Pomnik Bohaterów Getta

The Pomnik Bohaterów Getta, or Monument to the Ghetto Heroes is an important memorial in Warszawa, Poland. In 1940 the German occupants created a ghetto in Warszawa to bring together the Jewish population of the town – to prepare their extinction. On April 19th, 1943 the locked-in Jews started an uprising which ended after several weeks with the SS burning down the ghetto.

The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes reminds on these insufficiently weaponed people rising while facing their extinction. In 1946 a small memorial tablet was created at the site of the former ghetto.

“For those who fell in an unprecedented heroic struggle for the dignity and freedom of the Jewish nation, for a free Poland, for the liberation of man – Polish Jews.”
– Inscription at the first memorial.

Two years later a much bigger memorial – built partially from material for a victory memorial planned by Albert Speer – was formally unveiled. The memorial is eleven meters high and symbolizes the wall of the former ghetto as well as the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel. One side of the memorial shows the ghetto fighters and their uprising, the other side the persecution of Jews. A reproduction of the memorial can be found in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

The monument received a lot of attention on December 7th, 1970 when the German chancellor Willy Brandt visited this place. He laid down a wreath for the victims and spontaneously decided to kneel down.

“Under the weight of recent history, I did what people do when words fail them. In this way I commemorated millions of murdered people.”
– Willy Brandt

This has been seen as an important sign – and in the year 2000 a memorial for Willy Brandt was unveiled closeby.

Pomnik Bohaterów Getta
00-001 Warszawa

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