Square of the Ghetto Heroes

Former Pod Dębem Square. In the place where the square and Walowa Street meet, the biggest gate of the ghetto was located, guarded by armed German gendarmerie. The second gate was on Folwarczna Street, now Warynskiego Street, in the place where it crosses with Kupiecka Street. Starting from September 7, 1939, the Nazis consequently limited Jewish freedom of movement and their rights of possession. Their businesses were marked and they were forced to wear armbands with a blue Star of David. Before establishing a fenced ghetto, Germans designated a quarter of the city outside which no Jews were allowed to live and squeezed there nearly 40 000 people. From 11 until 19 June 1942, Germans conducted the so called ‘First Action’ slaughtering thousands of people at the Town Square, cemetery and the nearby village of Zbylitowska Góra and relocating even greater number to the death camp in Bełżec. Some 20 000 survivors of the ‘First Action’ were locked in a fenced ghetto located between the Pod Dębem Square and streets: Wałowa, Lwowska, Nowa, Mickiewicz, Starodąbrowska and Polna. In the successive ‘actions’ another thousands of people were murdered and, finally, in September 1943, the ghetto was liquidated.