Ghetto Life Under the Nazis

2347 WordsJun 24, 201810 Pages
The term “ghettos” was first used in relation to Jews in the year 1516 when the Venetian government designated a specified living area for its Jewish population. During World War II, they were established by the Nazis to isolate and control the Jews as a first step in their eventual annihilation ("Ghettos"). Throughout the War, the Nazis established over 400 ghettos in Eastern Europe and Russia for this purpose. The Nazi ghetto overseers appointed Jewish councils, called the Judenrat, to maintain order in the ghettos, distribute food rations and to assist the Nazis with deportations to the concentration and death camps (Glazer). Daily life in the ghettos was very challenging for the Jews, and they endured extreme physical hardships from…show more content…
In the Lodz ghetto, people suffered similarly. Blanka Rothschild recalled that she managed to acquire a single glove in the ghetto. She passed her glove around to her friends and family, each wearing it for a few minutes, so that the numbness in their hand would subside (“Oral History”). Emmanuel Ringelbaum, a Warsaw ghetto inhabitant who recorded daily occurrences and conditions of the ghetto, explained that cold and shivering Jews felt helpless as they watched others suffer from the cold. He lamented that “the most fearful sight … [was] that of freezing children, [standing] dumbly weeping in the street with bare feet, bare knees and torn clothing.” (Dawidowicz 209) The cramped conditions, meager food rations and general lack of cleanliness caused rampant disease throughout the ghettos. Persistent hunger, intense labor, and constant fear of deportation caused an inflated number of heart and circulatory system diseases among the ghetto Jews. The ghettos lacked adequate amounts of medicine to treat the thousands of Jews suffering from typhus, dysentery, tuberculosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, trachoma, meningitis, and other diseases, and many of them perished as a result. In the Lodz ghetto alone, 7,269 people died from tuberculosis (Dobroszycki). In the Warsaw ghetto, it was estimated that 100,000 Jews contracted typhus in the first 18 months of the ghetto's existence. Hunger

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