In 1940, the Germans began establishing ghettos – sealed-off districts for the Jewish population – in occupied Poland. In 1942, they began a process of their liquidation and the mass deportation of Jews to death camps. The only way to survive was to go into hiding. Jews were looking for a shelter on the "Aryan side".
Jews in Hiding on the “Aryan Side”
In order to survive the Holocaust, Jews had to hide on the “Aryan side” or change their identity. Read about the hiding places of Jews and living conditions there, see souvenirs from POLIN Museum collection.
Jews Helping Other Jews on the “Aryan side”
Read stories of Jews helping other Jews in occupied Poland, as well as the historical study by Prof. Barbara Engelking, in which the phenomenon of Jewish self-help on the “Aryan side” is discussed in a problematic manner.
Situation of Jews in occupied Poland
In compliance with the policy of Nazi Germany, Jews in occupied Poland were subjected to increasingly severe repressions, which gradually led to their total extermination.
Extermination of Jews in the Eastern Borderlands
Before World War II, the eastern provinces of the Second Polish Republic were inhabited by nearly 13 million people, 8% of whom were Jews. In 1939, these lands, called Kresy Wschodnie (Eastern Borderlands), were seized first by the Soviet Union and later occupied by Germany after the invasion of the Third Reich on the USSR in 1941.