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Warsaw demolishing ghetto wall, promises reconstruction

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A rare photo of the Warsaw Ghetto smuggled out of Poland during World War II. (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives)

A rare photo of the Warsaw Ghetto smuggled out of Poland during World War II. (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Workers began demolishing a wall in Warsaw near the spot where Jews were gathered for transport to the Treblinka concentration camp.

The demolition of the wall bordering the square in the former Warsaw Ghetto known as the Umschlagplatz was first reported Tuesday by the Virtual Shtetl website.

The brick wall, which in some places is topped with barbed wire, has been in poor condition for some time. It appears, however, that it is being demolished to allow for the cutting of trees and other vegetation, according to the Virtual Shtetl.

Historians reportedly are not sure whether the wall is the original from World War II.

Bartosz Milczarczyk, a City Hall spokesman, told RDC radio that the wall will be reconstructed.

“I am glad that the authorities see how important for the history of both the Jews and the city are relics such as this particular wall,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw, told JTA. “These objects, even if their historical origin is in some doubt, are an important element of the teaching of history that took place here a few decades earlier. And that we must not forget.

“I hope that as Warsaw authorities promised, the wall will be reconstructed as soon as possible.”

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