Warsaw ghetto uprising
april 19, 1943
On April 19th, 1943 – on the eve of Passover, the Nazis planned to finish their Action, or cleansing of the Warsaw Ghetto. An organized group of poorly armed resistance fighters fought back against the Nazis with Molotov cocktails and hand grenades that had been smuggled into the ghetto. This revolt is known as the largest insurrection by the Jews during the Holocaust. This faction of resistance fighters held out against the Nazi soldiers longer than the country of France took to capitulate to the same forces.
During this revolt, thousands of Jews perished in the ghetto. One by one, each of the buildings were razed by fires that the Nazis set. Smoke and flames drove the remaining inhabitants and fighters into the streets.
This group was rounded up and a majority were sent to the killing center Treblinka.
A report issued the following month, by the Nazis, stated that “apart from 8 buildings (police barracks, hospital, and accommodations for housing working-parties) the former Ghetto is completely destroyed”.
Starting in the 1950’s, the date of April 19th was chosen as a day of reflection and remembrance. Often called Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, observances and religious services are held all over the world.
PHOTO :Jews captured during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are led by German soldiers to the assembly point for deportation.
PHOTO CREDIT: National Archives, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives