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Fresh Light on Life within the Walls of the Warsaw and Łódź Ghettos

Eyewitness reportage from Poland helps explain the Holocaust better than a shelf of well-researched histories.

Jewish children pulling a cart with two bags in the Łódź ghetto.

Jewish children pulling a cart with two bags in the Łódź ghetto.

Observation
Jan. 20 2016
About the author

Andrew N. Koss is an associate editor of Mosaic. A PhD in history from Stanford, he recently completed a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Colgate University and is writing a book about the Jews of Vilna during World War I.


Nearly three million Jews passed through Hitler’s ghettos between 1939 and 1945, most of them on the way to their deaths. Yet the ghettos are much less familiar than the extermination camps. Even Warsaw is known primarily because of its famous 1943 uprising; few Western readers have a fuller grasp of what happened there, or a picture of daily life within its walls.

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More about: History & Ideas, Holocaust, Poland, Warsaw Ghetto, Yiddish