Lester Horton and Anna Sokolow responded to the November 1940 Nazi closure of the Warsaw Ghetto from the outside world. The ghetto housed more than 400,000 Polish Jews and in 1942 thousands of its residents were deported to Treblinka.
In January 1943, the remaining people began an armed resistance but in mid-April, the Nazis sent in several thousand troops. One month later, the Warsaw Ghetto had been leveled, resulting in the deaths or extradition to Treblinka of more than 56,000 people. Lester Horton addressed these wartime Holocaust horrors in his production Warsaw Ghetto.