During talking about the former Jewish community of Warsaw, we often focus on martyrdom. However we forget about the numerous remnants of the former thriving community. The northern district, currently Wola and Śródmieście, where the diaspora lived in large numbers, was teeming with life. It must be remembered that before the war Jews constituted 30% of the town’s population. They owned numerous shops, factories and tenement houses. Many financiers were also engaged in charity. It was Hipolit Wawelberg who financed the construction of housing estates for Polish workers. It was in Warsaw, on Żelazna Street, that Władysław Szpilman lived. During the walk, we will go through the Simmons Passage, where not only were numerous shops, but also the Makkabi Jewish sports club. We will visit the synagogue in Warsaw by Zalman and Rywka Nożyków which is only survived. We will go to the exhibition at the Jewish Historical Institute. While walking along Chłodna Street, we will see a beautiful tenement house near the Clock where Adam Czerniaków lived, and not far from Weinberg’s tenement house on Krochmalna Street.

  • 01 Jewish Historical Institute

    The Institute was established in October 1947 to replace the Institute of Judaic Sciences operating before the war. The building was designed in a modernist style in 1936 by a famous Warsaw architect, Edward Eber. In front of the institute there was at that time the famous Great Synagogue. Unfortunately, at the end of the ghetto uprising, it was blown up by the retreating Germans. The building of the institute, which was rebuilt after the war, was also destroyed. The Institute conducts research on the history and culture of Jews. The patron of the institution is the historian Emanuel Ringelblum. He co-founded the Oneg Szabat social organization operating in the ghetto. Its purpose was to collect documentation on the social life of the diaspora under German occupation. After the war, some of the Ringelblum archives were found, which are now in the Institute's collections. Some of them are available as a part of the permanent exhibition where you can see documents, letters and numerous testimonies of the Holocaust.

  • 02 Simmons Passage

    The Simons Passage was built at the beginning of the 20th century. It was built by the order of the Berlin merchant Albert Simons. It included a complex of commercial service. In addition to shops, there was also a Jewish sports club, Makabi. The club had numerous sections, including boxing, rowing and football. The club's pupil Szapsel Rotholc, defeated the representative of Nazi Germany Nikolas Obermauer at the competition in Berlin. The activity of the Makabi club was not limited only to sports, there were numerous art sections and discussion clubs. The Simmons Passage during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944 was an important point of resistance against the Germans. It was completely destroyed during the air raids and repeatedly fired at and bombed. Unfortunately, the complex was not rebuilt after the war.

  • 03 Monument of Getto Uprising

    The monument was unveiled on April 19, 1948, on the fifth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The authors of the monument were Nathan Rappaport and Leon Suzin. It was funded by contributions from Jewish organizations. It was built of swedish labradorite, which was initially to be used to build monuments in the Third Reich. The pedestal alludes to the ghetto wall and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It has the form of a stone block, the central part of which is a bronze sculpture, depicting fighters taking part in the ghetto uprising in April 1943. On the sides of the monument there are two menorahs surrounded by lions. It is worth to mention that a copy of the Warsaw monument is in the Yad Washem Institute in Jerusalem. On 7 December 1970 during a visit to Warsaw, Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt in front of the monument, paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

  • 04 Anielewicz Bunker

    The non-existent bunker was located at 29 Miła Street in Warsaw's Muranów district. During the ghetto uprising, the headquarter of the Jewish Combat Organization was located here. The bunker was relatively large, as it had as many as six entrances, and was also powered by electricity and running water. There was a large supply of ammunition and food here. On 8 May 1943, when the bunker was surrounded by the Germans, the commander Mordechaj Anielewicz and his insurgents, without giving up, took up an unequal fight. As a result, about 120 soldiers lost their lives, including Anielewicz himself. In 1946, a mound was raised there, as the initiative of the Central Committee of Polish Jews. A stone with inscriptions in Polish, Hebrew and English was placed on its top. Their content reads: "On 8 May 1943, the commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Mordechaj Anielewicz, together with the staff of the Jewish Combat Organization and several dozen other fighters of the Jewish resistance, in the fight against the German invaders, was killed by a soldier." In 2006, an obelisk by Hanna Szmalenberg was placed at the foot of the mound. It carries the names of 51 insurgents, whose identitie has been identified.


