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Yad Vashem No Child's Play

Ghettos and Camps

A group of teenagers in the Warsaw ghetto, September 1941
A group of teenagers in the
Warsaw ghetto, September 1941
Watercolors painted by Nelly Toll in the Lvov ghetto illustrate stories that her mother told her. The paintings reflect scenes from her pre-war life
Watercolors painted by Nelly Toll
in the Lvov ghetto illustrate stories
that her mother told her.
The paintings reflect scenes
from her pre-war life
Watercolors painted by Nelly Toll in the Lvov ghetto illustrate stories that her mother told her. The paintings reflect scenes from her pre-war life
Watercolors painted by Nelly Toll
in the Lvov ghetto illustrate stories
that her mother told her.
The paintings reflect scenes
from her pre-war life
In the Ghettos

During World War II (1939-1945), the Nazis and their accomplices separated Jews from their non-Jewish neighbors and incarcerated millions of them in ghettos-sealed quarters inhabited only by Jews, who could not leave without permission. The horrific conditions in the ghettos-overcrowding (more than fifteen people per room), starvation, filth, and cold-claimed many lives. More than 85,000 of the 450,000 Jews who were packed into the largest ghetto, Warsaw, died within two years. Many children attempted to help support their families by accepting jobs and smuggling food into the ghetto. At the same time, the adults made a mammoth effort to provide children with food and schooling and organize activities for young people.

In the Camps

As soon as they rose to power in 1933, the Nazis established concentration camps to incarcerate and abuse thousands of "undesirables", including many Jews. During World War II, many additional camps - concentration, labor, and transit - were set up throughout Europe. These camps housed hundreds of thousands of prisoners, many of whom were murdered. In the labor camps, many hundreds of thousands of Jews and non-Jews were put to hard labor. Transit camps, such as Westerbork and Drancy, were provisional collection points for Jews slated for deportation to extermination camps.