Three weeks before the 71st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the city of Warsaw has begun demolition on a ghetto wall near the Umschlagplatz, the place where Jews awaited deportation to the Treblinka concentration camp, JTA reports. Officials have said the brick wall, which is decaying and being removed to clear out overgrown vegetation, will be restored.
Historians are unsure whether this particular wall is an original built during the ghetto’s construction, which started in 1940. Still, while the ghetto borders are largely symbolic today, marked in some places throughout the city by plaques installed into the ground, the site retains its significance. Warsaw’s new Museum of the History of Polish Jews was intentionally built on the site of the former ghetto, just across from Nathan Rapoport’s iconic monument to the ghetto fighters.
Piotr Kadlcik, president of Warsaw’s Jewish community, said in a statement:
I am glad that the authorities see how important for the history of both the Jews and the city are relics such as this particular wall. These objects, even if their historical origin is in some doubt, are an important element of the teaching of history that took place here a few decades earlier. And that we must not forget.
Tablet staffers covered the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising last April. You can read the stories here.