Warsaw Ghetto museum planned for hospital whose patients were sent to death camp


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Polish government wants to create a Warsaw Ghetto museum in a hospital that had its patients and workers sent to the Treblinka death camp.

“The creation of the Warsaw Ghetto museum is in the initial phase of preparation, both substantively and organizationally,” the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage told JTA in a statement.

The museum planned for the former Bersohn and Bauman Hospital building in Warsaw will be developed in cooperation with the Jewish Historical Institute. In its statement, the ministry did not set a timetable for the opening.

“This is a very good initiative both for commemorating the Warsaw residents who were separated by the wall and the first Warsaw uprising,” said Polish-Jewish activist Piotr Kadlcik, whose immediate family died in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Piotr Pazinski, the editor in chief of Midrasz magazine, said he was pleased the ghetto would be commemorated in Warsaw but wanted further details.

“And I hope for a place devoted to the life and death of the Warsaw Ghetto from the inside, the voices of the people who lived and died in it,” he said.

Bersohn and Bauman Hospital began operating in 1878. Janusz Korczak, the Polish-Jewish humanitarian who accompanied more than 190 orphaned children when they were transported to the Nazi camp Treblinka, worked there during the years 1905 to 1912.

In the interwar years, the hospital was taken over by the Society of Friends of Children, and its expansion was financed by the Jewish community and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. During World War II, the hospital was located within the ghetto before its location was changed twice.

In 1942, its patients and workers were taken to Treblinka, the Nazi death camp in occupied Poland where 700,000 to 900,000 people were killed. After the war, the Central Committee of Polish Jews took over the hospital building.

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