The twenty-eight day siege of the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto was one of the most protracted large-scale urban battles in World War II. Only the fighting at Leningrad from 1941-1943, Stalingrad in 1942-1943, the Warsaw Rebellion of 1944, and Budapest in 1944-1945 lasted longer. The Jews had resisted en masse and had created a legend that would transcend the war and continue even to this day. Much has been written on this heroic struggle from the standpoint of the young men and women of the Jewish War Organization. Nevertheless, a book from the German perspective has yet to be written that captures all aspects of the fight from the standpoint of the attackers – until now.
The Ghetto Men presents every fact possible concerning whom, when, with what and how the SS troops razed the Warsaw Ghetto. The men and officers of the dreaded Security Service and Gestapo are here as well as the units, weapons and tactics, and a day-by-day analysis of the fighting. This is the book that Moshe Arens, former Defense and Foreign Minister of Israel, consulted about German forces, when he was writing his ground-breaking books on the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The book is organized in nine chapters and six appendices, with an extensive bibliography, sections of photos, maps, and charts. Chapter One includes material on establishing Warsaw as a concentration point for Jews, and conditions in the Ghetto. Chapter Two details the “Operation Reinhard” deportations from Warsaw to the Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibór extermination camps. In Chapter Three, the beginning of the organization of resistance to the deportations in January 1943 is covered. Chapter Four describes the wide variety of units of Germans and Ukrainian allies involved in operations in the Ghetto. The fifth chapter is a day-by-day narrative of the actual battle in the Ghetto in April-May 1943, based on Jürgen Stroop‘s after-action report – the “Stroop Report.” Chapter Six is an in-depth discussion of the officers in the SS and units involved in the action. Chapter Seven does the same thing with the enlisted men. The final two chapters present conclusions and observations. With a detailed map, the book details the procedures used by the Nazis to sort prisoners at the infamous Umschlagplatz, where prisoners boarded trains to their deaths.