Underground remains of Warsaw ghetto in line for protected status
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Underground remains of Warsaw ghetto in line for protected status

Protection would require archaeological supervision during all earthworks in area, recording of finds

Observers placing daffodils at the grave of Marek Edelman, a commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, in Warsaw's Jewish cemetery. (Ruth Ellen Gruber/JTA)
Observers placing daffodils at the grave of Marek Edelman, a commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, in Warsaw's Jewish cemetery. (Ruth Ellen Gruber/JTA)

WARSAW, Poland — The area where the Warsaw Ghetto was located could be eligible to be listed as a protected site.

The goal is to protect the remains of the ghetto, located underground, which are sometimes excavated during repairs.

On the initiative of the Warsaw Monument Conservator, the representatives of the Polin Museum, the Jewish Historical Institute, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Warsaw and the Voivodship Monument Conservator met last week to discuss including the Warsaw Ghetto area in the communal record of monuments, naming it a protected archaeological site.

Before the ghetto area is added to the list of the historic monuments, a historical and archaeological analysis of the area will be prepared to precisely define the protection limits. The Warsaw conservator will then apply to the provincial conservator to enter the ghetto area in the register of protected monuments. Protection will only apply to what is underground.

Inclusion in the register will allow archaeological supervision during all earthworks in the area of the former ghetto. Objects discovered by accident in recent years and related to the history of the ghetto and the lives of its residents show the need for such protection. Despite their significant historical value, many of those objects were not turned over to museums or research institutes.

The municipal record of monuments kept by the Office of the Capital Conservator of Monuments covers over 11,000 immovable objects from the Warsaw area.

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