Świdermajer-styled house in Otwock
|Gmina||Otwock (urban gmina)|
|Town rights||9 November 1916|
|• Mayor||Jarosław Margielski (PiS)|
|• Total||47.33 km2 (18.27 sq mi)|
|Elevation||100 m (300 ft)|
|• Density||940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
05-400 to 05-402
|Area code(s)||+48 022|
Otwock [ˈɔtfɔt͡sk] ( listen ) is a town in central Poland, some 23 kilometres (14 mi) southeast of Warsaw, with 44,635 inhabitants (2019). Otwock is a part of the Warsaw Agglomeration. It is situated on the right bank of Vistula River below the mouth of Swider River. Otwock is home to a unique architectural style called Swidermajer.
Otwock is situated in the Masovian Voivodship since 1999; previously, it was in Warszawa Voivodship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Otwock County. The town covers the area of 47 square kilometres (18 sq mi). Forested areas make up 23% of the territory.
Even though the first mention of a village called Otwosko comes from the early 15th century, Otwock did not fully develop until the second half of the 19th century, when in 1877 the Vistula River Railroad was opened, which ran from Mława via Warsaw, to Lublin and Chełm. Otwock, which is located along the line, became a popular suburb, with numerous spas and several notable guests, including Józef Piłsudski and Władysław Reymont, who wrote his Nobel prize-winning novel Chłopi there. In 1916, Otwock was incorporated as a town and became the seat of a powiat. In 1936 railway connection Warsaw - Otwock was electrified as the first rail line in Poland.
Following the Nazi–Soviet Invasion of Poland in December 1939, the German authorities established a Jewish ghetto in Otwock. A murderous Action T4 euthanasia program was carried out by the Nazis in the local Zofiówka Sanatorium for the psychiatric patientsin order to confine its Jewish population for the purpose of persecution and exploitation. The Ghetto was liquidated between August and 19 September 1942, when 75% of its Jewish population of 12,000–15,000 numbering at around 8,000 were assembled by the Nazis at a layover yard in Otwock (pictured) and transported in cattle trucks to extermination camps in Treblinka and Auschwitz. Jews who remained were summarily shot at Reymonta Street soon after.
Otwock is the hometown of Irena Sendler (1910 – 2008), the Polish humanitarian who saved thousands of Jewish children during the Holocaust; as well as Krystyna Dańko, both awarded the titles of Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem. Writer Calel Perechodnik, a Jewish Ghetto Policeman from Otwock also hailed from this town. Following the liberation, a children's home for Holocaust survivors was established in Otwock.
In 1958, Ewa, the first Polish nuclear reactor was activated in Swierk district of Otwock. A second research reactor, Maria, was erected in 1974.
Otwock is home to a sports club Start Otwock (founded in 1924). The club is renowned for its weight-lifters such as Szymon Kołecki and Marcin Dołęga. Also, the Start Club's own prodigy is football forward Janusz Żmijewski who in the 1960s played for Legia Warszawa and the national team of Poland.
Otwock is twinned with:
Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of the Nazi ghettos during World War II. It was established by the German authorities in November 1940; within the new General Government territory of occupied Poland. At its height as many as 460,000 Jews were imprisoned there, in an area of 3.4 km2 (1.3 sq mi), with an average of 9.2 persons per room, barely subsisting on meager food rations. From the Warsaw Ghetto, Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps and mass-killing centers. In the summer of 1942 at least 254,000 Ghetto residents were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp during Großaktion Warschau under the guise of "resettlement in the East" over the course of the summer. The ghetto was demolished by the Germans in May 1943 after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings which had temporarily halted the deportations. The total death toll among the prisoners of the Ghetto is estimated to be at least 300,000 killed by bullet or gas, combined with 92,000 victims of starvation and related diseases, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the casualties of the final destruction of the Ghetto.
Pruszków(listen) is a city in central Poland, situated in the Masovian Voivodeship since 1999. It was previously in Warszawa Voivodeship (1975–1998). Pruszków is the capital of Pruszków County, located along the western edge of the Warsaw urban area. The town's population has grown significantly, from 16,000 in the early part of the 20th century to 60,068 in the 2014 census by the Central Statistical Office of Poland.
Annopol(listen) is a small town in south-eastern Poland, with 2,679 inhabitants (2004) in Kraśnik County. It has been situated in the Lublin Voivodeship previously in Tarnobrzeg Voivodeship (1975–1998).
Henryk Iwański (1902-1978), nom de guerre Bystry, was a member of the Polish resistance during World War II. He is known for leading one of the most daring actions of the Armia Krajowa in support of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, however later research cast doubts on the veracity of his claims. For his assistance to the Polish Jews Iwański was bestowed the title of the Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in 1964.
Jan Żabiński and his wife Antonina Żabińska (1908–1971) were a Polish couple from Warsaw, recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for their heroic rescue of Jews during the Holocaust in Poland. Jan Żabiński was a zoologist and zootechnician by profession, a scientist, and organizer and director of the renowned Warsaw Zoo before and during World War II. He became director of the Zoo before the outbreak of war but during the occupation of Poland also held a prestigious function of the Superintendent of the city's public parks in 1939–1945. A street in Warsaw is named after him.
Błonie is a town in Warsaw West County, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland, with a population of 12,354.
The citizens of Poland have the world's highest count of individuals who have been recognized by Yad Vashem of Jerusalem as the Polish Righteous Among the Nations, for saving Jews from extermination during the Holocaust in World War II. There are 7,112 Polish men and women recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, over a quarter of the 27,712 recognized by Yad Vashem in total. The list of Righteous is not comprehensive and it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Poles concealed and aided hundreds of thousands of their Polish-Jewish neighbors. Many of these initiatives were carried out by individuals, but there also existed organized networks of Polish resistance which were dedicated to aiding Jews – most notably, the Żegota organization.
