The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,April,1943:Last Surviving Commander Remembers


PDA






Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 06:03 PM
A small band of gutsy Jews showed the world what courage was all about.
An example never to be forgotten.

http://my.att.net/s/editorial.dll?pnum=1&bfromind=7405&eeid=5817407&_sitecat=1505&dcatid=0&eetype=article&render=y&ac=-2&ck=&ch=ne&rg=blsadstrgt

Ex-leader recalls Warsaw Ghetto uprising
Published: 4/15/08, 4:25 PM EDT
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
LODZ, Poland (AP) - Marek Edelman, the last surviving commander of the 1943 uprising in the Warsaw ghetto by a handful of scrappy, poorly armed Jews against the Nazi army, becomes emotional when he speaks of the fighters he led.

"I remember them all - boys and girls - 220 altogether, not too many to remember their faces, their names," says the 89-year-old doctor, who still works in a Lodz hospital. Edelman will lay a wreath in their honor at the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto on Saturday, the 65th anniversary of the uprising.

The Nazis walled off the ghetto in November 1940, cramming 400,000 Jews from across Poland into a 760-acre section of the capital in inhuman conditions. On April 19, 1943, German troops started to liquidate the ghetto by sending tens of thousands of its residents to death camps.

Several hundred young Jews took up arms in defense of the civilians - the first act of large-scale armed civilian resistance against the Germans in occupied Poland during World War II.

"It was the first, most important and most spectacular" instance of Jewish armed resistance to the Nazi Holocaust, said Andrzej Zbikowski, head of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Edelman said the Nazis "wanted to destroy the people, and we fought to protect the people in the ghetto, to extend their life by a day or two or five."

Then 24 years old, Edelman took command of one of the revolt's three groups. His fighters, between the ages of 13 and 22, scraped together guns and ammunition that they and the Polish resistance managed to smuggle in from the outside.

His brigade included 50 fighters known as "brush men" because their base was a brush factory.

"There weren't enough guns, ammunition. There was not enough food, but we were not starving. You can live for three weeks just on water and sugar," which they found in the homes of those deported to death camps, he said.

They adopted hit-and-run tactics. With time, as supplies and forces began to run low, they resorted to attacks at night, for more safety.

"Every moment was difficult. It was two or three or 10 boys fighting with an army," Edelman said. "There were no easy moments."

But they were outnumbered and outgunned.

"It lasted for three weeks, so this great German army could not cope so easily with those 220 boys and girls," he said with a grain of pride.

The uprising ended when its main leaders - rounded up by the Nazis - committed suicide on May 8, 1943. The Nazis then burned down the ghetto, street by street.

About 40 fighters escaped through Warsaw's sewers and joined the Polish partisans.

"No one believed he would be saved," Edelman said. "We knew that the struggle was doomed, but it showed the world that there is resistance against the Nazis, that you can fight the Nazis."

Edelman and a few others stayed in Warsaw to help coordinate and supply the Jewish resistance groups. Some fighters still live in Israel and Canada. Edelman is the last one in Poland.

Despite the ghetto uprising's ultimate failure, "it was worth it," Edelman said. "Even at the price of the fighters' lives."

After the war, Edelman chose to remain in Poland, becoming a social and a democratic activist, and guardian of the ghetto fighters' memory.

"When you were responsible for the life of some 60,000 people, you don't leave and abandon the memory of them," he said.

A service was held in Warsaw on Tuesday - to avoid conflicting with the Jewish sabbath - and drew a crowd of 1,000, including Israeli President Shimon Peres and his Polish counterpart, Lech Kaczynski, as well as U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Israeli and Polish flags fluttered in the afternoon breeze as Poland's chief orthodox rabbi, Michael Schudrich, read out the Kaddish, or Jewish prayer for the dead.

Peres praised the young fighters, who he said displayed "a heroism that our children will proudly carry with them in their hearts."

Edelman views the annual observances as "part of educating people and fighting genocide."

He said people "have to be educated from childhood, from kindergarten, that there should be no hatred."

"They have to be shown that all people are the same, that skin color, race, religion don't matter," he said. "We have only one life and we must not murder each other. We see the sun only once."

If you enjoyed reading about "The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,April,1943:Last Surviving Commander Remembers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Ian
April 15, 2008, 06:27 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=76668&d=1208411537

(If the image isn't linking properly, try clicking here (http://www.molon.de/galleries/Poland/Warsaw/Ghetto/img.php?pic=4))

Standing Wolf
April 15, 2008, 07:23 PM
No wonder the leftist extremists want to disarm us: socialists always prefer easy targets and the least possible risk.

