The first Jewish settlers appeared in Mazovia at around the start of the 14th century. Although pogroms were not unknown, Poland was seen by many Jews as a relative safe haven in comparison to the discrimination of the west. By the late 18th century over 9 % of the capital's inhabitants were Jewish. By 1939 Warsaw was home to over 350,000 Jews. The horror of II World War and the subsequent prejudice of the anti-Semite government decimated Poland’s Jewish population. Today only around 2,000 Jews live in Warsaw.
49/51 Okopowa St. (Wola district)
3/5 Tłomackie St.
A chilling recollection of Polish Jewry and the only institution in Poland focusing entirely on the study of the history and culture of the Polish Jews, this amazing building houses permanent and temporary exhibits relating to secular and religious Jewish life in the country from its beginnings to the annihilation of the Jews in Poland during II World War and beyond.
As well as an excellent bookshop, the institute’s museum, opened in 1948, features a large interactive display in the entrance hall that allows its users to find out about Jewish life in any part of the country, the extraordinary Warsaw Ghetto 1940-1943 exhibition, religious treasures, an archive and a small cinema. Particularly poignant is the collection of photographs taken in the Warsaw Ghetto by Heinz Jost, a German innkeeper who served in the German army and whose almost snapshot-style photographs speak volumes about the place and the time. Essential visiting.
Admission 10/5zł. Guided tours 130 PLN
Designed by Natan Rappaport, the monument pays tribute to the heroes of the Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Found between Anielewicza, Zamenhofa, Lewartowskiego and Karmelicka Streets it here that the heaviest fighting took place. In an ironic quirk, the stone cladding on the monument was originally ordered from Sweden by Hitler for a victory arch.
6 Twarda St. (City Centre)
Built between 1898 and 1902 in a neo-Romanesque style, this was the only Warsaw synagogue to survive the ravages of war. It was fully restored between 1977 and 1983. Now open for worship.
If you duck into the courtyard at 55 Sienna St. you will see a remaining part of the ghetto wall complete with a commemorative plaque.
Possibly the only street that survived the maelstrom of 1943 is the depressing Próżna St. The tenement houses were built between 1880 and 1900 and were once home to Warsaw’s thriving Jewish community. Once a bustling street full of traders and hardware stores it now lies forlorn and neglected; a haunting epitaph to the past.
Found on Stawki St. close to the intersection with Dzika St., Umschlagplatz is a bleak, monument marking the spot where around 300,000 Jews were loaded on cattle wagons bound for Treblinka.
The Nazi commandant in charge of the deportations lived directly opposite on 5/7 Stawki St.
Lying between Umschlagplatz and the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes lies the legendary monument labelled Miła 18 (note: this is not the address where you can find the monument). Essentially no more than a symbolic grassy knoll, it marks the spot from where the Ghetto Uprising was directed.
More information: http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/city/warsaw.html