Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Jewish Warsaw Tour (Self Guided), Warsaw

It's hard to imagine, except what we know from history, that on these beautiful Warsaw streets, thousands of Jews were herded and forced into cattle cars, on their way to concentration camps in the 1940s. Here, in the location of one of Europe's biggest concentration camps, about 400,000 innocent Jews suffered and died. Take the following tour to visit some of the places relevant to Warsaw and the Holocaust.
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Jewish Warsaw Tour Map

Guide Name: Jewish Warsaw Tour
Guide Location: Poland » Warsaw (See other walking tours in Warsaw)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Umschlagplatz
  • Monument to the Ghetto Heroes
  • The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute
  • Nozyk Synagogue
  • Janusz Korczak Monument
  • Warsaw Ghetto Walls

1) Umschlagplatz

In a city replete with war stories, you must leave no memorial or square unvisited as these are places where you can actually experience history. Umschlagplatz for example is a tourist attraction in Warsaw you must not miss. This square was a scene of tragic action as it was from here that Jews were sent to the death camps.

At least five to seven thousand persons were sent from this departure point to Treblinka every day to be killed. To pay homage to these sad events, this monument was raised in 1988. On the wall, you will find the names of 448 Jews inscribed symbolizing the 450,000 Jews who were kept prisoners in the ghetto from 1942 to 1943. On the adjacent wall, you will find another inscription from the Book of Hiob.

A memorial built on ul. Stawki is pictured above. This can be found at Warsaw Ghetto’s northern boundary and this memorial housed the Umschlagplatz once upon a time. In their endeavor to get rid of all Jews living in Europe, the Nazis set up Jewish Ghettos wherever the Jewish population was found in Poland.

Pay a visit to the Umschlagplatz and join hands with the Polish people to pay homage to those Jews who were unwittingly a witness to phenomenal horror and tragedy.
Monument to the Ghetto Heroes

2) Monument to the Ghetto Heroes (must see)

The largest Jewish ghetto was created by the Nazis in Warsaw after their Polish occupation in 1939. According to history, it held at least 400,000 people locked and enclosed in thirty miles of wire, barriers and walls. Due to starvation, violence, disease and forced labor, as many as 100,000 of them died by June 1942. At least a quarter million people were transported in September 1942 to Treblinka where all of them were killed.

50,000 to 60,000 comparatively healthy and young prisoners remained at the ghetto. The final ghetto liquidation was resisted by this group of people. The Jewish Fighting Organization was formed and all groups in the ghetto united under its leadership. They constructed bunkers and accumulated weapons from outside. During the final three days allocated for their deportation, the Nazis were shocked by the resistance which lasted for about six weeks before the Germans took over and completely destroyed the ghetto.

The sculpture at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes was made by Nathan Rapoport – a Jewish sculptor who escaped to the Soviet Union during the Nazi invasion in Poland. Former Chancellor of Germany, Willy Brandt, famously kneeled in front of the statue, and there is a smaller monument, in the other part of the square, in a shape reminiscent of this monument, commemorating his gesture.

Be sure to see both sides of the monument – on one side, the fighters; and the other side the 300,000 Jews being deported to the Treblinka extermination camp in the summer of 1942.
Facing the monument is the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. There's also a statue of Jan Karski at the site.
The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

3) The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

Warsaw is a lovely place to visit and to make your trip complete, it is important to know the historical backgrounds of all communities that form the city. Emanuel Ringelblum Historical Institute was established in honor of Emanuel Ringelblum.

He was a Jewish leader who played a major role in documenting Jewish life in Warsaw Ghetto when the city was in the grip of German Nazis. Emanuel Ringelblum with the help of a group of trusted people collected materials related to the Warsaw Ghetto stored in the famous underground archives.

This institute was dissolved on 31st December 2008 after which a new research institute Jewish Historical Institute was formed. Since it was founded in 1947, the institute has been pursuing valuable studies on Jewish culture and history. Here you can find priceless collections of books, photographs, archival files, art pieces and journals that are an intrinsic part of the Polish Jewish community.

This interesting collection is also a testimony to the Jewish life in Poland through centuries. At the institute you can find a library that contains many archives with collections pertaining to the Polish Jewish history. Here you can also find Yiddish materials. Visit this institute on your trip to Warsaw to gain a deep insight into the struggles, trials and tribulations faced by the Jewish community here through ages.

Hours: Monday-Friday: 9.00–18.00 and Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00.
Nozyk Synagogue

4) Nozyk Synagogue

Nozyk Synagogue finds its beginnings in the decision to build a place of worship in Twarda Street by a gallantry merchant Nozyk and Menasze. A noted architect in Warsaw, Karol Kozlowski was employed by Nozyk to prepare the project.

