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Parts of Warsaw Ghetto wall to become historic monuments

February 20, 2018

A group of college students from Israel being taught about Holocaust history at a fragment of the wall that isolated the Warsaw Ghetto and that a regional official wants to put on a list of protected historical monuments, in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. The wall was built in 1940, when the Nazi Germans closed the area of Warsaw they called the “Jewish district.” (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Two sections of the wall that isolated the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II should be added to a list of historical monuments, a regional conservation official in Poland said Tuesday.

A proposal to list the red brick wall still standing at 53 Sienna Street says the barrier should be protected as a witness to history and preserved for future generations.

It says monument status would give legal protection to a “unique historical memento, priceless to the Jewish and the Polish nation.”

Local residents have two weeks to appeal the regional official’s decision. The wall can’t be added to the regional list until the appeal period elapses.

The wall was built in 1940, when the Nazi Germans occupying Poland closed the area of Warsaw they called the “Jewish district.” It was four meters (13 feet) high, including one meter of barbed wire on top.

Most of the ghetto’s 450,000 residents died of hunger and disease there or in the gas chambers of the Treblinka death camp.

The Germans destroyed the ghetto and most of the wall in 1943. Hundreds of residents resisted, but the Ghetto Uprising was crushed in May 1943 and almost all its fighters were killed.

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