Hundreds march through Warsaw to mark 80 years since Nazi liquidation of Jewish ghetto
WARSAW, Poland — Hundreds of people marched in Warsaw on Friday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nazi liquidation of the Jewish ghetto during World War II, with the war in Ukraine giving the event new resonance.
The motorcade passed through the spot where Jews were deported from the ghetto to the Treblinka death camp in central Poland in 1942, killing 260,000 people.
The marchers wore symbolic ribbons bearing the names of the deportees.
This year’s march was dedicated to the theme of victims of deportations and forced displacement, as millions of Ukrainians fled their homes due to the Russian invasion on February 24.
Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said at the ceremony that the ghetto represented a “division” between its inmates, portrayed as bad, and the “good people” who lived outside.
Russian President Vladimir Putin “has once again tried to divide people. Every time I hear people talk about a division between good and evil, that’s a wake-up call for me,” he said.
Nazi Germany created the Warsaw Ghetto – the largest of its kind during World War II – in 1940 to hold nearly half a million Jews during its occupation of Poland.
Residents were crowded into a small neighborhood where disease and starvation were rampant, before a decree announcing the start of the ghetto’s liquidation arrived on July 22, 1942.
Within three months, 260,000 people – a quarter of Warsaw’s population – were deported to Treblinka and killed in the Holocaust.