Forced resettlement actions carried out during the Second World War by the German authorities. They affected various ethnic groups, but above all it was Jews who were moved to the ghettos, from one province to another, and then from the ghettos to the concentration and death camps. Two phases are discernable in the Polish lands: the first took place from October 1939 to mid-1941, with the second lasting from December 1941 until the second half of 1944.

The first phase included the resettlement of Jews from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia and those Polish areas that had been annexed to the Generalgouvernement (GG). The intention was to concentrate European Jewry there, and then to resettlement them within the GG and create ghettos there. Ghettos and transit camps were intended to concentrate the Jews who had been removed from the countryside and small towns. Forced resettlement was not yet being carried out with the intention of extermination, though killings and brutality were nevertheless allowed to occur. They tore the Jewish population away from their communities and isolated them in a new area. They also made enabled looting, which went unpunished, and made it easier to organize forced labor.
The second period began when the decision to implement the Endl�sung had been made, and coincided with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. In the autumn of 1941, the liquidation of the ghettos began. Deportations began in December 1941, primarily to the death camp in Chelmno (Kulmhof), meant for Jews from the ghettos in the Lodz district. In early 1942, the residents of the smaller ghettos were moved to larger ghettos that were closer to the railroad lines, so as to facilitate transports to the death camps. In February 1942, the camp in Belzec was completed. In March and April 1942, approximately 30,000 residents from the Lublin ghetto were sent there. In May and June, deportations from Krakow took place.

In July 1942, the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto began. By September, between 254,000 and 300,000 people were sent from Warsaw to Treblinka. Deportations from other cities and areas of the country were taking place at the same time. The smaller ghettos were liquidated in one or two days, as was the case in Otwock (August 19, 1942), Falenica and Rembertow (August 20), Radom (August 16-17), Minsk Mazowiecki (August 21-22), Siedlce (August 22-24), and Kielce (August 20-24). Deportations from the larger ghettos were usually carried out in several phases, separated by several weeks or more.

Deportations intensified in August, September and October 1942. Gradually, the ghettos in the Warsaw, Radom and Lublin districts were emptied of their residents. In November 1942, the extermination activities were for the most part focused on the Bialystok district, where approximately 110,000 Jews still remained. On November 2, the largest and most carefully prepared action was carried out: sixty-five deportations were organized from locations having from 20,000 to 50,000 Jews. By late 1942, only 300,000 Jews were left in the ghettos and labor camps of the GG; in the areas annexed to the Reich, there were 235,000, not including those who were in hiding.

During the course of 1943, the remaining ghettos were liquidated. In February, the first large-scale deportation action from Bialystok was carried out, during which two thousand people were killed on the spot; 10,000 were sent to Treblinka. The second phase began the night of August 15. Despite an uprising that had broken out, the Germans succeeded in sending approximately 30,000 people to Treblinka and Majdanek. The Lwow ghetto was liquidated in June 1943, after partial deportations in 1942 (March - 15,000; July - 7,000; August - 50,000; November - 7,000). Lodz was last large ghetto affected by the deportation actions; there, too, groups had been systematically deported earlier as well. The final liquidation of the Lodz ghetto, which had 80,000 residents, was carried out in July 1944. Jews from Western Europe, Greece, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Hungary were also deported to the death camps. The large-scale deportations concluded with the death marches.

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