Reinhard Heydrich, head of Nazi security police, was not only responsible for the requirement of Jews to wear the Yellow Star but he was also accountable for the idea of confining Jews within ghettos.
After the invasion of Poland which officially started World War II the first Jewish ghetto was formed in this country in November 1939.
Adolf Eichmann, a high ranking German Nazi and head of the the Final Solution, helped Heydrich by systematically moving Polish Jews into holocaust ghettos within larger Polish cities.
At first the Jews transported to the ghettos were permitted to leave the confinement during the day for neccessary reasons but any person that left had a strict enforced curfew.
It wasn’t long before the privilege of leaving the ghetto was stripped and the confinement was closed with no permission to leave under any circumstances.
Once the ghettos were closed living conditions became horrid.
Holocaust ghettos were ordered to be walled off with bricks and topped with barbed wire. If any person was caught trying to leave the confinement they were shot.
Life within the ghettos was physically and emotionally draining and was considered a slow death process.
The living conditions were crowded as 12 to 30 people were forced to occuppy one room and several hundred people were packed into an area suitable for a few small families.
A German appointed Jewish community leader called a Judenrat was responsible for the daily affairs within the ghettos.
Some of the Judenrat responsibilities were the proper distribution of food, water and medication. The most dreaded responsiblily of the Judenrat was arranging who of his Jewish brothers and sisters was next to be deported to extermination.
Thousands of people died within the compounds from the unsanitary conditions, starvation and disease.
Many times there were dwellings within the ghettos that had no piped water or sewer which opened the door for the worldwide illness “Typhoid fever”.
Typhoid was common and dreaded by Germans and Jews during the holocaust.
The way typhoid is transmitted is through the ingestion of food or water contaminated by feces of someone with Salmonella bacteria (ingestion of spoiled or rotten food). Many times the way the disease spread was through flying insects such as flies.
Death and disease was widespread and far reaching throughout ghettos and Europe. How could anyone deny the holocaust ever happened?
It was not uncommon to walk by so many perishing right on the streets and sidewalks. There was not much anyone could do within the confinement but watch their love ones perish because of lack of neccesities such as food, water and medication.
How traumatic and heart wrenching this had to have been especially for those who had children. Holocaust ghetto children were forced to mature quickly to survive.
There are many holocaust ghetto survivors by the grace of God that lived to tell their story. The survivors will to live grew greater as they faced the gates of hell.
Take the time to read a book to see what motivated and urged the survivors to not give up and keep the faith that their circumstances would change.
There were several hundred ghettos established in Poland and other parts of Europe but the two that are the most remembered were the Warsaw ghetto and the Lodz ghetto.
Warsaw ghetto was the largest of the ghettos with approximately 380,000 Jews and the second largest was the Lodz ghetto with about 160,000 Jews held in confinement.
Warsaw ghetto will always be remembered for “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising”. The Jews in this ghetto organized the largest and somewhat successful resistance against the Nazis.
The Warsaw Jews knew their fate as word got back to them about the extermination of their friends and family that had been deported.
The Jewish people then and now are fighters and are not intimidated by the giants in the land. In the face of adversity they have remained strong.