Ghettos in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus
Ghettos for Jews living in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus were established as soon as the areas were occupied by the Wehrmacht. People were concentrated in walled-off parts of various cities, where they worked as slave laborers, were killed or awaited transport to concentration camps or death camps. Imagery coverage ghettos in six cities illustrate the size and development of these areas.
The Warsaw Ghetto
The Warsaw Ghetto was established in November 1940. It came to encompass a large section of the city (Graphic 1). The northern part of the ghetto was razed after the first uprising, which took place between April and June 1943 (Graphic 2); only the Gesiowka Prison and portion of the Gestapo Pawiak Prison were retained. The prison became a concentration camp with the addition of barracks and a crematorium (Graphic 3).
The Lodz Ghetto
Formed in 1939, the Lodz Ghetto became an industrial center manufacturing war supplies for Nazi Germany. As seen in May 1942, the ghetto was located in the northern section of Lodz (Graphic 4). Three bridges provided passage over open thoroughfares in the western part of the ghetto. A separate camp for Gypsies was created in 1941 and another for Polish youth was built in 1944.
A Jewish cemetery in the Marysin District at the east end of the ghetto was expanded and evidence of new burials could be seen in May 1942 (Graphic 5). A rail station --the Radogoszcz Platform-- near the cemetery was used for occasional transports to the nearby Chelmo death camp. Most of the transports took place in 1942.
Between 1941 and 1942 tramlines were built to facilitate the movement of materials from factories the ghetto to the station. Road improvements in progress on several roads in the Marysin area were likely related to the installation of tracks.
The Bialystok Ghetto
A ghetto was established in Bialystok with the arrival of the Wehrmacht in September 1941. Transports to concentration and death camps began in February 1943. The ghetto was razed following a revolt on 16 August (Graphic 6).
The Siauliai Ghetto
The Siauliai Ghetto was also established in July 1941. The main part of the ghetto was liquidated in November 1943 and a second, adjacent section was closed in July 1944. Both sections, plus a possible third one, can be seen on a Luftwaffe target graphic from 4 August 1944 (Graphic 7). Most of the buildings in the three areas were razed.
The Minsk Ghetto
The Minsk Ghetto was established in July 1941 and expanded in November of the same year. The ghetto was liquidated in October 1943. The ghetto can be seen on coverage from May 1944, before the city was retaken by the Red Army in July (Graphic 10). Minsk was the site of a number of Nazi headquarters, including the headquarters of the infamous Einsazgruppen B (Graphic 11).
The Grodno Ghetto
A ghetto was established in Grodno in June 1941. The first section was set up in the city center around the Great Synagogue and another was formed around the market to the southeast. Transports took place to other ghettos and camps from 1942 to 1943. A German target graphic from July 1944 shows the two ghetto areas (Graphic 12).