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Ghetto Reading

Ghettos - Adapted from: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005059

Directions: Read and answer questions on a separate sheet of paper using information
from the text to support your answers. Underline where you found your answers. Also,
identify and define 5 additional vocabulary words from the text.

1 The term "ghetto" originated from the name of the Jewish quarter in Venice,
2 established in 1516, in which the Venetian authorities forced the city's
3 Jews to live. Various officials, ranging from local municipal authorities to the
4 Austrian Emperor Charles V, ordered the creation of ghettos for Jews in
5 Frankfurt, Rome, Prague, and other cities in the 16th and 17th centuries.

6 During World War II, ghettos were city districts (often enclosed) in which the
7 Germans concentrated the municipal and sometimes regional Jewish
8 population and forced them to live under miserable conditions. Ghettos isolated
9 Jews by separating Jewish communities from the non-Jewish population and
10 from other Jewish communities. The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos
11 in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone.
12 German occupation authorities established the first ghetto in Poland in
13 Piotrkw Trybunalski in October 1939.

14 The Germans regarded the establishment of ghettos as a temporary measure
15 to control and segregate Jews while the Nazi leadership in Berlin deliberated
16 upon options to realize the goal of removing the Jewish population. In many
17 places ghettoization lasted a relatively short time. Some ghettos existed for only
18 a few days, others for months or years. With the implementation of the
19 "Final Solution" (the plan to murder all European Jews) beginning in late 1941,
20 the Germans systematically destroyed the ghettos. The Germans and their
21 auxiliaries either shot ghetto residents in mass graves located nearby or
22 deported them, usually by train, to killing centers where they were murdered.
23 German SS and police authorities deported a small minority of Jews from
24 ghettos to forced-labor camps and concentration camps.

25 There were three types of ghettos: closed ghettos, open ghettos, and
26 destruction ghettos.

1. Where does the
word ghetto
come from, and
what was its

2. How many ghettos
were established
Eastern Europe?

3. The Germans
ghettos as a
measure to____?

4. Explain what the
Final Solution

5. The Germans
destroyed most
ghettos and
executed the Jews
in two major ways.

6. The Nazis

27 The largest ghetto in Poland was the Warsaw ghetto, where more than 400,000
28 Jews were crowded into an area of 1.3 square miles. Other major ghettos were
1 established in the cities of Lodz, Krakow, Bialystok, Lvov, Lublin, Vilna, Kovno,
2 Czestochowa, and Minsk. Tens of thousands of western European Jews were
3 also deported to ghettos in the east.
4 The Germans ordered Jews residing in ghettos to wear identifying badges or
5armbands and also required many Jews to perform forced labor for the German
6 Reich. Daily life in the ghettos was administered by Nazi-appointed
7Jewish councils (Judenraete). A ghetto police force enforced the orders of the
8 German 8 authorities and the ordinances of the Jewish councils, including the
9 facilitation of deportations to killing centers. Jewish police officials, like Jewish
10 council members, served at the whim of the German authorities. The Germans
11 did not hesitate to kill Jewish policemen who were perceived to have failed to
12 carry out orders.
13 In Hungary, ghettoization did not begin until the spring of 1944, after the
14 Germans invaded and occupied the country. In less than three months, the
15 Hungarian gendarmerie, in coordination with German deportation experts from
16 the Reich Main Office for Security (Reichssicherheitshauptamt-RSHA),
17 concentrated nearly 440,000 Jews from all over Hungary, except for the capital
18 city, Budapest, in short-term destruction ghettos and deported them into
19 German custody at the Hungarian border. The Germans deported most of the
20 Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. In Budapest,
21 Hungarian authorities required the Jews to confine themselves to marked
22 houses (so-called Star of David houses). A few weeks after the leaders of the
23 fascist Arrow Cross movement seized power in a German-sponsored coup on
24 October 15, 1944, the Arrow Cross government formally established a ghetto in
25 Budapest, in which about 63,000 Jews lived in a 0.1 square mile area.
26 Approximately 25,000 Jews who carried certificates that they stood under the
ordered Jews to
wear why?

7. Most of the Jews
from ghettos in
Hungary were
sent to which
killing center?

27 protection of a neutral power were confined in an "international ghetto" at
28 another location in the city. In January 1945, Soviet forces liberated that part of
29 Budapest in which the two ghettos were, respectively, located and liberated the
30 nearly 90,000 Jewish residents.
1 During the Holocaust, ghettos were a central step in the Nazi process of control,
2 dehumanization, and mass murder of the Jews.

8. Ghettos were
a fundamental
step to do
what to the


- Using citations from the text, how has the author led to your understanding
about Ghettos during the World War II era?