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The Warsaw Ghetto: Himmler Orders the Destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto

(February 16, 1943)

Reichsfuehrer SS Field Command

Journal No. 38/33/43 g. February 16, 1943. Secret!

To: Higher SS and Police Leader (Hoeher SS- und Polizeifuehrer), East SS Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, Cracow

For reasons of security I herewith order that the Warsaw ghetto be pulled down after the concentration camp has been moved: all parts of houses that can be used, and other materials of all kinds, are first to be made use of.

The razing of the ghetto and the relocation of the concentration camp are necessary, as otherwise we would probably never establish quiet in Warsaw, and the prevalence of crime cannot be stamped out as long as the ghetto remains.

An overall plan for the razing of the ghetto is to be submitted to me. In any case we must achieve the disappearance from sight of the living-space for 500,000 sub-humans (Untermenschen) that has existed up to now, but could never be suitable for Germans, and reduce the size of this city of millions – Warsaw – which has always been a center of corruption and revolt.

signed H. Himmler

Sources:Yad Vashem