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Transcript of Bialystok Ghetto
Became a center of industry
Most of the factories were privately owned by Oskar Steffen, a German industrialist
There was a Jewish police force made up of 200 men
Starvation was common, but was fought by those who smuggled in food
Original population: 60,000
Located in Northeastern Poland
Originally under Soviet control until Nazi troops came in
50,000-60,000 living in the ghetto at one time
7,600 Jews sent to Treblinka
Jews fit to work were sent to Majdanek
During the liquidation there was an uprising where Jews tried to overthrow Nazi leaders and tried to hide in the forest
71 were killed in this attempt
100 managed to escape
Jews who were unfit for work were immediately sent to Auschwitz
Ephriam Barash was asked to send members of the ghetto to be killed
instead of sending adults, over 1,000 children were sent to Theresienstadt ghetto then to Auschwitz to be killed
he believed that in order to allow the ghetto to continue to work for the Germans it was necessary to keep those strong enough to work
Children walking in Jewish District
Job was to make sure Nazi policies and regulations were properly enforced
Ephriam Barash was leader
Believed that resistance was only necessary if there was an immediate threat to the safety of the city
became a major employer; more than 2,000 people worked in various departments: hospitals, pharmacies, schools, a law court and other institutions
Judenrat converted the sites of destroyed buildings within the ghetto into fruit and vegetable gardens
Hakia Grosman and small group of survivors infront of a Memorial to the Jews of Bialystok
He lived in Sokolow Podlaski, Poland as a shoe maker. When the Germans invaded Poland in September of 1939, he and his family fled to the Soviet occupied part of Poland (Bialystok). When the Germans attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 they gained control of Bialystok. He was moved into the Ghetto during its creation in August 1941.
He was the head of the head of the Judenrat in Bialystok. He believed in "salvation through work" meaning that if the people of the ghetto could become essential to the German war effort they would be saved through their hard work in the factories. He was an active collaborator with the Jewish fighting organization and provided money and arms. When Bailystok was liquidated he and his wife were sent to Majdanek where he was killed
Haika Grosman was born in Bialystok on November 20, 1919. She was moved to Warsaw a few days after WWII started by the Hebrew University. She was elected to be a member of “the alternative leadership” designed to lead the “movement” during war. She moved back into Poland under a false identity, relying on her Aryan looks to protect her. She crossed borders to move in and out of ghettos and was sent to Bialystok to organize the Jewish fighting resistance. She was able to convince Ephriam Barash to aid the resistance. When the ghetto was liquidated she moved back into the city to aid in reistance. At the end of the war when German troops surrendered she was awarded the highest national medal for utmost courage by the Polish government. She died on May 26, 1996 after suffering a brain injury. She left behind a husband and large family.
Men meeting on a corner
Two Synagogs, one before the war, one after