The 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

This year, on 19 April, the commemoration of the Uprising outbreak in front of the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes is not possible due to the spreading epidemic. In collaboration with the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland (Towarzystwo Społeczno-Kulturalne Żydów w Polsce, TSKŻ), the Warsaw Ghetto Museum prepared joint events which will be exceptionally held online.

14 April 2020

We are presenting the programme of this year’s virtual commemorations, to cherish the memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes together.

Historical films about the Warsaw Ghetto – TSKŻ series 14 – 19 April at and @TSKZwP.

TSKŻ has also prepared a series of short films on the history of the Warsaw Ghetto and various aspects of life in the confined quarter. The author of the films is Hanna Dzielińska, a journalist, Warsaw tour guide and a popularizer of the history of the city.

The films present the borders and the topography of the confined quarter, the everyday life at the Ghetto and aid provided to the Jews, the cultural and artistic life at the Ghetto, the activity of Oneg Shabbat and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The final film of the series is both a story and a virtual stroll down the memory lane of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes.

“Every third of us” – exhibition of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum from 17 April at and @1943pl

Exhibition curator: Rafał Kosewski

Cooperation: David Berman, Magdalena Piecyk, Adam Wolniewicz, Magdalena Zielińska

Graphic design: Paweł Podkowiński

Text: Paweł Wieczorek

Translation: Dominika Gajewska

An exhibition telling the history of the Ghetto has been prepared as part of the commemoration related to the 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising outbreak and the 80th anniversary of closing the borders of the Ghetto. Until September 1939, Jewish community, amounting to approx. 370,000 people, constituted one-third of the capital’s population. Two worlds, Polish and Jewish, differing in their religion, clothing, language and customs, coexisted in one city. The Jews lived everywhere in the city, but most of them resided in the area of Gęsia, Świętojerska and Nalewek streets. For the German occupier, it justified the creation of a confined quarter in this very area – the largest ghetto in occupied Europe.

The idea behind the exhibition is to provide the most important information regarding the history of the Ghetto in an accessible way and to a wide audience. The contents of the boards can be regarded as an introduction to strolls down the trail filled with memorabilia from a Warsaw that no longer exists, or an encouragement to reach for historical studies and testimonies. Apart from introducing the audience to such events as the Grossaktion Warsaw and the Uprising of 1943, the exhibition tells the story of everyday struggles behind the walls of the Ghetto.

The exhibition was meant to be inaugurated on 16 April at Grzybowski Square, however, due to the epidemic situation, its opening in the open air has been postponed. Visit on 17 April to watch the virtual vernissage. We hope that a meeting with the authors will take place at the turn of June and July, when we can meet at Grzybowski Square.

“Women in the Context of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” a historical column by Paweł Wieczorek (PhD) 17 April 2020 at and @1943pl

Pola Elster served in the ranks of ŻOB (Jewish Combat Organisation). Zivia Lubetkin was a co-founder of the resistance movement at the Warsaw Ghetto. Luba Gawisar escaped the Gestapo and an officer of the Blue Police. With the help of Aleksander Kamiński, she found a new shelter. Her place of stay was at the same time a contact point for ŻOB. These women, as well as Malka, Rachel, Bluma, Regina and Masha, took up the fight for a dignified death in the uprising of 1943. Read the latest historical column by Paweł Wieczorek (PhD) – a regular columnist for the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.

Main celebrations in front of the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes 19 April 2020, 12.00 PM, at, @1943, and @TSKZwP

For the first time in the history of Warsaw, Ghetto Uprising commemorations we will not meet en masse before the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes. To reflect the atmosphere of the event, let us recall its recording from the last year. Visit our website and social networking profile. We are meeting at 12.00 PM in the virtual world.

“When the Warsaw Ghetto was created” radio drama 19 April 2020 at and @1943pl Directed by: Paweł Passini, script: Ewa Małkowska-Bieniek, production:  Warsaw Ghetto Museum, cooperation: Artists Association NEAR EAST

As part of the actions of #WarsawGhettoMuseumOnline we are inviting you to listen to a fictionalised broadcast, produced by the Education Department of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum. It introduces the audience to the situation of one-third of pre-war residents of Warsaw during World War II. In November 1940, approx. 400,000 Polish Jews were resettled to the area behind the walls that marked the borders of the Ghetto. July 1942 marks the beginning of Grossaktion – deportation of people to the Treblinka death camp. In the morning of 19 April 1943, when the Germans began the final liquidation of the Ghetto and another wave of deportations, they were raked by groups of Jewish armed conspiracy – the Jewish Combat Organisation (ŻOB) and the Jewish Military Union (Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, ŻZW).

– We want the audience to see that the residents of the Ghetto were not only victims, but also people who displayed extraordinary fortitude in extreme circumstances. We want the tragedy and heroism of everyday ghetto life to become widely known – the author, Ewa Małkowska-Białek, says. The recording is used for the lessons conducted by the Education Department of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.

A video clip reminding of the anniversary and showing memorial sites of the heroes from 14 April at @1943pl

Traditionally, on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, there is a march down the trail of memorial sites. Due to this year’s exceptional situation, the Warsaw Ghetto Museum prepared a film column which will make it possible to move from the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto, to the “Small” Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto, Żegota Memorial, Shmul Zigelbaum Monument, Anielewicz’s bunker and Umschlagplatz, and then to the remaining fragment of Ghetto wall, the Monument to Evacuation of the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters and, finally, to the plaque commemorating Paweł Frenkel – the commander of ŻZW.

Miłka Skalska, compiled by Anna Kilian

Photo: MGW