At the outbreak of World War II, Warsaw’s Jewish community numbered more than 350,000 people. In the capital, as well as all over Poland, Jewish religious and cultural life flourished. This entire colorful world simply ceased to exist because of the Holocaust. Today, generations of Poles who do not remember the pre-war reality, are not always able to realize the human and cultural dimensions of this terrible loss. Come with us on a journey in search of traces of a world that no longer exists.
The history of the Warsaw Jewish community essentially begins only during the partitions of Poland in the second half of the 18th century. Before that and as far back as the Middle Ages, Jews were not allowed to settle within the territory of the city and the Prussian authorities eventually gave permission for them to do so. Starting then, the Jewish population in the city grew steadily. Jewish religious organizations, cultural institutions, social and political associations and media were established along with synagogues, schools and hospitals. Jews shared the fate of the Poles under the occupation and engaged in the struggle for independence, taking an active part in uprisings. At the beginning of the 20th century they created the Warsaw Jewish Museum, a Judaic library as well as the sports club “Maccabi” in what was then an independent Poland. The end of this extraordinary development was brought by the Second World War, which saw the establishment of the ghetto and the deportation of its inhabitants to concentration camps, where most of them were murdered by the Germans, as well as the suppression with absolute brutality of the ghetto uprising.
Walking tours start at Próżna Street, the site of the only fragment of the former ghetto wall. We will take a walk around the area of the former ghetto, which, before the war, was one of the largest Jewish population centers in Poland. and the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto.
The Polin Museum of the History of the Polish Jews will take us on a journey through a thousand years of history of the Jewish people in our country. At the end of the tour, we will pay a visit to the pre-war Nożyk Synagogue.