to uprisings from within the ghettos around the continent, Jewish resistance fighters would try fending off the Nazis with anything they grab in a desperate attempt to regain their freedom.
The Warsaw ghetto uprising was considered to be the most notable revolt, where Poles and Jews were working together, hand in hand, in an attempt to stop the Schutzstaffel (SS) from forcing their families into death camps.
Unfortunately, the amount of resistance fighters wasn’t sufficient enough to prevent the Nazi war machine forever.
Most of what was the Warsaw ghetto wound up being burned to the ground, those still hiding were dragged out, and the remaining men and women were shipped off to one of the most brutal Holocaust death camp, Treblinka.
In late 1944 and into 1945, liberation finally came as the Allied armies would move in a series of offensives throughout Europe against the Nazis.
They would encounter tens of thousands of Jewish concentration camps. The Soviets would successfully liberate Auschwitz in 1945, which was known as the largest concentration camp and extermination center.
However, sadly, help for millions of Jews whose freedom was taken from them during the was came far too late.
The Soviets would soon discover hundreds of thousands of men’s suits, over 800,000 women’s outfits, and more than 14,000 pounds of human hair in an abandoned Nazi warehouse.
While the Nazis would take millions of lives from within the Jewish ghettos, these photos would survive:
Starving children cluster for warmth inside the Warsaw ghetto.
Nazi SS and young Ukrainian nationalists chase a Jewish woman through the Lviv ghetto’s streets, where militias and Nazi forces killed at least 6,000 Jews.
A dead man surrounded by a crowd of people in the Warsaw ghetto.
The Warsaw ghetto uprising: A woman dangles from a burning building’s balcony in a desperate attempt to escape with her life.
Captured Jewish Resistance fighters who were labeled bandits for trying to escape the death camps.
A boy sits in the street in the Warsaw ghetto.