A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip in Hell


30 minutes, black & white
Source: Filmakers Library

This film is based on the still photographs of Wermacht Sergeant Heinz Jost, who illegally took photos inside the Warsaw Ghetto in November of 1941, and kept the pictures hidden for over 40 years, until the end of his life. This German soldier's images of the Ghetto portray the diversity of conditions existing there simultaneously. Many people were starving and ill, while others who arrived more recently were in better health. The photos also capture some of the cultural life of the Ghetto; illegal schools, prayer groups and book peddlers who operate surrounded by disease and death. The filmmaker, himself a Holocaust survivor, has combined the photos with Yiddish music, sound effects, and excerpts from Ghetto diaries to create a window into life behind the Ghetto walls.

Related Content


Zivia Lubetkin, a Jewish Underground Leader, at the Eichmann Trial

Zivia Lubetkin testifying at the Eichmann Trial, Jerusalem, 1961. Lubetkin was a leader in the Jewish Underground in Poland and key fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.


The Boy in the Warsaw Ghetto

This picture shows seven-year-old Tsvi Nussbaum in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943. The photo was taken by a Nazi photographer. There are conflicting accounts of whether this boy survived the war.


The Jewish Ghettos: Separated from the World

Read diary entries from a girl who lived in the Łódź ghetto, and learn the history of Jewish ghettos in Poland.

Memory and Memorials

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial

This memorial was built on the site of Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto. When it was unveiled in 1948, the city still lay in ruins all around it. See full-sized image for analysis.

Search Our Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.