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.”

today is the 74th anniversary of the warsaw ghetto uprising.

each year people in warsaw, across poland and all around the world wear daffodils and daffodil pins to commemorate the uprising.

daffodils are associated with marek edelman, the last commander of the jewish combat organization. every year on the anniversary of the warsaw ghetto uprising he placed daffodils at the monument to the ghetto heroes in warsaw and at other sites associated with the extermination of jews.

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.

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.  


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. 

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.   

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.

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)


A banner with the words “Never Again” appears on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Today, Secretary Tillerson issued the following statement commemorating #HolocaustRemembranceDay:

Today on Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising – we honor the six million Jews systematically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. We also remember all individuals targeted for persecution and death by the Nazis. This year, the State Department hosted an event, along with the Embassies of Lithuania, Japan, and Israel, to honor the memory of Chiune Sugihara, Japanese Consul to Lithuania in 1939-40. Consul Sugihara saved the lives of some 6,000 Jews and others by providing them with transit visas to Japan.  

Leo Melamed, a child survivor saved by Consul Sugihara, reminded us during the event that Sugihara knew instinctively that to save lives was “the right thing to do.” Tens of thousands of Jews and others are alive today because Consul Sugihara followed that simple yet incredibly courageous dictum. We are blessed that Holocaust survivors continue to inspire us with their first-hand experiences and to steel our resolve to combat antisemitism and all forms of hatred.

On This Day: April 19
  • 1775: American Revolution begins.
  • 1854: French anarchist painter Charles Angrand was born.
  • 1884: Canadian Federal government outlaws potlatch ceremony practiced by Northwest Coast First Nations.
  • 1890: Max Nettlau published “The Historical Development of Anarchism” in Freiheit.
  • 1900: French anarchist Marius Jacob escaped from the asylum in Aix-en-Provence with the assistance of a male nurse and took refuge in Sète.
  • 1911: Over 6,000 Michigan furniture workers down tools, start four-month strike in what became known as the Great Furniture Strike.
  • 1919: The crews of the French battleships Jean Bart and France, mutinied. The “Black Sea Mutiny” involved Communist André Marty.
  • 1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins.
  • 1943: Second White Rose trial begins. Members of the anti-Nazi resistance movement on trial for organising against Hitler’s regime.
  • 1945: Julius Nolden, the former head of the Free Workers’ Union of Germany, was freed from a German prison on arrival of the Allies.
  • 1960: Z. Alexander Looby’s home is bombed, with no injuries. Looby, a Nashville civil rights lawyer, was active in the city’s ongoing sit-in movement for integration of public facilities.
  • 1960: Students in South Korea hold a nationwide pro-democracy protest against president Syngman Rhee, he eventually resigns.
  • 1967: Stokely Carmichael coins the phrase Black Power in a speech in Seattle.
  • 1969: Armed black students take over Willard Straight Hall at Cornell. The University accedes to their demands the following day, promising an Afro-American studies program.
  • 1971: Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) begin 5-day protest in Washington, DC.
  • 1972: Nine days into the Quebec general strike, 13 low-paid hospital workers were jailed 6 months and fined $5000 (about a year’s pay) for ignoring the injunctions to end the strike.
  • 2008: Death of Germaine Tillion. French resistant, ethnologist who was imprisoned in Ravensbrück concentration camp.
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943)

In the summer of 1942, about 300,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to Treblinka. When reports of the mass murder in the killing center leaked back to the Warsaw ghetto, an organized resistance began forming, which managed to smuggle a modest chache of arms into the ghetto.

On the 14th of Nissan of 1943, the remaining 35,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto (from an original 450,000) staged an organized uprising, and drove back the Nazis with a rain of bullets when they came to begin the final removal of all Jews. The Jewish resistance lasted 27 days.

A heroic stand was made in an underground bunker under 18 Mila Street, where hundreds of fighters, including the 24-year-old leader of the uprising, Mordechai Anilevitch, met their death. Although the Ghetto was burned to the ground by Iyar 3, a few stray survivors hid in the rubble and fired at the Nazis for two months longer.

In tribute to the uprising, the Israeli government designated the 27th of Nissan as its official “Holocaust and Bravery Day,” and in many Jewish communities the day is observed as an annual Holocaust remembrance day.

Jews Being Rounded Up in the Warsaw for Deportation to the Treblinka Extermination Camp on the Day the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was Launched     1943

Today is the 74th Anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

“A group of young Jewish resistance fighters are being held under arrest by German SS soldiers in April/May 1943, during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto by German troops after an uprising in the Jewish quarter.”



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.


Today (April 19th) is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Anti-fascist resistance by any means necessary saved tens of thousands of Jewish people from being murdered by Nazis. 

Remember this: We must always fight fascism wherever it is until it is permanently defeated–and we will win.