Before the war, Warsaw was home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Jews made up 30 per cent of the city’s population and were a major part of the city’s exceptional ethnic mix. They had synagogues, schools, and hospitals here; they ran handicraft stores, manufacturing plants and banks and were also engaged in freelance professions, many as artists. Though the Holocaust put an end to centuries of Jewish history in Warsaw, traces of their existence are still present. You can see how Jews have impacted the city’s development.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
ul. Anielewicza 6
The POLIN Museum restores the memory of the rich, thousand-year shared history of two peoples: Poles and Jews. The interactive exposition will take you on an incredible journey across centuries. You’ll have the chance to walk the streets of a pre-war Jewish shtetl and discover how Polish and Jewish cultures have intermingled. The edifice of the museum is itself an architectural attraction and a landmark of modern Warsaw.
ul. Okopowa 49/51
The Jewish Cemetery is one of the few Jewish necropolises still in use in Poland. Apart from the traditional matzevahs, you can also admire many beautiful tombstones of artistic value. The people buried here bear many prominent names, such as Ludwik Zamenhof, Janusz Korczak, and Estera Rachela Kamińska.
ul. Twarda 6
The Nożyk Synagogue is one of several pre-war Warsaw synagogues and houses of worship that have survived to this day. The name comes from its founders, who commissioned the synagogue’s creation at the end of the 19th century. An unknown architect designed the building in a Neo-Romanesque style. Today, the temple hosts not only religious services but also concerts, exhibitions, and other cultural events.
The Memorial Route of Jewish Martyrdom and Struggle in Warsaw is made up of black stone blocks located in the area of the former ghetto, from the Ghetto Heroes Monument (Zamenhofa Street) to Umschlagplatz. These black stones commemorate people, events, and places related to the Holocaust.
Fragment of the ghetto wall
Created by the Nazis during World War II, the ghetto was surrounded by tall walls and barbed wire. Should you wish to see the remaining fragments of the wall, walk to Waliców or Sienna streets (entry from 62 Złota Street). The borders of the ghetto have been marked with cast iron plates built into the pavement. Plaques with maps, photographs, and descriptions in Polish and English have been placed in 22 locations.