    The Umschlagplatz monument was erected on the site of the former reloading square, from where Jews were transported from the Warsaw ghetto to the camp in Treblinka. The monument was unveiled on April 18, 1988, on the eve of the anniversary of the ghetto uprising. The pedestal was designed by Hanna Szmalenberg and carved by Władysław Klamerus. It shows a gray granite wall in the shape of a rectangle with a black stripe on the front wall. This motif alludes to the Jewish tallit. The entrance gate is topped with a black semicircular plaque resembling a matzevah, on which the motif of a broken forest is carved. In Jewish culture, a shattered tree symbolizes sudden death. On the inside wall of the building there are 400 of the most popular Polish and Jewish names before the war, which symbolizes the centuries-long coexistence of both nations. Each name symbolizes a thousand victims of the Warsaw ghetto. A quotation from the book of Job in Polish, Yiddish and Hebrew is carved on the building next to it: "Earth, do not hide my blood, lest my scream ceases".

  • 06 Tenement house under the clock

    The tenement house under the clock was built at the beginning of the 20th century in the early modernist style. The authors of the project were Józef Czerwniński and Wacław Heppen. During the war, the chairman of the Warsaw Jewish community, Adam Czerniaków, lived here. Shortly after the creation of the ghetto, Czerniaków organized civil resistance and took part in the creation of the underground archive of the ghetto. When the liquidation of the ghetto began on July 22, he refused SS to sign a consent to the deportation of Jews to Treblinka. In protest, he swallowed cyanide the next day. It is worth mentioning that Marceli Reich Ranicki lived in the building next door. During the ghetto uprising, the tenement house was slightly damaged. In the yard, we can still see the cast-iron housing of the water intake with the head of a lion.

  • 07 Tenement house on Żelazna Street

    The tenement house at the intersection of Krochmalna and Żelazna Streets was designed in the Art Nouveau style by Henryk Stifelman for the merchant Chaim Gerkowicz. It is worth knowing that before the war, Mieczysław Weinberg, a composer of Jewish origin, was born in this house. During the war, the tenement house was situated on the border of the ghetto, as there was a wall running from the side of Krochmalna Street. The building has remained almost intact, it has numerous historical and artistic values. Numerous ornaments and stucco in the Art Nouveau style have survived on the walls of the gate passage. Some of the apartments have doors with carved wooden entrance and Art Nouveau tiled stoves.

  • 08 Preserved wall of ghetto

    On October 2, 1940, by the decision of the Nazi occupation authorities, a ghetto was established in the northern district. According to the order, all Jews living in Warsaw were moved to the ghetto area. In November of the same year, the Jewish quarter was completely separated from the rest of the city by a three-meter wall with wire. The ghetto was divided into small and large ones. The border was Chłodna Street with a footbridge over it. The living conditions in the ghetto were very difficult, many people were starving. Fortunately, the Jews could count on the support of Poles who, risking their lives, delivered food to the ghetto. Emanuel Ringelbum, staying in the ghetto, describes the heroism of Poles in his notes.

  • 09 Tenement houses on Próżna Street

    Before the war, mainly Jewish people lived here, and the street had commercial character. Zalman Nożyk, the founder of the nearby synagogue, lived in the tenement house at number 9. The famous industrialist Majer Wolanowski lived in the house at number 14. Initially, he ran a hardware store here. With time, he founded a factory producing wire, nails and roofing cardboard on Gęsia Street. With time, he expanded the scope of production for the needs of the railway. It is worth mentioning that Próżna is one of the few streets in Warsaw that survived the destruction of the ghetto.

  • 10 Preserved synagogue of Zalman and Rywka Nożyk

    It was established at the beginning of the 20th century by Zalman and Rywka Nożyk. The synagogue was designed in the Neo-Renaissance style by Leandr Marconi. Before the war, it was one of the five largest synagogues in Warsaw. It is worth mentioning that it operated during the war and was open to the faithful. Although it was partially destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising, its structure has survived to this day. After the war, it was restored. Thanks to the efforts of the Religious Community, it was possible to recover the relics stolen during the war, which we can see today. These include the velvet canopy and the 18th-century menorah.

  • 11 The monument of Janusz Korczak

    The monument is located in the Świętokrzyski Park, opposite the Palace of Culture and Science. Its authors are the architect Zbigniew Wilma and the sculptor Jan Bohdan Chmielewski. It presents Janusz Korczak surrounded by children under a dead tree in the shape of a menorah. The monument was officially unveiled on Children's Day on 1 June 2006 by the then President of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński. Janusz Korczak was not only a respected educationalist and doctor, but also a distinguished social activist. He founded and ran the Orphans' Home in Wola in 1912-1942 at Jaktorowska Street, which was an institution that looked after jewish children. In November 1942, the facility was moved to the ghetto on Chłodna Street. During the occupation, Janusz Korczak proudly wore a Polish uniform, refusing to wear an armband with the Star of David. Although polish friends had repeatedly offered him to escape from the ghetto on Aryan papers, he refused to do it. He decided to stay with his children until the very end until the liquidation of the ghetto in 1942. Until the very end, he accompanied his children on the march to the Umschlagplatz from where they were sent to the Treblinka camp.


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