Have you seen the film “The Pianist” by Roman Polański? I had no idea what the Warsaw Ghetto was like until I saw the film.
You will not be able to imagine what life was like in Warsaw because it was left completely destroyed. Trying to imagine what it was like to walk through its streets is a fascinating exercise.
The Warsaw Ghetto: A Memory of the Holocaust
As you may know, Warsaw was completely destroyed except for some small parts that were spared.
It was rebuilt entirely, and paintings such as those of Bernardo Bellotto were sometimes used to reconstruct the city.
However, you can still sense some of the barbarism represented in the city. The Warsaw ghetto was one of the five large ghettos in Poland. In fact, it was the largest and had a population of almost 450,000 people.
When the Germans invaded Poland, they wanted to isolate the Jews in ghettos. They used excuses to confine them to very small areas of the cities and then isolate them.
These Ghettos were actually a place of confinement before the concentration camps.
In the case of the Warsaw Ghetto, the destination was the Treblinka extermination camp north of the Polish capital.
The Warsaw ghetto was closed in October 1940. They used barbed wire at first and later with a 3-meter high wall. You can take photos in almost every part of the street. Be sure to carry all necessary items, from the camera to travel necessities, in this travel bag.
You will not see any remains of the wall, but there is an iron border around the perimeter as a reminder of where the wall ran between 1940 and 1943.
Prozna Street of Warsaw Ghetto
Prozna Street was one of the streets that survived the destruction and kept its name after the Russian and German invasions. The different signs that it had according to the language of the invader are preserved in it.
Previously, this building was not restored and was left as is, with images of Jews from the Ghetto.
Some entrances to the buildings are still preserved, like the one you can see here. You can also see the bullet holes from the shots and shrapnel.
Notice the two iron dwarves on either side of the gate. Their attire is Jewish, and so is the beanie or kipah they wear.
The tablet they hold reads 1898. They probably acted as protection if the carriages got too close to the wall. As you can see in this picture, it was really cold. Make sure to pack winter clothes.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
We left Prozna Street and headed to the Holocaust Memorial Museum of the history of Polish Jewish history of the Polish Jews. It was a pleasant walk and a nice stroll on snow-covered paths, so our slip-resistant shoes made our strolling convenient.
It is in the middle of a square on Anielewicza Street. In this place, you are located in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto.
In front of the museum stands a monument that pays tribute to the Jews who led the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, between April 19 and May 16.
The organized movement lasted 4 days, although, for almost a month, the Jews fought the Nazis with little means.
However, the movement was crushed by the Germans led by General Stroop.
On one side of the wall, the Jews are lined up and crestfallen without morale. As prisoners, on the other side, a scene of the uprising is shown, where they look straight ahead with fighting spirit and hopefulness.
The museum is very modern and interactive. It is not just a museum about the Holocaust. But it is an exhibition that traces the 1000 years of Jewish history in Poland.
It shows the beginnings, culture, and why Poland was the preferred destination for Jews. You can also learn how they prospered and developed over the years and how the anti-Jewish sentiments were generated. You can also buy tickets to the POLIN Museum online.
Of course, the development of the Holocaust, the extermination of the Jews, the Warsaw Ghetto, and other Ghettos are part of this museum.
The truth is that the visit to the museum is very interesting and allows you to see things from another point of view.
In my case, I have heard a lot about the Jews, but I know little or nothing about their culture, traditions, religion, or rites.
Thanks to this trip through Poland, I have learned more about these people, although ironically, there are practically no Jews living in Poland anymore.
Currency Exchange: Where to Get Złoty?
When you travel to Poland, you will need to buy Złoty. This is the name of the Polish currency, although part of the European Union, maintains its own currency.
And when you travel, you will need to buy Złoty. Making the currency exchange before travel is best, so you are assured of the best exchange rate.
To change Złoty, you have several options, some better than others.
- You can exchange currency at your bank, where you may be charged relatively high commissions. In addition, in many cases, you have to wait because they do not have the availability of foreign currency in the office where you have your account.
- At the airport, the worst option of all, as they usually have a very, very bad exchange rate.
- An exchange house like Ria Cambio de Divisas has the best exchange rate in the market. They do not charge you any commission and can send the money to your home within 48 hours. This is undoubtedly one of its most attractive points.
- You can create a WISE account and have Wise Card, a debit card, to make commission-free purchases in other currencies and two FREE ATM withdrawals in another currency without commissions.
Traveling to Poland has been one on our travel bucket list. So our visit to the Warsaw Ghetto was a cultural treat for our Poland trip. If you want to travel to Poland or to Warsaw Ghetto only, make sure you are safe for health and travel emergencies.
Get travel insurance from HeyMondo. The options are affordable, plus you can even add more coverage. With this link, you get 5% off.
If you have any interesting information and feel like sharing it, leave a comment!
Plan Your Trip To Poland
- 1 Week Itinerary in Poland
- Best Things to Do in Warsaw
- What to See in Krakow
- Visit the Salt Mines
- Visiting the Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Last Updated on 8 September, 2023 by Veronica
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