Jewish history (or the history of the Jewish people) is the history of the Jews, and their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. According to Jewish tradition, Jewish ancestry is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who lived in Canaan around the 18th century BCE. Historically, Jews had evolved mostly from the Tribe of Judah and Simeon, and partially from the other Israelite tribes, especially of Binyamin and Levi, who had all together formed the ancient Kingdom of Judah and the ancient Kingdom of Israel. The earliest mention of Israel as a people was found inscribed on the Merneptah Stele dating back to 1213-1203 BCE.
Radom Ghetto was a World War II ghetto set up in March 1941 by Nazi Germany in the city of Radom in occupied Poland, for the purpose of persecution and exploitation of the local Polish Jews. Liquidation of the ghetto began in August 1942 and ended in July 1944, with approximately 30,000–32,000 victims sent to their deaths in cattle trucks at the Treblinka extermination camp.
The town of Radom was overrun by the Germans on September 8, 1939 during the Invasion of Poland. At that time the population of Radom was 81,000, out of which 25,000 were Jews. Many Jews were pressed into forced labor, one of their first tasks being the rebuilding the local arms factory, which would serve as the major local employer throughout the war. The Germans also forced the Jews to pay contributions, and seized their property. Around September–October 1939 the Radom Synagogue was desecrated by the Nazis and its furnishings destroyed. A Judenrat was established in Radom around December 1939 to January 1940 and played a major role as the intermediary between the Germans and the local Jewish community. Around late 1940 and early 1941 approximately 10,000 Jews were deported to other communities, and in turn, Radom received Jews deported from other settlements, including expellees from Kraków. In the spring of 1941 there were about 32,000 Jews in Radom.
Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland were established during World War II in hundreds of locations across German-occupied Poland. Jewish ghettos had been created by Nazi Germany between October 1939 and July 1942 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 deportations, 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. In most cases, the larger ghettos did not correspond to traditional Jewish neighborhoods, and non-Jewish Poles and members of other ethnic groups were ordered to take up residence elsewhere. Smaller Jewish communities with populations under 500 were dissolved immediately following the invasion.
The liquidation of the Jewish ghettos across Poland was closely connected with the formation of highly secretive killing centers built in early 1942 by various German companies, for the sole purpose of annihilating a people. The Nazi extermination program depended on death factories as much as on the effectiveness of their railways. Rail transport enabled the SS to run industrial-scale mass-extermination facilities and, at the same time, openly lie to their victims about the "resettlement" program. Jews were delivered to their deaths in cattle trucks from liquidated ghettos of all occupied cities, including Litzmannstadt, the last ghetto in Poland to be emptied in August 1944. In some larger ghettos there were armed resistance attempts, such as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Białystok Ghetto Uprising and the Łachwa Ghetto uprising, but in every case they failed against the overwhelming German military force, and the remaining Jews were either executed or deported to the death camps. By the time Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe was liberated by the Red Army, not a single Jewish ghetto in Poland was left standing. Only about 50,000–120,000 Polish Jews survived the war on native soil with the assistance of their Polish neighbors, a fraction of their prewar population of 3,500,000.
The Holocaust, also known as haShoah (Hebrew: השואה), was a genocide officially sanctioned and executed by the Third Reich during World War II. It took the lives of three million Polish Jews, destroying an entire civilization. Only a small percentage survived or managed to escape beyond the reach of the Nazis. The Holocaust in German-occupied Poland involved the implementation of German policy of systematic and mostly successful destruction of indigenous Polish-Jewish population. The official Nazi term for the extermination of Jews during their occupation of Poland was the euphemistic phrase Endlösung der Judenfrage (the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question"). Every arm of the sophisticated German bureaucracy was involved in the killing process, from the Interior Ministry and the Finance Ministry; to German firms and state–run trains for deportation to the camps. German companies bid for the contracts to build the crematoria in concentration camps run by Nazi Germany in the General Government and other parts of occupied Poland.
Throughout the German occupation, many Poles – at great risk to themselves and their families – engaged in rescuing Jews from the Nazis. Grouped by nationality, Poles represent the biggest number of people who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. To date, 6,135 Poles have been awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel – more than any other nation.
Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів L’viv, IPA: [lʲviu̯] ( listen); Polish: Lwów, IPA: [lvuf] ( listen); German: Lemberg, Russian: Львов Lvov) is a city in western Ukraine, that was once a major population center of the Halych-Volyn Principality, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, the Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, and later the capital of Lwów Voivodeship during Second Polish Republic.
Formerly capital of the historical region of Galicia, Lviv is now regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine. The historical heart of Lviv with its old buildings and cobblestone roads has survived Soviet and Nazi occupation during World War II largely unscathed. The city has many industries and institutions of higher education such as Lviv University and Lviv Polytechnic. Lviv is also a home to many world-class cultural institutions, including a philharmonic orchestra and the famous Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lviv celebrated its 750th anniversary with a son et lumière in the city centre in September 2006.