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- Children in The Warsaw Ghetto Gloria Houston Manovil Holocaust History Fellowship 1
- Conditions of the Ghetto
- Jews from Warsaw and its surrounding villages were deported to The Warsaw Ghetto in October 1940.
- A wall was built around the Ghetto in November, separating the Jewish Quarter from Warsaw.
- As life within the Ghetto went on, food became scarce, and the Typhoid epidemic threatened the lives of those who could survive on less than 200 calories a day (average food ration for Jews living inside the Ghetto).
- Harsh living conditions in the Ghetto left many children desperate, starving and/or orphaned. 2
- A Childs Occupation
- The only people allowed to leave the Ghetto were those with War-Industry Jobs.
- In order to attain additional food, many children who could not bribe the guards snuck out of the Ghetto through small holes in the wall and stole and/or begged for food on the streets of Warsaw.
- The smugglers would bring the food back to the Ghetto hidden in their clothes. If they were caught, they were shot by the guards of the Ghetto wall. 4
- The Little Smuggler, a poem
- Over the wall, through holds, and past the guard,
- Through the wires, ruins and fences,
- Plucky, hungry and determined
- I sneak through, dart like a cat
- And if the hand of destiny
- Should seize me in the game,
- Thats a common trick of life.
- You, mother, do not wait up for me
- And only one request
- Will stiffen on my lips: Who, mother mine, who
- Will bring your bread tomorrow?
- -Henryka Lazowert, later murdered in Treblinka. 6
- The childrens lives inside the Ghetto cannot be compared to those outside of it. For many children, their childhood ended with their deportation.
- Jan Mawolt wrote,
- The Jewish child knows that it has to work, earn a living and sometimes take care of the whole family. The ghetto child doesnt laugh: it has already forgotten how. On its face is an adult scowl and it feels the bitterness of the wronged. Childhood doesnt exist. 7
- Many children worked in factories set up by the Jews of The Warsaw Ghetto.
- Parents often sent their kids to the streets as vendors. 8
- A Childs Distraction
- The Children of more wealthy families were fortunate enough to continue their educations in clandestine schools operated by deported students and teachers. 12
- Zionist youth groups served both as distractions from and a method of coping with the hardships of ghetto life. 13
- Though children continued to play, action, blockade, sorrow, tears and hunger became the ordinary vocabulary of their make - believe -David Wdowinski 13
- A Childs Misfortune
- Many orphaned children were left to beg on the streets of the Ghetto. 14
- Conditions were especially harsh on those living in the streets. As no one had much food for themselves, it was hard for a begging child to receive enough food to survive. 15
- The charity of others wasnt always enough. For example, Saul Friedlander wrote about a boy crying under his window. After Friedlander threw his daily ration to the boy he noticed the boy had died waiting. 16
- Kinder im Warschauer Ghetto / Children in the Warsaw Ghetto Double-click on the black screen to start the video. Its 4:22 long. Though it is ineteresting, it isnt necessary to watch the entire video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7d0GTQ2ovE
- A Childs Rescue
- The Jewish Organization for Social Care (TOS) fostered many other small philanthropic organizations.
- All the social services had child welfare programs which housed, fed and educated orphaned and poor children. 17
- Janusz Korczak When the Warsaw Ghetto opened in 1940, Janusz Korczak moved his pre-established orphanage for Jewish children Dom Siero to the Ghetto. Korczak refused many offers from friends offering to smuggle him out of the Ghetto. In 1942, Korczak, along with his 200 children, was deported and murdered at Treblinka. 19 "I am not here to be loved and admired, But to act and love. It is not the duty of people to help me, But it is my duty to look after the world, And the people in it. 21 -Janusz Korczak 20
- Irena Sendlerowa (Sendler) Irena Sendler was a polish social worker living in Warsaw. Together with a group of others living in Warsaw, Sendler smuggled 2,500 children out of the Ghetto. Usually disguising herself as a Nurse, she would enter the Ghetto and convince parents to let her take their children. Irena would sedate babies and carry them out concealed in boxes. For older children, Irena would help them escape through various openings in the Ghetto. She would forge documentation for the children and place them in orphanages or with Polish families. She intended to reunite the children with their parents whenever possible. 22 In 1965, Irena Sendlerowa was honored by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Amoung the Nations. Being honored means the individual was of a small minority who mustered extraordinary courage to uphold human values during the Holocaust. 24 23
- A Childs Fate
- On September 21, 1942, the final deportation of The Warsaw Ghetto began.
- Most people were taken to the death camp Treblinka, others to the transit camp Durchgangslager. 25
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