Rachen
April 15, 2008, 08:42 PM
The uprising ended when its main leaders - rounded up by the Nazis - committed suicide on May 8, 1943. The Nazis then burned down the ghetto, street by street.


How many Nazis were killed during the uprising? I hope it was a substantial number.

And it is a lesson to the socialists who want to disarm us. Guns are only just one kind of weapon. There are lots of ways to FIGHT.

And besides, the fact that the Nazis were carrying guns when they entered the ghetto means that these weapons would be distined for some of the resisters. It takes skill, but one with determination and courage will be able to disarm an enemy and take his weapon.
That weapon can be used later to capture other weapons.

Remember what Mike Vanderboegh said about the Liberty pistols in "How Can a Handgun Defeat An Army".

Rachen
April 15, 2008, 08:43 PM
Ian, what does the gray square mean?

Oleg Volk
April 15, 2008, 09:00 PM
There's a good reason why this is the third most popular poster on volkstudio (http://volkstudio.com/gallery.aspx).

http://www.k12.hopkins.mn.us/gallery/mini/gertrude1943-12x24M.jpg

I also get a lot inquiries about

http://www.a-human-right.com/s_colors3.jpg

Fighting against long odds...still a good idea.

markk
April 15, 2008, 09:47 PM
Great article. Thanks, Win73.

eric.cartman
April 15, 2008, 10:04 PM
i'm from Poland.
part of my family died there.

my grand father has some chilling stories form WW2... that man pulled the trigger on nazis and soviets so many times it's scary.

my ex-GF's grandfather once told me how they managed to get germans out of their bunkers... he said the trick was to get past the machine gun fire (no *****) and then get on top of the bunker where the chimney was. then he said, they would pump air through the bunker chimney REALLY fast, so force the soldiers out for lack of air. of course his friends were waiting with guns and grenades ready.

one day when I was 19 he told me he prays we'll never experience such horrors. i laughed it off then. now, when i get older, i understand what he meant.

eric.cartman
April 15, 2008, 10:06 PM
one more thing, to put something in perspective:

combined US and British losses in WW2 were around 850,000 man.
city of Warsaw alone lost over 1 million people.
Warsaw uprising, 2 months, 200,000 dead in 2 months.
My grand mother's brother went out one day to fight. Never came back.

Kitchen_Duty
April 15, 2008, 10:38 PM
I hope history will teach us to never have to face this ever again. I would be so happy if we never had to fire a round at anyone ever again but that doesn't mean we should take away the guns to do so! Excellent Article

-Kitchen

merk
April 15, 2008, 10:55 PM
Bump for a story that should never be forgotten.

Wes Janson
April 16, 2008, 12:03 AM
And it is a lesson to the socialists who want to disarm us. Guns are only just one kind of weapon. There are lots of ways to FIGHT.

And besides, the fact that the Nazis were carrying guns when they entered the ghetto means that these weapons would be distined for some of the resisters. It takes skill, but one with determination and courage will be able to disarm an enemy and take his weapon.
That weapon can be used later to capture other weapons.

Nowhere remotely close to the ideal of being well armed from the start. It's one thing to try ambushing an occupying force, it's another to try fighting back against an annihilating force of tanks and infantry squads moving house-to-house. Against the latter you're pretty much SOL without heavy weaponry of the sort not easily obtained through battlefield pickups.

Dienekes
April 16, 2008, 12:52 AM
There is a fair amount of literature on the "fighting back" that did occur. The Warsaw Ghetto is the subject of a fairly recent DVD, "Uprising".

It should be noted that this is precisely the kind of thing that the nation-state and its conventional armies are having the most trouble with, and will for a long time to come. A two-edged sword, but some governments should not be allowed to rest easily in the night.

An armed populace is not to be taken lightly or coerced without consequences.

armoredman
April 16, 2008, 01:55 AM
I believe that 3 German divisions ended up being tied down in Warsaw for the uprising, and casualites wer quite high among the Nazis.

Ian
April 16, 2008, 04:42 AM
The uprising ended when its main leaders - rounded up by the Nazis - committed suicide on May 8, 1943.