This synagogue was constructed between 1898 and 1902 to serve middle class owners of shops, houses, small manufacturers and workshops. These people could purchase a synagogue seat while only the morning prayers were open for the poor.

The year 1914 saw the bequeathing of the synagogue to Warsaw’s Jewish community by the founders. The condition stipulated by them while transferring the synagogue included retention of the full name and maintenance through contributions and donations.

Warsaw Jewish community established the Nozyk foundation to administer this Synagogue till 1939. Expansion of the synagogue took place in 1923 when a choir loft was added to it. This loft was designed by Maurycy Grodzienski.

Nozyk Synagogue was the only one in Warsaw that survived World War II. After the war ended, the synagogue was used by the Jewish community till 1968. It was again reopened in 1983 after political transformations in the country. On your trip to Warsaw, enjoy a visit to this synagogue that has a rich historical background.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Janusz Korczak Monument

5) Janusz Korczak Monument

The Janusz Korczak Monument represents a tree, in front of which stand six children and Janusz Korczak, a Polish-Jewish children’s writer and pediatrician. Branches of the tree symbolize hands raised to God as depicted by a seven-branched menorah. Janusz Korczak put his best efforts to make orphans’ lives better, starting from fulfilling their basic needs through elementary schooling, concerts and puppet shows. In August 1942, he spurned a chance to live, in order to die in the Treblinka extermination camp gas chambers, alongside children from an orphanage he ran.
Warsaw Ghetto Walls

6) Warsaw Ghetto Walls (must see)

In the hard and terrible times of 1940, the Nazis created the Warsaw Ghetto, by building eleven miles of brick walls around the Jewish quarter. The construction of the ghetto wall started on April 1, 1940. The wall was typically 3 m (9.8 ft) high and topped with barbed wire. Escapees could be shot on sight. The borders of the ghetto changed many times during the next years. In 1943, the Ghetto was dismantled and the walls were torn down.

There isn't actually much left to see or visit nowadays, with the exception of pieces of some remaining walls surrounding the ghetto area, but one can definitely and still get a feeling for the hardship and suffering endured by the Jews, who were forced to live there.

Go and find the few walls remaining between apartment blocks and, if you do, also find the only remaining synagogue that survived the war.
Alternatively, consider visiting the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews for more information.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Warsaw, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Creating your own self-guided walk in Warsaw is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Warsaw's Historical Churches

Warsaw's Historical Churches

Warsaw is home to many magnificent religious buildings, including 17th century churches, outstanding cathedrals, and marvelous places of worship. Most of them were destroyed during World War II and restored later. Take the following self-guided tour to see Warsaw’s prominent sacred places!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Warsaw Famous Monuments

Warsaw Famous Monuments

Warsaw is home to various monuments, dedicated to celebrated and great people, like Adam Mickiewicz, Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski, Józef Piłsudski, and Nicolaus Copernicus. These great personalities did a lot for Poland and now the city monuments and statues stand to honor their contributions to the country’s development. Check out Warsaw’s famous monuments in the next self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Museums and Galleries Walk

Museums and Galleries Walk

There's lots of high quality art galleries to be found in Warsaw, and they are mostly concentrated in the center of the city. Visitors will see artwork from around the world, by artists both known and unknown, as well as local ones. Warsaw also houses many outstanding museums, which offer interesting and exciting exhibitions. Check out these wonderful museums and galleries in Warsaw in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour

Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour

Praga is a historic district in Warsaw, situated on the East bank of the river Vistula. Its streets are full of renaissance houses, old churches, and historic buildings which are all part of Warsaw’s Old Town. Take the following tour to visit best attractions in this historic Warsaw’s area!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
South Warsaw Walking Tour

South Warsaw Walking Tour

Warsaw’s Southern part houses a number of magnificent attractions, including splendid Royal Baths Park, which contains the Palace on the Water, Roman Theater, White House, Myślewicki Palace, old and new orangery, fabulous Belweder, beautiful Ujazdów Castle, and the prominent Chopin monument. See the most popular attractions in Warsaw’s southern part in the next walking tour!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Warsaw Introduction Walk

Warsaw Introduction Walk

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is the city with long, eventful, and often dramatic history that is reflected in the city's varied architecture, comprising Gothic, neoclassical, Soviet-era and modern styles. Warsaw's Old Town, it's main attraction nearly destroyed during WWII, is now back to its former glory, complete with Market Square at its heart, lined with pastel buildings and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

A country with a great deal of taste and turbulent history, Poland has a lot to offer those with the eyes to see and mouth to savor. And Warsaw is, perhaps, the best place to find all things Polish brought together. Here's the list of the most distinctive Polish goods, caringly drawn by a...