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Kraków and Kamionka Jewish Ghettos

The ghetto at Kraków, Poland’s third largest city, was sealed off by a wall and barbed wire fence on March 20, 1941. In a total area of just 600 by 400 meters, some 18,000 Jews were forced to live in revolting sanitary conditions. Deportations to Belzec and Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps began at the end of May 1942. By March 1943 no remnant remained. A forced labor camp at Kamionka, adjacent to Bendzin (Bendsburg), became a Jewish ghetto as Nazi policy turned toward extermination. Liquidation of the Kamionka ghetto began on August 1, 1943. Armed resistance held off the Nazis for two weeks, but eventually all survivors of the uprising were transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

The Kraków Jewish Council applied the “Aufgeliefert durch den Judenrat” (sent from the Jewish Council) cachet on the August 15, 1942, postal card to Alfred Schwarcbaum at Lausanne, Switzerland. The April 25, 1942, postal card from the Kamionka Jewish Council to Bratislava, Slovakia, has an undated boxed postmark of the Kamionka village post office and a double-circular cancel of Lublin; it was censored at Vienna.

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