Excavations in the former Warsaw Ghetto area

Volunteers needed for excavations and archeological research conducted in the former ghetto area in cooperation with Christopher Newport College and Aleksander Gieysztor Academy in Pułtusk – a branch of AFiB Vistula.

Photo by Robert Wilczyński

On June 7, 2022, another round of archeological research and excavations began in the former ghetto area, conducted by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum together with a team of scientists from Christopher Newport College and the Aleksander Gieysztor Academy in Pułtusk – a branch of AFiB Vistula. The work will continue until the end of the month.

If you are passionate about archeology, interested in the history of Warsaw, or just want to have an adventure with the world-famous scientists – we invite you to sign up!

Contact: b.jozefow-czerwinska@vistula.edu.pl

Photo by Robert Wilczyński

Children’s shoes, stove tiles, ceramic floor tiles, fragments of crockery, tools and other objects were found by archeologists on the site of a non-existent tenement house at 18 Miła St/39 Muranowska in Muranów. This is a special address. During the Ghetto Uprising, the headquarters of the Jewish Fighting Organization was located here.

– We unearthed this slipper a few days ago. It belonged to a girl about ten years old, says Dr. Jacek Konik, an archeologist and historian at the Warsaw Ghetto Museum who led the research. From a foil bag, she takes out a small, lightweight leather shoe that has been lying in the ground for nearly 80 years. Attached to it is a heel made of cheaper material with nails hammered in tightly. On the day we are talking (Tuesday, June 14), Dr. Konika’s team finds a second children’s shoe, smaller than the one found before.

The excavations began in the first days of June. They are carried out on a municipal plot in the neighborhood of Miła – Dubois – Niska – Karmelicka streets in Muranów, which before the war was called the Northern District and was inhabited mainly by Jews, and in 1940–43 it was inside the ghetto. Until the last war, in the place where archeologists aredigging, there was an apartment building with two addresses: Miła 18 and Muranowska 39. During the ghetto uprising, the bunker built underneath housed the headquarters of the Jewish Combat Organization. The hiding place was eventually discovered by the Germans. The fighters they surrounded committed mass suicide on May 8, 1943. About 120 insurgents died then, including ŻOB commander Mordechaj Anielewicz. Their bodies were never exhumed, they remained in a buried bunker. After the war, a mound of rubble was heaped over the mass grave and a memorial stone was placed on it.

We have the full support of the Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments, Prof. Jakub Lewicki. The Chief Rabbi of the Republic of Poland, Michael Schudrich, was informed about the works. If we find human bones, we will immediately stop work on the site – says Dr. Jacek Konik.

Tomasz Urzykowski, „Pantofelek znaleziony w bunkrze. Archeolodzy odkopują kryjówkę sztabu powstania w warszawskim getcie” for Gazeta Wyborcza  (article from the day 15/06/2022)