Activity: Why did the Nazis develop ghettos?

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Learning outcomes

By the end of the activity:

  • All students will be able to identify and describe some of the reasons why the Nazis set up ghettos.


  • Most students should be able to identify and describe a number of reasons why the Nazis set up ghettos.


  • Some students may be able to recognise and explain  a variety of ways in which the development of ghettos supported the Nazi’s racial policy towards the Jews.



In order to carry out this activity you will need to take information from the text, images and survivor interview videos contained within the following sections of The Holocaust Explained

Ghettos: an overview

Lodz Ghetto: a case study

Final Solution, expansion in the East


You might also wish to browse the Key Stage 4 section of The Holocaust Explained for more information about ghettos.

Why did the Nazis develop ghettos?

The Nazis developed over 1,000 ghettos across Poland, the Soviet Union, and other countries across Europe. They subjected Jewish prisoners of the ghettos to the most inhumane conditions and treatment imaginable. But, why did the Nazis use ghettos?

This Reflective Learning Activity will help you answer the question: Why did the Nazis develop ghettos?


Stage 1: Prepare a table to collect your information

Open a new Word or other word processor document and insert a table (see the example above). You can either add the categories suggested below or choose some of your own.

  • A concentration centre
  • A supply of labour
  • A method or place for killing Jews

When you have constructed your table make sure you save your work giving the file a suitable name. 

Stage 2: Research - collecting your information 

Use the suggested links (right) to carryout your research.

On your table record any information that you think will help you discover why the Nazis developed ghettos (see the example above). Add supporting evidence and details for each reason you find. You may also want to expla the effects of each reason.

Stage 3: Draft an informative leaflet to communicate your findings

Open and save a new Word, Publisher or other suitable document.

Use the information in your table to draft a leaflet that explains why the Nazis developed ghettos.

Your leaflet should be well set out and have:

  • An introduction explaining what ghettos were and when the Nazis set them up.
  • A number of sections, each explaining a reason the Nazis developed ghettos. Include supporting information and evidence.
  • A conclusion that sums up your findings. This should also explain how ghettos fitted into the Nazis’ overall plan.

Stage 4: Add images

Once you have drafted your leaflet select appropriate images from The Holocaust Explained to illustrate your explanations. 

When you have finished, save and print your leaflet.