I did some research on the Ghetto uprising for a paper (http://www.a-human-right.com/jewsfight.html), and among other things, I ran across a collection of German military reports on the Ghetto. They were suffering sporadic casualties in the ruins of the ghetto for a full fifteen months (!) after the uprising began; all the way into the summer of 1944.

yokel
April 16, 2008, 05:51 AM
I'm not trying to underestimate their valor and sacrifice, however, it was obviously a tragic case of far too little, too late.

An armed populace is not to be taken lightly or coerced without consequences.

Being armed means nothing if you're not prepared to put your fate in your own hands and make the irrevocable decision to fight to the death in the defense of your liberty and sovereignty.

The nonexistence of that level of ideological unity and commitment will ultimately doom us all.

Cave Dweller
April 16, 2008, 06:00 AM
And besides, the fact that the Nazis were carrying guns when they entered the ghetto means that these weapons would be distined for some of the resisters. It takes skill, but one with determination and courage will be able to disarm an enemy and take his weapon.
That weapon can be used later to capture other weapons.

Intended for various European resistance movements, the fp 45 liberator (flair pistol caliber 45) firing a single 45 acp shot (reloading involves ejecting your spent cartridge with a stick) and intended to be dropped to the resistance behind enemy lines, might have proved useful in acquiring enemy weapons had they actually been distributed. In the words of some wise old Indian I once heard quoted "any gun is a good gun"

bsf
April 16, 2008, 06:01 AM
The Nazis walled off the ghetto in November 1940, cramming 400,000 Jews from across Poland into a 760-acre section of the capital in inhuman conditions. On April 19, 1943, German troops started to liquidate the ghetto by sending tens of thousands of its residents to death camps.
That is a fair number of people. I wonder what percentage participated in armed resistance.

There is a fair amount of literature on the "fighting back" that did occur. The Warsaw Ghetto is the subject of a fairly recent DVD, "Uprising".
I saw that when it first ran on television in 2001. I found it interesting; though not entirely accurate.

I would think being relocated, starved, denied health services, denied fresh water, basically stripped of human rights, and killed is probably not I what I would consider “good times”. My life is eaaasy.

El Tejon
April 16, 2008, 09:43 AM
For those that wish to learn what the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were up against, I highly recommend Cruel Hunters by French MacLean: http://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Hunters-Ss-Sonderkommando-Dirlewanger-Anti-Partisan/dp/0764304836

Never Again is not some magic talisman which keeps away evil by saying "never again". You have to be ready and armed.

axeman_g
April 16, 2008, 10:18 AM
El Tejon... my neighbor is a descendant of Slovakian Jews. Both his grandparents are passed now... they often spoke of the time period, the day to day trials of people under Nazi rule and then in the camps. The grandfather would speak of the humanity of the conscripted German soldiers, basically slaves themselves, but spoke in fear of the Dirlewanger Battle Group as he called them. I never heard of them before or since and had not thought about his statements in 30 years. Wow...

2nd 41
April 16, 2008, 10:54 AM
Thanks Winchester

DKSuddeth
April 16, 2008, 12:31 PM
I tried to use this episode as an example of why people should be armed and had several antis try to tell me that if they would have been unarmed, they would have lived longer and wouldn't have killed so many other germans. boggles the mind.

HadEmAll
April 16, 2008, 06:42 PM
Leon Uris's novel Mila 18 is a riveting book about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Shear_stress
April 16, 2008, 06:57 PM
You might also take a look at The Bravest Battle, by Daniel Kurzman. A good read about some very brave people caught up in tragic times. According to the book, there were actually mutiple, sometimes competing, factions of Jews fighting in the uprising. Also, getting any weapons at all was made even more difficult by some resistance groups outside the Ghetto that considered the Jews to be allies of the Soviets and were reluctant to help.

Winchester 73
April 16, 2008, 07:01 PM
Thank you all for the fine comments.
And special appreciation to Oleg Volk for the poster display ,and to Ian for the link to the monument for these hero's.
We will never forget the men,women and children of Warsaw ,1943-1944.

CZ-100
April 16, 2008, 07:04 PM
Another good movie on the subject is "The Pianist"

357-8-times
April 17, 2008, 02:01 AM
My favorite statistic:

Time the entire Polish army held off the Nazis before giving up: 2 weeks

Time the small number of minimally-armed untrained starving persecuted Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto held off the Nazis: Almost a month- and they never gave up!

This deserves a repost on this page:
http://www.a-human-right.com/s_colors3.jpg
Amen and Happy Passover!

4v50 Gary
April 17, 2008, 02:22 AM
The askaris sent in by the Germans were shocked when the Jews fired upon them. Juden haben waffen!

The Jews have weapons!

Treo
April 17, 2008, 02:42 AM
Warsaw wasn't the only uprising in 1943 ( I think) 600 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Sobibor Poland. Led by a Russian Jew named Alexandr Perchefsky ( a POW who was sent to that camp W/ small number of Jews who were in the Soviet Army) over powered and killed their S.S. guards and escaped. Himmler ordered the (empty) camp destroyed the next year.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have nothing to lose.

Winchester 73
April 17, 2008, 03:17 AM
It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have nothing to lose.
__________________

It is amazing.

Ian
April 17, 2008, 03:53 AM
Treo - if you take a look at the essay I linked to, you'll see some brief descriptions of about a half dozen revolts or planned revolts. Both Sobibor and Treblinka were permanently shut down following Jewish uprisings.

In fact, though, one of the main reason there weren't more revolts was that the Germans set things up so that potential fighters always had something to lose. Their policies of collective responsibility generally prevented serious resistance. If they were opposed, the Nazis would summarily execute a significant number of randomly chosen Jews, and most potential fighters were unwilling to shoulder the perceived responsibility for such retribution.

bigjohnson
April 17, 2008, 07:55 AM
During the time of the Warsaw uprising, the soviet Red Army was fast approaching Warsaw from the east. On the orders of Joseph Stalin, the Red Army stopped its' offensive, and waited until the Nazis had crushed the uprising before continuing westward and capturing the city. Stalin wanted to make sure that there were no "jewish troublemakers" left in Poland when the Soviets took control after the war was over.

The Soviets were close enough to have provided air support to the Jewish fighters, and to have air-dropped supplies and weapons to them, but refused to do so.

The Nazis weren't the only bad guys in that war.

gilly05
April 17, 2008, 11:25 AM
In Warsaw there were 2 uprisings during II World War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (German: "Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto", Polish: "Powstanie w getcie warszawskim") was the Jewish insurgency that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to the Treblinka extermination camp. The insurgency was launched against the Germans and their Jewish collaborators on January 18, 1943. The most significant portion of the insurgency took place from April 19 until May 16, 1943, and ended when the poorly-armed and supplied resistance was crushed by the German troops under the direct command of Jürgen Stroop. It was the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Uprising

The Warsaw Uprising (Powstanie Warszawskie) was a World War II struggle by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The Uprising began on August 1, 1944, as part of a nationwide rebellion, Operation Tempest. It was intended to last for only a few days until the Soviet Army would reach the city. The Soviet advance stopped short, however, while Polish resistance against the German forces continued for 63 days (until October 2).

Rachen
April 17, 2008, 11:52 AM
During the time of the Warsaw uprising, the soviet Red Army was fast approaching Warsaw from the east. On the orders of Joseph Stalin, the Red Army stopped its' offensive, and waited until the Nazis had crushed the uprising before continuing westward and capturing the city. Stalin wanted to make sure that there were no "jewish troublemakers" left in Poland when the Soviets took control after the war was over.

The Soviets were close enough to have provided air support to the Jewish fighters, and to have air-dropped supplies and weapons to them, but refused to do so.

The Nazis weren't the only bad guys in that war.

Stalin was just an usurper. He violated his country's contract by signing that forbidden contract with Hitler. He should have recognized the malignant hatred of the German fascist and invaded them and annihilated them first. The Holocaust could have been prevented if Russia fired the first shot and toppled the Third Reich.
Lenin and Trotsky were the true Marxists.

sumpnz
April 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Stalin was just an usurper. He violated his country's contract by signing that forbidden contract with Hitler. He should have recognized the malignant hatred of the German fascist and invaded them and annihilated them first. The Holocaust could have been prevented if Russia fired the first shot and toppled the Third Reich.
Stalin was just as much the anti-Semite that Hitler was. Had he known about the Holocaust ahead of time, he'd have held off on attacking Germany just to let them finish off the Jews first. It would have saved him the effort.

Halo
April 17, 2008, 12:45 PM
e should have recognized the malignant hatred of the German fascist and invaded them and annihilated them first.

The Soviets were in no position to preemptively invade and defeat Germany, not by a long shot.

Treo
April 17, 2008, 02:52 PM
I don't know who's ever been to the Alamo but on the door of the main chapel there's a bronze plaque that says " Be silent freind & gentlemen remove your hats, for here heros fell"

Now I realize we're all lost in cyber space but I think this thread deserves the same type of respect.

This (IMO) isn't the place to be arguing facism Vs. communism or Stalin Vs. Trotsky.

This is a place to remember the heros that fell

Like I said that's my opinion and no one has to agree W/ me but I felt like it needed saying

Cosmoline
April 17, 2008, 03:06 PM
Warsaw wasn't the only uprising in 1943 ( I think) 600 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Sobibor Poland. Led by a Russian Jew named Alexandr Perchefsky ( a POW who was sent to that camp W/ small number of Jews who were in the Soviet Army) over powered and killed their S.S. guards and escaped. Himmler ordered the (empty) camp destroyed the next year.


There was a movie back in the 80's called Escape from Sobibor. Rutger Hauer was in it. I have a copy on one of those cheap-as-food "WWII MOVIE" dvd sets. IIRC, the Germans were trying to house able-bodied Jews and Red Army POW's together but it backfired as the two groups started cooperating. The martial skills of the soldiers were put to good use and they came close to eliminating all the Germans before they were discovered and had to flee. Even so a goodly number survived the war. More than would have otherwise.

KingTiger
April 17, 2008, 04:29 PM
The Poles have never been known to back down from a fight. In 1939 they pitched cavalry against the German Panzers. My father joined the USN in December 1941 when he was 17.

Treo
April 17, 2008, 04:29 PM
QUOTE: "There was a movie back in the 80's called Escape from Sobibor. Rutger Hauer was in it."

That's how I found out about it. At first I thought the story must be fiction because surely something like that would have made the history books. I googled it and found out that it was for real and the movie was actually fairly accurate. They had a recent photograph of Lt. Perchefsky in the article he was sticking his tongue out at the camera. I'd say he earned the right.

gilly05
April 17, 2008, 04:32 PM
Time the entire Polish army held off the Nazis before giving up: 2 weeks

Time the small number of minimally-armed untrained starving persecuted Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto held off the Nazis: Almost a month- and they never gave up! This is the most idiotic paragraph I'v ever run accross. You shoud read more about Juderat police in Warsaw Getto and how they shipped his own folks to Koncentration Camps.

Officers'Wife
April 17, 2008, 07:42 PM
Treo,

Now I realize we're all lost in cyber space but I think this thread deserves the same type of respect.

This (IMO) isn't the place to be arguing facism Vs. communism or Stalin Vs. Trotsky.

This is a place to remember the heros that fell

Like I said that's my opinion and no one has to agree W/ me but I felt like it needed saying

And I feel it bears repeating. I hear all the stories of the men and women that simply followed orders and allowed themselves to be systematically slaughtered. These stories are seldome told.

"It matters not, the cause is lost
And we cannot turn the tide.
We shall honor the past,
And fight to the last
It will be a good way to die."

Selena

MechAg94
April 17, 2008, 07:51 PM
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 1943 & Warsaw Uprising 1944
In Warsaw there were 2 uprisings during II World War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (German: "Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto", Polish: "Powstanie w getcie warszawskim") was the Jewish insurgency that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to the Treblinka extermination camp. The insurgency was launched against the Germans and their Jewish collaborators on January 18, 1943. The most significant portion of the insurgency took place from April 19 until May 16, 1943, and ended when the poorly-armed and supplied resistance was crushed by the German troops under the direct command of Jürgen Stroop. It was the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Uprising

The Warsaw Uprising (Powstanie Warszawskie) was a World War II struggle by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The Uprising began on August 1, 1944, as part of a nationwide rebellion, Operation Tempest. It was intended to last for only a few days until the Soviet Army would reach the city. The Soviet advance stopped short, however, while Polish resistance against the German forces continued for 63 days (until October 2).

Maybe someone can correct me if they think I am wrong, but I was told a while back that the Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising tried to get support from the normal Polish underground, but were refused. Do any of those histories mention this? It was in a short write up on antisemitism and noted the irony of the two uprisings in relation to that refusal.

Rachen
April 17, 2008, 09:18 PM
Stalin was just as much the anti-Semite that Hitler was. Had he known about the Holocaust ahead of time, he'd have held off on attacking Germany just to let them finish off the Jews first. It would have saved him the effort.

That is one of the most terrible things I ever heard. Stalin does not even deserve the "Communist" name. He orchestrated the deaths of Lenin and Trotsky to rise to power and he installed regime similar to the Third Reich, extremely brutal and non-hesitant in murdering political and ethnic enemies.

