Holocaust Ghettos

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Life in the Ghetto

In 1939, Hitler was unsure of what he was going to do with the Jews; the Nazis were tossing around options and ideas with the goal of removing Jews from the population. The German invasion into Poland, allowed for the first ghetto, regarded as a provisional measure to control and segregate Jews. Ghettos were enclosed, isolated urban areas designated for Jews. Living under strict regulations, with unthinkable living conditions, and crammed into small areas, the ghettos destroyed all hope of retaliating. In this paper, I will discuss what life would be like to be a Jew inside one of the 1,000 of ghettos within Poland and the Soviet Union. I will imagine myself a member of the Jewish council, describing the
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There was a love hate relationship with their fellow Jews. “Above them loomed German orders; below them spread the ever more desperate needs of the Jewish communities” (Genocide 116). Some of the Jews resented the Jewish Council, saying they should have warned them or done more. They didn’t like the Council collaborating with the Germans. “…the Jewish Councils tried to help their people, to maintain order, save lives, and to feed, clothe, and doctor the Jews in the ghettos” (Genocide 116). There was hostility from their own people and in some ways it pushed them to behave the opposite of their goal. They tried to mediate and plead on the Jews behalf. Some Council members helped with the resistance and some believed it would doom the entire ghetto. An example of the Jewish Council in the ghetto is, “New proclamations from the Judenrat have been hung up which have caused panic among the Jews. The families of those working are no longer protected” (Images 161). The Jewish Council formed its own Jewish Order Police. The Jewish police were also made to enforce order and deport Jews following the commands of the Germans. Like the Council, the Order Police were also disliked among the ghetto tenants. The purpose of the police was to prevent crime, supervise sanitation, and direct traffic. “The Jewish police delivered to the Germans exactly the number of people needed, rounding them up
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