Radzanów is a village in Mława County, Masovian Voivodeship, in east-central Poland, approximately 28 kilometres (17 mi) south-west of Mława and 101 km (63 mi) north-west of Warsaw. It is the seat of the gmina called Gmina Radzanów.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a museum on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The Hebrew word Polin in the museum's English name means either "Poland" or "rest here" and relates to a legend about the arrival of the first Jews to Poland.
Krystyna Dańko, née Chłond, was a Polish orphan from the town of Otwock, daughter of Karol Chłond – a respected city official in prewar Poland – who was awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1998, for saving the lives of Polish Jews during the Holocaust while risking her own life at the time of the Nazi German occupation of Poland.
The Grodno Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto established in November 1941 by Nazi Germany in the city of Grodno for the purpose of persecution and exploitation of Jews in Western Belarus.
Radom Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto set up in March 1941 in the city of Radom during occupation of Poland, for the purpose of persecution and exploitation of Polish Jews. It was closed off from the outside officially in April 1941. A year and a half later, the liquidation of the ghetto began in August 1942, and ended in July 1944, with approximately 30,000–32,000 victims deported aboard Holocaust trains to their deaths at the Treblinka extermination camp.
Matylda Getter (1870–1968) was a Polish Catholic nun, mother provincial of CSFFM - Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary in Warsaw and social worker in pre-war Poland. In German-occupied Warsaw during World War II she cooperated with Irena Sendler and the Żegota resistance organization in saving the lives of hundreds of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. She was recognized as one of Polish Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem. for her rescue activities.
Ghettos were established by Nazi Germany in hundreds of locations across occupied Poland after the German invasion of Poland. Most ghettos were established between October 1939 and July 1942 in order to confine and segregate Poland's Jewish population of about 3.5 million for the purpose of persecution, terror, and exploitation. In smaller towns, ghettos often served as staging points for Jewish slave-labor and mass deportation actions, while in the urban centers they resembled walled-off prison-islands described by some historians as little more than instruments of "slow, passive murder", with dead bodies littering the streets.
The Piotrków Trybunalski Ghetto was created in Piotrków Trybunalski on October 8, 1939, shortly after the 1939 German Invasion of Poland in World War II. It was the first Nazi ghetto in occupied Europe. founded on October 8, 1939 The town was occupied by the Wehrmacht on September 5, 1939. Piotrków was made into a county seat (Kreis) of the newly created Łódź District of the German territory of Reichsgau Wartheland. The ghetto was put under the command of Hans Drexler, an appointed Nazi Oberbürgermeister who also created the Ghetto. In total, some 16,500to up to 28,000 Jews went through the Piotrków Ghetto which was liquidated beginning 14 October 1942 in four days of deportations to Treblinka and Majdanek aboard overcrowded Holocaust trains.
Szlama Ber Winer, nom de guerreYakov (Ya'akov) Grojanowski, was a Polish Jew from Izbica Kujawska, who escaped from the Chełmno extermination camp during the Holocaust in Poland. Szlamek is sometimes incorrectly referred to as Szlamek Bajler in literature by the surname of his nephew, Abram Bajler, from Zamość (see postcard). Szlama Ber Winer escaped from the Waldlager work commando at Chełmno, and described in writing the atrocities he witnessed at that extermination camp, not long before his own subsequent death at the age of 31, in the gas chambers of Bełżec. His deposition is commonly known as the Grojanowski Report.
The Mińsk Mazowiecki Ghetto or the Mińsk Ghetto was a World War II ghetto set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland. Some 7,000 Polish Jews were imprisoned there from all neighbouring settlements for the purpose of persecution and exploitation. Two years later, beginning 21 August 1942 during the most deadly phase of the Holocaust in occupied Poland, they were rounded up – men, women and children – and deported to Treblinka extermination camp aboard Holocaust trains. In the process of Ghetto liquidation, some 1,300 Jews were summarily executed by the SS in the streets of Mińsk Mazowiecki.
Bronna Góra is the name of a secluded area in present-day Belarus where mass killings of Polish Jews were carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II. The location was part of the eastern half of occupied Poland, which had been invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939 in agreement with Germany, and two years later captured by the Wehrmacht in Operation Barbarossa. It is estimated that from May 1942 until November of that year, during the most deadly phase of the Holocaust in Poland, some 50,000 Jews were murdered at Bronna Góra forest in death pits. The victims were transported there in Holocaust trains from Nazi ghettos, including from the Brześć Ghetto and the Pińsk Ghetto, and from the ghettos in the surrounding area, as well as from Reichskommissariat Ostland.
The history of the Jews in Łęczna, Poland is first recorded and dated to 1501. The Jewish community of the town was evident and stable until the holocaust, after which it ceased to exist. The Glincman family from Wlodawa sent some family members to live there in the late 1800s to widen their business to surrounding towns. Nowadays monuments and buildings are still visible and commemorated in town.
Frumka Płotnicka was a Polish resistance fighter during World War II; activist of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ŻOB) and member of the Labour Zionist organization Dror. She was one of the organizers of self-defence in the Warsaw Ghetto, and participant in the military preparations for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Following the liquidation of the Ghetto, Płotnicka relocated to the Dąbrowa Basin in southern Poland. On the advice of Mordechai Anielewicz, Płotnicka organized a local chapter of ŻOB in Będzin with the active participation of Józef and Bolesław Kożuch as well as Cwi (Tzvi) Brandes, and soon thereafter witnessed the murderous liquidation of both Sosnowiec and Będzin Ghettos by the German authorities.