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The pictures below are from the heritage of a German soldier who served with a supply unit. They were taken in Warsaw and surroundings in 1942.

Various pictures show the ghetto of Warsaw. On October 2, 1940, the Jews in Warsaw were told that the Warsaw regional governor, Ludwig Fischer, had ordered the establishment of a ghetto. The Jewish inhabitants of Warsaw and its surroundings would be concentrated there, isolated from the outside world.

The Warsaw ghetto was the largest ghetto established by the Germans. This part of the city was separated from the rest by a brick wall, 10 feet high and a length of 10 miles. At the highest point, 445.000 Jews would be housed inside the ghetto. The isolated suburb did not only contain dwellings for the inhabitants but also numerous workshops owned by German industrialists and were supervised by the Wehrmacht. Here Jews were deployed as forced laborers for the German war industry. In the first year of the existence of the ghetto over 43.000 people died and in the first months of 1942, that number stood at some 37.000. They not only died from starvation but also from illnesses breaking out as a result of the deplorable hygienic conditions and the lack of medical facilities.

When the Nazi’s embarked on the total evacuation of the ghetto on April 19, 1943, they encountered fierce resistance. Jewish men and women had taken up arms and formed a militia. These Jewish warriors took revenge on the Germans who had deported their next of kin to the extermination camp Treblinka during the previous months. It took until May 16, 1943 before Jürgen Stroop, who was in charge of the evacuation, could report to his superiors that his operation had been completed.


Probably part of the 19th century fortifications surrounding Warsaw.


The 17th century Saxonian palace in Warsaw. The building was destroyed during the Warsaw uprising in April and May 1943.


Rear view of the Saxonian palace.


Warning sign: He who steals wood will be shot.


Unknown location in the Polish countryside, probably in the vicinity of Warsaw.


Horse drawn cart, presumably in the countryside near Warsaw.


Small vessels, possibly on the banks of the Wistula.


Squatter toilet.


A local woman carrying a bunch of twigs.


Water well in a Polish village.


Location unknown.


Jewish inhabitant of the Warsaw ghetto. On the white armband probably a Star of David.


Entrance of the Jewish ghetto at the intersection between Zlota and Twardastreets.


Intersection between Kamelickastreet and Lesznostreet in the Warsaw ghetto. A member of the ghetto police directs traffic.


Possibly young inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto.


Location unknown, probably the center of the Warsaw ghetto.


Checks at the intersection at the entrance of the Jewish ghetto near Zelaznastreet. A Polish police officer assists the German soldier.


Location unknown, probably in the Warsaw ghetto.


Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, recognizable by their armband.


A horse-drawn cart, probably in the Warsaw ghetto.


Market day in the Warsaw ghetto.


A German soldiers checking passers-by at the entrance of the Jewish ghetto.


Possibly Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.


Warsaw central station or Hauptbahnhof in German.


Jewish police officer in the Warsaw ghetto, exact location unknown.


Ruins in Warsaw. The city was bombed by the Luftwaffe at the beginning of the war.


A horse and carriage passing ruined buildings in Warsaw.


Tram line 7, the traffic controller probably belongs to the Jewish police or the security patrol in the ghetto.


The Maria Magdalena Cathedral which remained largely unscathed during the war.


Ruins in Warsaw, precise location unknown.


A view on demolished houses in an unknown location in Warsaw.


The Belvedère palace in Warsaw. After the First World War, it served as the residence of Marshall Joseph Pilsudski. It stayed intact during the war.


The Brühl palace in Warsaw. It was completely demolished by the Germans following the uprising in 1943.

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