On 6th November, an event aiming to commemorate the 83rd Anniversary of Closure of the Ghetto walls took place next to the preserved section of the historical wall of the Warsaw Ghetto at 53 Sienna Street. The event was organised by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum and the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, in cooperation with the Jewish Historical Institute.
It was just in the middle of the night of 16th November 1940 when the borders of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, the city that gathered the biggest Jewish community in Europe, were closed down. The so-called Jewish residential ghetto came into existence. Nearly 400 thousand people were trapped within a space of just four square kilometres, behind a high brick wall.
Construction of the three-metre-high wall started back in the spring of 1940. There were twenty-two guarded gateways leading into the ghetto, which could only be crossed after obtaining an appropriate permit. Starting from October 1941 onwards, the non-compliance with this provision was punishable by death.
During the ceremony, TSKZ Chairman, Artur Hofman made the following remarks:
Jews have the word ‘memory’ embedded into their history and we should always remember our heritage, and such important and tragic moments as the Second World War. Our parents’ generation was tragically affected by history, and they lived directly through the events, which we try never to forget (…) Just a week ago we had another anniversary of Kristallnacht. This was a very pivotal incident that happened in Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, this year we see Jewish stars appearing on the entrance doors of the homes of Jewish Berliners. In my opinion, the European community should have a good understanding of history and know what such acts may lead to. It is our job to keep reminding and Europe’s job to educate its citizens and, at this point, I would like to strongly emphasise the relevance of the term “education” (…) it is really very important to understand the consequences of this type of actions, the consequences that also followed after 1948, after the creation of the state of Israel, the reason why it was established. Why does this state have to keep on fighting for its survival? Or why is it still under attack? This is very important, because otherwise no one will remember why such walls were erected. Why Jewish property was destroyed in 1938 and why the reality is what it is. We need to educate young people! – this is what TSKŻ Chairman, Artur Hofman, said yesterday during the event commemorating the 83rd Anniversary of Closing of the Warsaw Ghetto Borders, which took place next to the preserved remnants of the historical ghetto walls at 53 Sienna Street.
The ceremony was attended by, among others: Jarosław Sellin – Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage; Yacov Livne – Ambassador of Israel in Poland, the Ambassadors of Germany and Norway, as well as representatives of state and municipal authorities, cultural and social organisations and the Righteous Among the Nations.
The live coverage of the event can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/1943pl/videos/281186081020515
fot. Robert Wilczynski