Sienna 55 – Zlota 62

In late 1940 and early 1941, the Germans created a ghetto in Warsaw, separating off an area of almost 307 square kilometers in the city center with a wall nearly three meters high, topped with barbed wire, or broken glass. Anyone who attempted to cross it risked immediate death. The wall that surrounded the ghetto in 1942 survived the war almost in its entirety. It was dismantled after the war as ruins were being removed from the city, which had been completely destroyed by the Germans.
Two fragments of the ghetto’s walls dating back to the autumn of 1940 have survived, utterly by chance. They are in the western part of downtown, in courtyards, and on the border between the lots at ul. Sienna 55 and ul. Złota 62. Two fragments of brick walls divide the courtyard between buildings. These fragments of the ghetto’s wall were discovered and identified by a resident of Sienna street, Mr. Mieczysław Jędruszczak. He became involved in documenting their history and that of the site where they were found. Thanks to his efforts, the wall’s fragments were included in the list of historical sites in Warsaw and put under the care of local conservation authorities.
Thanks also to him, an information board with a map of the entire neighborhood and squares, a project that received financial support from the Nissenbaum Foundation and Warsaw Municipal Management Company. The plaque and square are at ul. Złota 60.

Below the plaque one can see two bricks missing, and next to it another metal plaque, funded by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, describing the situation in Polish and English. The text reads: „A copy of this wall, erected by the Nazis when they created the ghetto in Warsaw, was sent along with two of its [original] bricks to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., where it enriches the permanent exhibition of that Museum.”
In May 1992, the courtyard of the buildings at Sienna and Złota were visited by the Israeli president, Chaim Herzog, who was on an official state visit in Poland. This event is commemorated by a special plaque that was unveiled on the small piece of the surviving wall.
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Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Mokotowska 25, 00-560 Warsaw tel. (48-22) 44 76 100,
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