The Warsaw Ghetto: Where Children Grow Down Instead Of Up

822 words - 4 pages

A ten-foot brick wall, topped with coils of barbed wire and broken glass, looms menacingly over all those who enter; this was my welcome into the War-saw Ghetto. This ghetto was established in Warsaw, Poland, just three years ago in 1940. In an effort to segregate those considered to be “undesirable” by Nazi standards, a portion of Warsaw’s people were outcast and forcibly moved into the slum. There, a population of over 350,000 Jewish people and other minority groups currently inhabit a destitute area of just over one square mile.
The ghetto’s deplorable living conditions were a harrowing sight. I first noticed how isolated the ghetto was from the rest of the world. High, hermetic ...view middle of the document...

As a result of these dreadful circumstances, death was not a stranger to the Warsaw Ghetto. Bodies obscured in newspaper were scattered on the streets, to later be tossed into a wooden cart and wheeled away.
In order to survive, most of the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto turned to smuggling. Young children often no older than ten years of age would sneak out through crevices in the brick wall. They would scavenge and steal supplies from outside the ghetto, and return carrying bags of food larger than themselves. However, smuggling had its conse-quences. Those caught smuggling were punished severely. An instance of this was when a group of young boys were caught smuggling onions in their clothing. When all the onions were emptied out, the Nazi soldier called out to the crowd, “We tell you! Do not smuggle!” The Nazis proceeded to beat the boys with clubs, leaving the smugglers blood-ied and bruised. I also witnessed the hanging of a young boy who had been caught smuggling food. A sign hung across his chest, reading “I was a smuggler”. Though smuggling was necessary for survival in the ghetto, it was not without its risks.
In addition, those living within the Warsaw Ghetto received atrocious treatment from the Nazis. The soldiers used fear and intimidation to keep the Jews inline. While inside the ghetto, I descried the German soldiers’ seemingly indi-scriminate punishments. The Nazis...

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