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Metal remains of a Karabiner wz.29 bolt-action Mauser-type rifle found in ruins of Warsaw Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1992.134.1 a-b

Metal remains of a Karabinek wz 29 Polish bolt-action rifle, found among ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto in the 1960s. Production of the wz 29 began in the early 1930s at the Polish National Arms Factory in Radom, and it was based on and nearly identical to the German Mauser 98k, the standard rifle for the German army. The wz 29 was the standard Polish infantry weapon when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. A few days later, the factory at Radom was forced to shut down when local officials ordered the employees to evacuate. Despite Polish resistance, the Germans bombarded Warsaw with artillery and occupied the city on September 29. On October 12, 1940, German authorities in Warsaw decreed the establishment of a 1.3 square mile Jewish ghetto and required over 400,000 Jews from the city and nearby towns to relocate there. Between July 22 and September 12, 1942, approximately 265,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to Treblinka killing center, and another 35,000 were killed inside the ghetto. That October, Jewish resistance groups made contact with the Polish Home Army, a Polish underground military movement that supplied them with a small number of weapons, including rifles, pistols, and grenades. On April 19, 1943, the resistance groups within the ghetto fought back against the scheduled liquidation, using hundreds of constructed bunkers around the ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising lasted a month before the German military suppressed the resistance, razed the ghetto, and transported the remaining inhabitants to forced-labor camps, and killing centers. On July 19, 1943, the SS established Warschau concentration camp on the ruins of the former Warsaw ghetto, which camp prisoners were assigned to demolish and clean up. The impending arrival of Soviet forces led to the camp’s closure in July 1944. A second uprising erupted in Warsaw in August 1, 1944, which was defeated by German forces on October 2. The Soviet army liberated the city on January 17, 1945.

manufacture:  after 1931-before 1939
found:  after 1960-before 1965
found: Warsaw (Poland)
manufacture: Radom (Poland : Powiat)
Object Type
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:06
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