Radom Ghetto

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Jewish men with armbands in the Radom Ghetto, March 1941
March 1941, a Jew at the Radom Ghetto
Major ghettos in occupied Poland (marked with red-gold stars)

Radom Ghetto was a World War II ghetto set up in March 1941 by Nazi Germany in the city of Radom in occupied Poland, for the purpose of persecution and exploitation of the local Polish Jews. Liquidation of the ghetto began in August 1942 and ended in July 1944, with approximately 30,000–32,000 victims sent to their deaths in cattle trucks at the Treblinka extermination camp.[1]

For more details on this topic, see Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland.

Background[edit]

The town of Radom was overrun by the Germans on September 8, 1939 during the Invasion of Poland. At that time the population of Radom was 81,000, out of which 25,000 were Jews.[2] Many Jews were pressed into forced labor, one of their first tasks being the rebuilding the local arms factory, which would serve as the major local employer throughout the war.[2] The Germans also forced the Jews to pay contributions, and seized their property.[2] Around September–October 1939 the Radom Synagogue was desecrated by the Nazis and its furnishings destroyed.[2] A Judenrat was established in Radom around December 1939 to January 1940 and played a major role as the intermediary between the Germans and the local Jewish community.[2] Around late 1940 and early 1941 approximately 10,000 Jews were deported to other communities, and in turn, Radom received Jews deported from other settlements, including expellees from Kraków.[2] In the spring of 1941 there were about 32,000 Jews in Radom.[2]

The Ghetto[edit]

An order to create the ghetto in Radom was issued by the German Governor-General Hans Frank in March 1941. At the same time a Jewish Ghetto Police force was created in Radom.[2] The local Jews were given ten days in which to move into the areas allocated for the ghetto. The ghetto's gates were closed by April 7.[2] About 33,000 local Polish Jews were gathered there. Most of the ghetto was not walled; the barriers were formed by buildings themselves, and the street exits were guarded by Jewish and Polish police.[2] Like in some other towns, the ghetto was split in two. The "large ghetto" was set up at Wałowa street in Śródmieście District and the "small ghetto" at Glinice District.[2]

As with many other ghettos, starvation was not uncommon, as German-allotted rations for a person in the ghetto were 100 grams (3.5 oz) of bread per day. Nonetheless the conditions in the Radom Ghetto were on average better than in many other contemporary Nazi ghettos.[2]

In the first months of 1942 the Germans carried out several actions, arresting or summarily executing various leaders of the Jewish community; this severely weakened the Judenrat.[2] The Germans began to liquidate the Radom Ghetto in earnest, starting in August 1942 as part of Operation Reinhard.[2] The first large deportation emptied the smaller Glinice ghetto.[2] Later that month many Jews from the remaining larger ghetto were deported as well; hundreds were killed during the round-up mostly by "Hiwis".[2][3] By the end of August approximately 2,000 Jews remained in Radom.[2] The deported Jews were sent to extermination camps (primarily Treblinka and Auschwitz). The remnants of the Radom ghetto were turned into a temporary labor camp.[2]

The last Radom Jews were evicted in June 1944, when on June 26 the last inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz.[2] Only a few hundred Jews from Radom survived the war.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The statistical data compiled on the basis of "Glossary of 2,077 Jewish towns in Poland" by Virtual Shtetl Museum of the History of the Polish Jews  (English), as well as "Getta Żydowskie," by Gedeon,  (Polish) and "Ghetto List" by Michael Peters at www.deathcamps.org/occupation/ghettolist.htm  (English). Accessed July 12, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s “Radom” Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Poland, Volume VII (Poland), Translation of “Radom” chapter from Pinkas Hakehillot Polin, Published by Yad Vashem
  3. ^ "Trawniki". Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Sebastian Piątkowski, "Radom - zarys dziejów miasta", Radom 2000, ISBN 83-914912-0-X.
  • Sebastian Piątkowski "Dni życia, dni śmierci. Ludność żydowska w Radomiu w latach 1918 - 1950", Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Państwowych, Warszawa 2006, ISBN 83-89115-31-X

External links[edit]