ghetto uprising

today is Yom Hashoah

on this day, I would like to commemorate the extensive Jewish resistance that existed in almost every Nazi-occupied nation. from the streets of Warsaw, where Jewish resistance perplexed and bewildered the Nazis so much that a top German general lost his job because of it (and where we inadvertently inspired the Warsaw Uprising) to Sobibor, where Jews killed SS guards and burned a death camp to the ground, enraging the Nazis so much that they ordered the camp’s remains bulldozed into the ground, to Treblinka, where Jews escaped through the barbed wire into freedom and managed to survive to meet the Red Army the next year.

Jews did not go passively into the gas chambers. Abba Kovner, Mordechai Anielewicz, the Bielski brothers, and many others ensured that. 

the image will always live in my mind: during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a Jewish man armed with a pistol approached General Jurgen Stroop’s command group and opened fire. Stroop’s bodyguard filled him with bullets, but he continued shooting until he collapsed. as Stroop walked over to gloat, he spat on Stroop’s shoes.

Jews have always fought for freedom.

Some 76 years ago, in June 1941 — as Nazi Germany was attacking a city in Lithuania and establishing the Vilna Ghetto, there actually was a small group of heroic Jews who took on the handle The Avengers. This band of Jewish resistance fighters, also known by the more official sounding United Partisan Organization, operated out of the Ponar forest — the same place that fellow Jews from the ghetto were taken to be shot and buried in mass graves.

One of the leaders of this brigade was Abba Kovner, the famous organizer of the Vilna Ghetto uprising who fought back against the Nazis and planned to carry out a mass act of revenge on the German people soon after the war ended.

The story of these Jewish fighters was documented in “The Avengers,” a 1967 book by Michael Bar-Zohar about Holocaust survivors who tracked down Nazi criminals in an effort to avenge their massacred brethren, and later in the 1986 documentary “The Partisans of Vilna” and on The History Channel. For many Jews, the story goes, the fact that huge numbers of Nazi soldiers were allowed to simply go home once the war had ended was intolerable.

Rich Cohen came out in 2000 with a book by the same title, also about those Jews who sought revenge.

“In the winter of 1941, a charismatic young poet named Abba Kovner formed a Jewish guerrilla group in the Vilna ghetto, in Lithuania,” Cohen wrote. “They sneaked through the city’s sewers, blowing up German transports and outposts with homemade bombs. After the war Kovner and his Avengers hatched a plan to poison 8,000 Nazis imprisoned at Stalag 13 in Nuremberg.”

I sometimes think that they were super-beings– demons or Amazons… Nerves like steel and the dexterity of circus performers. They often fired two pistols simultaneously, one in each hand. They were fighters to the end and extremely dangerous at close quarters. I remember Haluzzenmädeln [female members of the HeHalutz movement] we cornered who blinked at us like frightened rabbits. But when our men began to move in, they’d pull grenades from their skirts or trousers and hurl them at us, shrieking curses that made our hair stand on end!
—  Polizeigeneral Jürgen Stroop, liquidator of the Warsaw Ghetto, speaks to Kazimierz Moczarski about the unbelievable bravery and fortitude of the Jewish female fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. May their memories forever be blessings, as surely as Stroop’s memory be blotted out. Conversations With an Executioner, p. 132.

Photo: Centrum, Warsaw, Poland

Marek Edelman (Yiddish: מאַרעק עדעלמאַן‎, born either 1919 in Homel or 1922 in Warsaw – October 2, 2009 in Warsaw, Poland) was a Jewish-Polish political and social activist and cardiologist. Before his death in 2009, Edelman was the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

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Celebrations of the third anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Warsaw, Poland, April & May* 1946.

*The third photo, taken in May, shows the commemoration of the death of Mordechai Anielewicz, the leader of the Jewish Combat Organization who was instrumental in the first act of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by leading the first battle with a “dozen fighters with pistols,” preventing the majority of a second wave of Jews from being deported to extermination camps. 

