Warsaw Ghetto sealed off 72 years ago today

"Walls will enclose Warsaw Jews today: 500,000 begin new life in Nazi ghetto" - so ran the headline in the New York Times 26 Nov 1940 - 72 yrs ago today.

According to most historians, the ghetto was actually sealed off ten days earlier on 16 November:  138,000 Jews and 113,000 Poles had to change their place of residence. The area of the ghetto covers 307 ha of built-up land, and in 1,483 houses there are almost 400,000 Jewish residents.

The Jewish ghetto in Warsaw was sealed off by a high wall. Its construction took many months to complete. The work was carried out by the construction firm Schmidt & Münstermann, based on 8/3 Mars Street, which later helped building the Treblinka death camp. The ghetto wall was 3.5 m high, topped by glass and barbed wire. The Nazis did not use the term ghetto, but referred to the area as Jüdischer Wohnbezirk (Jewish Quarter).

 Either way, two things we know for sure, hundreds of thousands of Jews had now lost their freedom in Poland and this information was widely known in the USA following the New York Times article. 

NY Times 26 November 1940

NY Times 26 November 1940