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.