On 22nd of July, 1942, Germans began massive deportations of the Warsaw Jews to the extermination camp in Treblinka. Within three months, approximately 300,000 defenseless people were deported and murdered. The Jewish quarter, Warsaw Ghetto, was reduced to 40,000 people, who lived to see the ghetto uprising.
On the day of 74th anniversary of these tragic events Jewish Historical Institute desires to commemorate their victims by organizing the March of Remembrance during which we will walk the streets of annihilated ghetto for the fifth time. This way we will pay tribute to the biggest Jewish community of pre-war period.
Every year the March of Remembrance gathers over a thousand of Varsovians paying tribute to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto. Each of the previous marches was dedicated to different persons or groups, f.e. to Janusz Korczak and employees of the Ghetto orphanage and its orphans, to Little Smuglers, to the creator of the Warsaw Ghetto Underground Archive Emanuel Ringelblum and to Marysia Ajzensztadt. This year we want to remember about the Ghetto healthcare workers: doctors, nurses, hospital porters – all those who heroically helped their patients in times of “superhuman medicine”. Doctors in the Ghetto faced many dramatic challenges: from stitching up the gunshot wounds caused by the Ghetto gendarmes, lasting almost two years epidemic of typhoid fever – During the worst months of the epidemic approximately 2,500 cases of typhoid, 700 of which resulting in death, were reported — noted Ludwik Hirszfeld, to dramatically unequal fight against disease caused by famine. Henryk Makower remembered the character of practicing medicine in the Ghetto by writing: The doctors were at a loss. Why save those people, mostly with horrible ripped up wounds (doom-doom bullets were most commonly used). However, old, drilled for years obligation, made them do their own thing. The hospital worked in full flow. In result those saved, among them those with numerous wounds, found their death in Treblinka or against the walls of the Ghetto. The doctors did not cease their scientific research which resulted in publishing in 1947 thesis titled: The Famine Disease. Clinical Research on Hunger in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.
There were two hospitals in the Warsaw Ghetto: the Orthodox Jewish Hospital in Czyste, relocated to the Ghetto from Dworska Street, with wards placed in various buildings of closed district; and Bersohns and Baumans Children’s Hospital on Śliska Street with its branch on the corner of Leszno and Żelazna Street. Their medical personnel dealt with insufficient supply of medications, bandages and low food rations resulting in their helplessness towards epidemic and famine. About this horrifying awareness doctor Adina Blady-Szwajer wrote: We had already known that we are less and less capable of saving lives and become more and more givers of silent death.
This year’s March of Remembrance will begin on 22nd of July, at 5 p.m. at Umschlagplatz Monument on Stawki Street and will end around 6.30 p.m. on Śliska Street, at the building of one of the Ghetto hospitals — Bersohns and Baumans Children’s Hospital. During our symbolic march “from death to life” we will walk the streets: Stawki, Jana Pawła II, Prosta, Twarda and Śliska, carrying our already traditional ribbons of remembrance with names of Jews locked in the Ghetto.
Program of the March of Remembrance 2016:
Formal inauguration of the March of Remembrance at the Umschlagplatz Monument (Stawki Street).
Distribution of the ribbons of remembrance with names of the victims among the participants.
Stawki St., Jana Pawła II Av., Prosta St., Twarda St., Śliska St.
End of the March
Approx. 6.30 p.m.
On Śliska Street, at the building of Bersohns and Baumans Children’s Hospital the participants of the March will pay symbolic tribute to the victims by tying the ribbons with their names to hospital fence. At this time the actor Piotr Głowacki, accompanied by Olgierd Dokalski playing the trumpet will read excerpts of the diaries of the Warsaw Ghetto doctors.
Mayor of Wola District of the Capital City of Warsaw
Śródmieście District of the Capital City of Warsaw
Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN