Today is a very special day of remembrance here in Warsaw. Today is the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Ghetto Uprising.
On April 19, 1943, the largest single revolt of Jews during World War II began. The last remaining Jews in the ghetto opposed the Nazi’s final solution to liquidate the ghetto by sending the last remaining people to Treblinka. When they refused, the Nazis were ordered to burn the ghetto. The Jews had a militia of around 220 people all armed with guns and grenades given to them by the Polish Home army (who would go on to fight in the Warsaw Uprising). It lasted until May 16. Over 13,000 Jews died by suffocation or being burned alive. Around 300 Nazis died.
Today I ask you to remember them. And remember that Judaism exists before and after the Holocaust, and in spite of the Holocaust it exists. If you ever make it to Warsaw, spend some time at the Polin and the Moment to the Ghetto Heroes. If you’re interested in learning more I recommend the book Mila 18 or to watch Roman Polanski’s The Piantist