Warsaw commemorated the 77th anniversary of the Ghetto Uprising

April 19, 2020

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The celebrations at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes gathered a lot of participants despite the current restrictions due to coronavirus.

Despite the fact there were no official celebrations taking place, alarm sirens went off at noon in front of the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. Many representatives of the Jewish communities in Poland, as well as residents of Warsaw, showed up at the monument. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also laid flowers in front of the statue.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki laid flowers in front of the statue. Photo: Twitter @Adam Guz/KPRM

A prayer for the dead was said by the chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich who was surprised to see so many people gathered in front of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, says prayers before the monument to the heroes of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Picture: Twitter (AP/Czarek Sokolowski)

“This year, people should pay their respects in their homes. They should remember the fallen, pray for them, but in their homes. Please, stay at your homes. I am certain, that 77 years ago the insurgents didn’t fight for us to risk our lives here today”, stated the Chief Rabbi.

On April 19th 1943, Jewish insurgents from the Jewish Combat Organisation and the Jewish Military Union took to arms to fight against the German troops which started to eradicate the ghetto. The Uprising was the first insurgency to take place on such a scale during the Second World War in Poland and the first insurgency of a city occupied by the Third Reich. The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews prepared a special way to honour the memory of the Jewish freedom fighters online due to the pandemic. One of the ways to do that is to share yellow daffodils – the symbol of the ghetto rising – on social media.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising lasted almost a month, up to May 16th. Practically the entire command of the Jewish Combat Organisation died fighting. On May 8th, the Germans found the bunker from which the leader of the uprising, Mordehai Anielewicz was giving orders. Most of the defenders of the bunker refused to surrender and, including their commander, committed suicide. Several thousand Jews perished in the fight, several dozen thousand were taken to concentration camps. The ghetto was burned and destroyed to the ground.


Author: Michał Wyrzyk
Source: Poland Daily

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