A section of a town where Jews were forced to live in crowded, squalid conditions
A ghetto, often called the ghetto, is a part of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially as a result of political, social, legal, environmental or economic pressure. Ghettos are often known for being more impoverished than other areas of the city. Versions of the ghetto appear across the world, each with their own names, classifications, and groupings of people.
The term was originally used for the Venetian Ghetto in Venice, Italy, as early as 1516, to describe the part of the city where Jewish people were restricted to live and thus segregated from other people. However, early societies may have formed their own versions of the same structure; words resembling ghetto in meaning appear in Hebrew, Yiddish, Italian, Germanic, Old French, and Latin. During the Holocaust, more than 1,000 Nazi ghettos were established to hold Jewish populations, with the goal of exploiting and killing the Jews as part of the Final Solution.
The term ghetto has deep cultural meaning in the United States, especially in the context of segregation and civil rights; as such, it has been widely used in the country to refer to poor neighborhoods. It is also used in some European countries such as Romania and Slovenia to refer to poor neighborhoods.