Hotel Polski (Polish Hotel), opened in 1808, was a hotel in Warsaw,
Poland, at 29 Długa street. In 1943 the
Hotel was used by Germans as
an internment place for Jews from Warsaw, where the Germans pretended
Jews could buy foreign affidavits and passports and, as foreign
citizens, leave Warsaw. This case is known as "
Hotel Polski Affair".
In 1944 the building was heavily damaged during the
and re-purposed afterward.
Hotel Polski affair
Plaque commemorating Polish Jews lured in and interned in this
building by Nazi Germans through the spring of 1943, and subsequently
murdered in the Holocaust.
In 1942, the Germans, helped by Jewish collaborators from the Żagiew
network, promised to allow Jews from
Warsaw holding foreign passports
of neutral countries to leave the
General Government for South
America. Seeing this as an opportunity to save the lives of Jews in
the ghettos, Jewish organizations from Switzerland started sending
documents to the
Warsaw Ghetto. However, in many cases the holders of
these affidavits and passports were already dead. In May 1943, after
the last deportation from the
Warsaw Ghetto, a network of Jewish
collaborators, some of them probably in direct agreement with local
Gestapo authorities, started to sell these documents to Jews who were
hiding on the "Aryan" side of Warsaw. The
Gestapo used the Hotel
Polski to house the Jewish families preparing for the journey. Around
2500 people came out of their hiding places and moved to the Hotel
Polski. In July 1943 they were transferred to the
Bergen-Belsen camps. On 15 July 1943, the 300 Jews remaining in the
Hotel without foreign passports were executed by the Germans at Pawiak
prison. The South American governments refused to recognize most of
the passports. Therefore, instead of being transferred to South
America, the Jews were sent to
Auschwitz in May 1943 and October 1943.
About 350 Jews who held Palestinian affidavits survived.
Some of the famous residents of
Hotel Polski included Itzhak
Katzenelson, a famous poet, as well as Menachem Kirszenbaum and
Jehoszua Perle from the Jewish resistance.
Many historians[who?] see the "
Hotel Polski affair" as a German trap
to lure the richer Jews out of their hiding places in
false pretenses and steal their possessions.
Hotel Polski at yadvashem.org
Shulman, Abraham (1982). The Case of
Hotel Polski. An Account of One
of the Most Enigmatic Episodes of World War II. New York: Schocken.
Agnieszka Haska, Jestem Żydem, chcę wejść.
Hotel Polski w
Warszawie, 1943, Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii PAN, 2006,
ISBN 83-7388-096-8. (in Polish)
Światło na aferę „
Hotel Polski”. In: Tadeusz Kur:
Sprawiedliwość pobłażliwa. Proces kata Warszawy Ludwiga Hahna w
Hamburgu. Warszawa: wydawnictwo MON, 1975, p. 399-430. OCLC 6648513.
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Coordinates: 52°14′48″N 21°0′17″E / 52.24667°N
21.00472°E / 52.24667; 21.00472