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Warsaw Ghetto, 1940-1942

Miodowa Street in Warsaw where Anek lived in the early 1940, i.e. before he and his mother moved to the ghetto (Source:

In Warsaw Anek and his mother rented a room in an apartment number 46 at 23 Miodowa Street, a posh neighborhood close to the Old City. One of their cotenants living in “a little room on the left side of the corridor” was Hersz Wasser, the secretary of “Oneg Shabat”, the clandestine group headed by Emanuel Ringelblum which collected information about life in occupied Poland. In May 1944 Wasser sent a letter to Anek, a copy of which is today at the Ghetto Fighters House Archive. The letter opens with the following lines:






Dear Arnold,
…..I was extremely happy to hear that you and your mom are in Warsaw. So many of my  acquaintances are no longer with us, that each of the living ones is of enormous value.

The purpose of the letter was to ask Anek to write his memoirs and send them to Wasser:

I would suggest the following topics: “Reminiscences from [the period] of J.P.”, “Living outside the base [i.e. the Warsaw ghetto]” but, in fact, I leave the choice of the topic entirely to you. I have total confidence in you. I believe you will understand my intentions. Not everything can be written in a letter.[13]

My suspicion that “J.P.” stands for Juedische Polizei (Jewish Police) was confirmed by the list of members of Warsaw ghetto Jewish police which is kept at the archives of the Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) in Warsaw.[14] Here Arnold Majorek is listed as a member of the Reservezug (Reserve platoon) living at 11/55 Elektoralna Street. The list, I am told by Dr. Katarzyna Person, who wrote a book about the Jewish Police in the Warsaw ghetto, was drown at its very beginning, i.e. in the late autumn of 1940.[15] The facts that Anek was not arraigned before the Honor Court established after the war by the Central Committee of Polish Jews and that he was listed as a member of the Reservezug seem to indicate that he was not involved in some deplorable activities associated with the Jewish Police in the Warsaw ghetto. In spite of extensive research I was unable to find any additional information regarding Anek’s service with the Jewish Police or when he deserted or otherwise left them. Be it as it may, Wasser's letter is an obvious indication that Anek and his mother moved to the ghetto at its very beginning, in the autumn of 1940.

Miodowa 1940.png
Elektoralna, October 1939.png

13 Ghetto Fighters House Archive, Adolf-Avraham Berman Collection, 5994.


14 Jewish Historical Institute (JHI), Warsaw, 221/15.


15 Dr. Katarzyna Person to the author, 30 November 2021. According to Dr. Person Reservezug “was a separate unit which was only functioning in the first months of the service and grouped policemen who later were to become unit leaders or officers”. (Dr. Person to the author, 15 January 2023).

The next time we have somenews about Anek is some two years later in the second half of 1942. Irena Majorek, who escaped from the Warsaw ghetto and found a relatively safe position with the railway administration in Wlodzimierz Wolynski, came to Warsaw in order to visit her mother, Rachela Majorek nee Manszester. Once there she phoned the number of the Judenrat from a public phone, and asked the recipient of the call to fetch her mother who lived in the same building. The mother forbade Irena to enter the ghetto, which was extremely dangerous, and they
decided to see each other on Leszno Street where there was no wall but a barrier made of barbed wire in the middle of the street. There, walking along the barrier, they could see each other and talk in laud voices. 







My mom came to the meeting with her sister-in-law, my aunt Pola [Majorek, Anek’s mother], who looked quite well because when the war started, or maybe even a day or two earlier, she packed all the merchandise which was in their tricot factory in Kalisz and took it with them to Warsaw. There the clothes were kept in a warehouse and she was selling them little by little and had money to buy food. She and her son, Anek, lived in a tiny rented room where there was a sofa, a folded mattress and a place to prepare food.[16]

Leszno Street which was originally inside the ghetto became one of its borders after the Great Deportation of the summer of 1942 which means, of course, that Irena’s visit must have taken place afterwards.

Zelazna street.jpg

Elektoralna Street in October 1939. The first house on the right was number 13, so Anek must have lived nearby (Source:

Ghetto border on Zelazna Street after the Great Deportation of the summer of 1942, which was,
quite probably, similar to the one on the Leszno Street (Source:Bundesarchiv, Berlin)

16 Irena Malinowski’s Oral Testimony, part 5, minute 11.

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