michael mills wrote:Gorque,BTW: The ghettoization of Poland's Jews began in 1939, which is some month's before the date of this thread's topic. Perhaps the ghetto's of 1939 Poland do not meet your definition of imprisonment but considering the mandatory requirements for Jews to reside in them and the consequences should they be found outside of them, from my perspective, Poland's ghettos sure come close to meeting the definition of a prison.
You should read the detailed analysis by the historian Christopher Browning of the ghettoisation of the Jews of German-occupied Poland. He concludes that they were a temporary measure, arising from the continuation of the war and the failure to achieve an immediate expulsion of the Jews of the German Zone of Occupation into the Soviet Zone, in the months after the conquest of Poland. The purpose of the ghettos was to warehouse the Jews until such time as a decision was made on what to do with them.
The historical fact is that the majority of the ghettos in occupied Poland, particularly the major ones, were created after the battle of Britain, and were a reaction to the failure to bring the war with Britain to a satisfactory conclusion. If that war had ended in the summer of 1940, allowing an orderly transfer of Jews out of Europe to proceed, it is most likely that the ghettos in Poland would never have been created.
Here is a list of ghettos in German-occupied Poland, giving the dates of their creation. You will see that the majority were created in 1940 and 1941:
.... snipped by Gorque
As you see, almost all the major ghettos were created after the failure to knock Britain out of the war. They were created in a situation where the war with Britain continued with all that that implied, especially the continuation of the blockade of German-occupied Europe. The preparations for Barbarossa also played a role in the creation of the Polish ghettos.
It is reasonable to conclude that if the state of war with Britain had been ended in the summer of 1940, there would have been no need to seal off the bulk of the Jewish population of Poland in closed ghettos.
I'll have look into Mr. Browning's book. He usually presents a balanced view in his writings. Would you be so kind as to provide me with the title of his book?