The haunting monuments and memorials of Warsaw’s former Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie) tell the story of its tragic past—during World War II, it was the largest Jewish Ghetto in all of Nazi-occupied Europe.
Most Warsaw city tours and Old town walking tours make a stop at the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto, visiting sites such as the remains of the Ghetto Wall, the Monument of the Killed and Murdered in the East, the Warsaw Uprising Monument, the Umschlagplatz Monument, and the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. For a more comprehensive insight, opt for a Jewish history and heritage tour, or pay a visit to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most of the main sites of the Warsaw Ghetto are wheelchair accessible, but there are some narrow lanes and uneven streets to navigate
How to Get There
The Warsaw Ghetto is located at the border of the Old and New Towns and is easy to reach on foot from many of Warsaw’s central attractions. Alternatively, ride the train to Warsaw Central Station or take the tram (1, 22, or 27) to Cm. Zydowski stop.
When to Get There
If you’re exploring Warsaw in the busy summer months, aim for an early morning or late afternoon visit to avoid the tour groups. Alternatively, the most moving time to visit is on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) when an emotional ceremony is held in front of the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes.
The History of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto
Before World War II, there were over 400,000 Jews living in Warsaw, and by 1942, all members of the Jewish community were forced into the German-constructed ghetto, demarcated by a 10-foot (3-meter) high wall circling around a specified sector of the Jewish district. In addition to being the restrained living quarters of the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation, the Warsaw Ghetto was also the place from which thousands of men, women, and children were dispatched to the Treblinka Concentration camp in the summer of 1942, which, in turn, led to the Ghetto Uprising.