Three Jewish Woman Resistors, Members of the  Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa; ŻOB (Jewish Fighting Organization) Captured by the Nazis During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  The Only Identified Fighter in the Photo is Malka Zdrojewicz (right), Who Survived Being Deported to the Majdanek Extermination Camp    1943


Today marks the 74th anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  The Ghetto Uprising was one of the first large scale armed uprisings against the Nazis during World War II.  In the Ghetto Uprising, some 220 people organized into the Jewish Fighting Organization (ŻOB), and a similar number in the Jewish Military Union (ZZW), armed mostly with pistols with a handful of bullets and molotov cocktails, took on over 2000 Nazi troops armed with all of the tools of then modern warfare: machine guns, flame throwers, artillery, tanks, and a surplus of ammunition.  It is not to be forgotten that the Nazis were all well fed and well taken care of, while the mainly young people who fought against them had been locked up in the ghetto for almost 3 years, starved, subjected to unsanitary conditions that resulted in rampant disease, denied medical care, and demoralized by watching their family and friends brutalized and murdered by the Nazis.  Nonetheless, the Ghetto Uprising lasted for just under a month, and inflicted possibly as many as 300 casualties on the Nazis.  

The Warschauer Kniefall (Warsaw Genuflection). On  December 7, 1970, visiting West German Chancellor Willy Brandt made an impromptu kneel when visiting a monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Although seen with some controversy in West Germany, the move was well received in Poland and is now seen as the beginning of normalizing relations between West Germany and Eastern Europe.

anonymous asked:

There is literally nothing noble or tragically noble about the SS. And they certainly weren't victims. If you want a noble sacrifice losing battle "like halo reach", choose the Warsaw ghetto uprising or something similar where you play as the actual victims, not, you know, the literal fucking perpetrators of the largest genocide in history.

I meant in the sense that you were fighting a losing battle, like an extended last stand until you were killed.

Jesus dude don’t get your panties in a bunch, my idea comes from the concept that there were tons of interesting perspectives to be found in WW2, rather than the usual anglo-centric view we always get.

Besides, I covered the poles twice, both at the start and at the end of my “campaing”.

Rant Regarding Marvel and Nazis

So I’m Jewish. As my username suggests. I did my undergraduate thesis about events like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. All this to say: do you have any idea how disrespectful it is to announce Hydra (Nazis) won all along on the day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising? Do you?

I am infuriated that Nazi admirer Nick Spencer is continuing to fuck up a universe built on the backs of Jewish comic writers. That’s right. Captain America was created by Jews, a fact people seem to forget pretty often. And fyi, I see all of you fans, who freak out when Stucky isn’t canon, and freak out when Captain America is revealed to be Hydra–and don’t say one fucking word when they make a Holocaust survivor Hydra. I see all you looking the other way.   

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history meme | four out of ten moments

↳ Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (19 April 1943 - 16 May 1943)

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that occurred in the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest ghetto in German occupied Poland, in 1943 was the single largest Jewish revolt during World War II.

On 18 January 1943, the German forces began the second deportation of the Jewish in the Warsaw Ghetto. While families hid in “bunkers”, fighters of the ŻZW joined with the ŻOB and engaged the Germans in direct clashes. 5,000 instead of the targeted 8,000 were deported.

Hundreds were ready to fight. Both adults and children were armed with handguns, gasoline bottles, and few other weapons that had been smuggled into the ghetto by resistance fighters. Most of the fighters were not fighting to save themselves but instead they saw fighting as a battle to retain the honor of the Jewish people and to protest the world’s silence.

The ŻZW and the ŻOB took control of the ghetto soon after the fighting that occurred on 18 January. They built fighting posts and built prisons to hold and execute traitors and Nazi collaborators (including Jewish Police officers, member of the fake [German sponsored] resistance organization Żagiew, and Gestapo & Abwehr agents).

On 19 April 1943 — the eve of Passover — police and SS forces entered the Warsaw Ghetto, planning to complete the deportation of the Jewish inhabitants in three days, but were ambushed by Jewish guerrillas who fired and tossed Molotov cocktails and hand grenades from alleyways, sewers, and windows. Two vehicles were set aflame by insurgent petrol bombs. That afternoon, two boys took to the rooftops and raised two flags — A red and white Polish flag and a blue and white ŻZW flag. The flags remained on the rooftop for three days. The flags reminded hundreds of thousands of not only the Jewish cause but the cause and strength of the Polish.

As the battle continued in the ghetto, the Polish insurgent groups AK and GL engaged the Germans at six different locations outside of the ghetto walls between the 19 and 23 April. In one attack, three units of the AK joined up in a failed attempt to breech the ghetto wall with explosives. The ŻZW eventually lost all of it’s commanders and, on 29 April, the fighters of the organization escaped the ghetto through the Muranowski tunnel and relocated to the Michalin forest. This marked the end of the significant fighting.