No, Hitler wasn't only the 'bad guy' in this picture, as one of you wrote it. Stalin was also responsible for the fearful slaughter of human beings. And I also want to mention that Anti-Semitism has very long roots in Europe, since the time when Charles Martel unified the Frankish clans. Jews in Europe has been subjected to periodic waves of terror and fear in Europe's long and bloody history. For example, during the Black Plague, Jews were blamed for poisoning the wells, and may were later killed in orchestrated violence.

Later on, during the Thirty Years War, Sephardic Jews were the targets of the murderous Inquisition. The ones living in the Holy Roman Empire suffered as well.

In the middle to late nineteeth century another wave of orchestrated violence and mayhem struck the Jewish population, this time in Poland and czarist Russia. This is when we began to have an understanding of the word "pogrom", which essentially stands for ethnic cleansing.

By the time the Second World War began, there were many communities in Nazi occupied Europe that had held centuries long grudges against the Jews. In Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Albania, entire communities turned against their Jewish neighbors and killed many of them. The most fearful of all of them was the one in a certain Romanian town, where almost 12,000 Jewish inhabitants were killed by their fellow townspeople in cold blood. Another one such atrocity took place in T----------------, Poland.

When one look at it from a historian's point of view, Hitler was only a violent catalyst that caused the fire to spread in many other places, although the original flame was the most hot and vicious. Europe was just a powder keg waiting to be ignited into a devastating ethnic war within a world war.

MechAg94
April 17, 2008, 09:50 PM
No argument there. Antisemitism has long roots in history.

hank327
April 17, 2008, 10:05 PM
That is a fair number of people. I wonder what percentage participated in armed resistance.

From what I remember, I believe that fewer than 1000 Jews were active participants in the fighting. By April 1943 the Nazis had removed most of the inhabitants of the Ghetto. The Ghetto Rising began when it became clear that the Nazis were going to empty the Ghetto of all the remaining residents and send them to the death camps. The Ghetto fighters were very poorly armed. Most of their weapons consisted of handguns bought from the Polish Home Army, (the non-Jewish resistance) and corrupt Nazi guards. In addition to the handguns, there was a handful of Mauser K98 bolt action rifles available to the Jewish resistance when the rising began. IIRC, the Jewish fighters had no automatic weapons and that fewer than half of their number had a firearm of any type.

As mentioned earlier, there were many different factions among the Jews of the Ghetto and those who advocated active resistance to the Nazis were definately in the minority. Also, the main Polish resistance group, the Polish Home Army, was actively hostile towards the Jews. Antisemitism ran strong and deep among Polish Catholics and there was literally no cooperation and very little assistance given to the Jews. For what little assistance the Home Army provided, they charged the Jews an exorbitant price and the Jews had to pay in gold or jewels. The whole story is just heartbreakingly sad.

Ian
April 17, 2008, 11:44 PM
Maybe someone can correct me if they think I am wrong, but I was told a while back that the Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising tried to get support from the normal Polish underground, but were refused. Do any of those histories mention this? It was in a short write up on antisemitism and noted the irony of the two uprisings in relation to that refusal.

Yes, as hank327 said, the majority of the gentile Polish underground was either unsympathetic or downright hostile to the Jewish fighters. Outside the cities, Jewish partisans tended to form their own segregated units, simply because none of the existing Polish groups would accept them.

One such group was the FPO (Jewish Fighting Organization) formed in the Vilna ghetto. They attempted to spark resistance when the Nazis liquidated the Vilna ghetto, but the Jewish population would not support them. So instead, they fled to the forests and formed a partisan unit that was active until the end of the war. The third person from the left in the back row is Abba Kovner, leader of the group.

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/ghettos/images/Jewish%20Partisans%20from%20Vilnius%20FPO.jpg (http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/ghettos/images/Jewish%20Partisans%20from%20Vilnius%20FPO.jpg)

RPCVYemen
April 17, 2008, 11:52 PM
The Warsaw Ghetto is the subject of a fairly recent DVD, "Uprising".

Watching that movie was the final push for me to learn to reload. Imagine what a set of Dillon 550B's would have meant the ghetto uprising!

Mike

Rachen
April 18, 2008, 02:43 PM
Oh, now I realize that Ian had the picture of that memorial. I was using a computer with something program inactivated, therefore I saw only a small gray square.

I apologize.

If you enjoyed reading about "The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,April,1943:Last Surviving Commander Remembers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!