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22 July 1942

By Anna Majchrowska

22 July 1942 marks one of the most tragic dates in the history of people of Warsaw. Germans had begun deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka. Due to brutal deportations, which had lasted for nearly two months, more than 300,000 Jews from Warsaw and nearby towns had died. Thanks to the Ringelblum Archive, we know about the course of the operation and about thoughts and emotions shared by people from the Jewish district.

The initiator of the actual beginning of mass extermination of the Jewish population of the General Gouvernement was SS-Brigadeführer and police major general Odilo Globocnik, chief of SS and police in the Lublin district. It was intended as the first stage of mass resettlements in the district, which were supposed to lead to complete germanization. In mid-October 1941, Globocnik’s project was accepted by SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler and possibly Adolf Hitler himself.

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