ghetto

Pronunciations

Definitions

  • n. Historically, the segregated areas of cities where Jews were forced to live.

Example Sentences

  • "During the Holocaust, the creation of ghettos was a key step in the Nazi process of brutally separating, persecuting, and ultimately destroying Europe's Jews." (source)

Etymology

  • Borrowed from the Venetian Ghetto from Venetian Italian gh├Ęto 'foundry'

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

      Regions

      • North America

      Dictionaries

      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

  • "[T]he first ghetto in 1516 C.E. was simply a section of Venice where most of the Jewish community lived. Throughout history, as various governments discriminated against and persecuted Jews, ghettos changed. Physical barriers were erected, separating the Jewish population from the rest of the town and thereby severely limiting the economic, educational, and political opportunities for the Jews of Eastern Europe. During the Holocaust, life in the ghettos came to a murderous conclusion because the Nazis cut off food supplies to the ghettos and then rounded up the Jews to be taken to concentration camps. Today, the meaning of the word 'ghetto' refers to a section of a city occupied by a particular ethnic or minority group, generally of a lower socioeconomic status. There are no physical barriers separating the residents of this part of the city from the rest." (JPS)

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