On 8 May, the Germans discovered a large dugout at Miła 18 Street which served as a ŻZW command post. Most of the remaining leadership and dozens others committed mass suicide by ingesting cyanide. Deputy Mark Edelman escaped the ghetto with comrades through the sewers two days later. On 10 May exiled member of the Polish government, Szmul Zygielbojm, committed suicide in protest of lack of reaction from the Allied governments.

The uprising was officially suppressed on 16 May 1943 when the Great Synagogue of Warsaw was demolished.

It is estimated that 13,000 Jews were killed during the uprising and most of the remaining 50,000 inhabitants of the ghetto were sent to concentration and extermination camps. Only 17 Germans deaths were recorded, although it is suspected their are much more.

Only two people in this photo may have survived the war, the boy in the foreground and the SS man holding the MG.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – Photo from Jürgen Stroop Report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943. The original German caption reads: “Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs”.
An iconic image of World War II. People identified in the picture:
Identity of the boy in the front was not confirmed, but is possibly Artur Dab Siemiatek, Levi Zelinwarger (next to his mother, Chana Zelinwarger) or Tsvi Nussbaum.
Hanka Lamet – small girl on the left
Matylda Lamet Goldfinger – Hanka’s mother next to her (second from the left)
Leo Kartuziński – teenaged boy in the background with white bag on his shoulder
Golda Stavarowski – in the background, first woman from the right, with one hand raised.

Most were transported to the extermination camp Treblinka.

Tsvi Chaim Nussbaum (August 31, 1935 – July 2, 2012) was the only Holocaust survivor in his family, and is considered by some as being the boy in this photo.

Josef Blösche (12 February 1912 – 29 July 1969) was a member of the Nazi Party who served in the SS and SD during World War II. Blösche became known to the world as a symbol of the Nazi cruelty inflicted on people within the Warsaw ghetto because of a famous photograph taken during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which portrays a surrendering little boy (possibly Tsvi C. Nussbaum) in the foreground, and Blösche as the SS man who is facing the boy with an sub-machine gun in hand.

He was finally identified (as in August 1946 he suffered a major accident at work, leaving the side of his face severely deformed) and arrested in January 1967.
Blösche was put on trial in Erfurt in April 1969. He was found guilty, including in participating in the shooting of about 1,000 Jews in 1943. He was sentenced to death, and executed in Leipzig on 29 July 1969.

(Colorised by Mikolaj Kalzmarek from Poland)

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Everyone is born in certain conditions, biological, psychological or sociological. The only true freedom we have is within ourselves. The freedom to take a stand and how to react to these conditions.

- Viktor Frankl

Videos of a destroyed Berlin in 1945 and German chancellor Willy Brandt’s fall to his knees in front of the Ghetto Uprising memorial in Warsaw, 1970.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how my various identities inform my work.  They’re a part of me; they can’t not. Being Jewish, I’ve long resisted telling Holocaust stories. We’re so saturated with them, it often feels like writers and directors think that they’re the only stories there are to tell about Jewish people. It’s so important to me to tell Jewish stories that are NOT about the Holocaust.  However, in this current climate, Holocaust narratives feel more important than ever.  For all people claim to be oversaturated with Holocaust stories, there’s a shocking lack of knowledge out there about what caused the Holocaust and why Jewish people were targeted in the first place.  


More importantly (to me, at least) is that whatever Holocaust stories I choose to tell feature Jewish people at the center of the story.  I have no desire to see anymore movies told through the eyes of a German bystander or righteous gentile. Those stories are fine, but they’ve been told. I want Holocaust narratives that show Jewish people as more than victims. I want a movie about Gisella Pearl, abortion doctor of Auschwitz.  I want a four part mini-series about Chanah Senesz and her heroic time in captivity.  Give me a play about Jewish women who joined the partisans and the French Resistance.  I want stories about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Sobibor uprising. 


In general, I want to see Jewish people at the center of our own stories, but it’s particularly important when it comes to the Holocaust.  It is such an important story in Jewish history, and yet it feels like, in film and television, it has been taken away from us.  With the last few Holocaust narratives I’ve seen, it’s felt like we were no longer the heroes in our own story. I won’t contribute to that.