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Kraków ghetto

'Ghetto' has two possible sources:

  • "getto", the Venetian word for foundry slag, because the Jews were only allowed on the same island where the iron foundries were.[1]
  • Others believe it is from the Italian word borghetto, meaning a little borgo or ‘borough’.[2]

Originally the word "ghetto" meant the Jewish quarter of a European town. The term "ghetto" is now commonly used to refer to any poverty-stricken urban area with a concentration of minority groups. It is also used to refer to areas that are considered to be undesirable. A ghetto was also the name given to the area Jewish people were first kept in in the Holocaust.


  2. The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, Erina McKean, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6