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  • Nice visual aspect of the presentation.

    I really like how the roots of resistance came from the Jewish youth organization. The fact that we know that 23-year-old Mordecai Anielewicz led the movement does a lot to personalize the story as he represents so many resilient, passionate young people.

    I can also appreciate how ambitiously optimistic the Jews were about not going to the rail road cars. They were so strong-willed.
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  • Andrew, this was a really great chronology of the events in teh Warsaw uprising.

    The Warsaw ghetto uprising is an event which I think should really be remembered and I love that you touch on the ongoing perseverance the ZOB had. I think its really interesting that the Nazi's destruction of the Syngagoue in Warsaw was the event marking the end of the resistance. Why did the Nazis wait to destroy it? Were their orginals intentions to let it stand, even though they destroyed so many other synagogues? It was a magnificent synagogue, so why didn't they destroy it earlier on, as a greater showing of their mercilessness?

    I think that Mordechai Anilewitz (sp?) and other ZOBs actually comitted suicide in Mila 18? Do you know anything more about that?
    Their actiions were very heroic, I'm glad you chose to study the uprising, great presentation, Andrew!
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  • Hey Andrew.

    Great presentation! I feel like I learned a lot about the resistance. I find it really interesting to learn that they're not as ethically unambiguous as we think. We tend to regard them as complete heroes, but you mention that due to their revolt, the Nazis murdered more Jews in revenge. These Jews would most likely have been murdered anyway, but possibly there could have been a chance of escape for them, at least more time alive. Do you think this makes the Warsaw uprising more of a gray area, morally? Because although they did a lot to inconvenience the Nazis, at the same time, they were gambling lives that weren't theirs.

    I also think it's interesting that the ZOB was such a youth movement, with a very young leader. I wonder if there was some generational thing which made the youth in the ghettos more eager to resist, while the older generation (like Rumkowski, possibly?) feared invoking the Nazis' wrath. Or possibly it just has to do with the impulsive/confrontational nature of younger people in general.

    Thanks for the presentation!
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  • Oh, I see! Thanks for the point of clarification, Morgan. That really helped.
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  • I'll make a point of clarification for you guys here. The AK (non-Jewish polish resistance) were very supportive (providing weapons, food, medicine and false papers) to the ZOB (Jewish underground in the ghetto) for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 1943).

    Many members of the ZOB (Jews) also joined the AK following the final liquidation of the ghetto and took a large role in the Warsaw Uprising (Aug 1944). The two were separate, but very connected events.

    I hope that clarification helps.
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Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Presentation Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto
    • An overview
    • By Andrew King
  • Warsaw
    • The capital of Poland, where about 375,000 Jews lived on the eve of World War I1.
    • In October-November 1940, Germans established the Warsaw ghetto, into which some 500,000 Jews were crowded.
    • On average 5,000 to 6,000 died each month from starvation, disease, exposure to cold, and shootings.
  • Initial Deportation
    • On July 22, 1942, the Germans begin massive deportations which last virtually without stop until September 12, 1942.
    • During this time some 300,000 Jews from the ghetto are deported or killed.
  • Roots of Resistance
    • Formed by members of Jewish youth organizations, the ZOB (Jewish Fighting Organization) calls for the Jews of the ghetto to resist deportation.
    • The ZOB expands to incorporate members of underground political organizations and establishes contact with the Polish resistance forces who provide training, armaments and explosives.
    • 23-year-old Mordecai Anielewicz is appointed commander.
  • First Action
    • ZOB issued a proclamation calling for the Jewish people to resist going to the railroad cars:
      • “ Jewish masses, the hour is drawing near. You must be prepared to resist. Not a single Jew should go to the railroad cars. Those who are not able to put up active resistance should resist passively, should go into hiding… Our slogan must be: All are ready to die as human beings.”
            • From a public manifesto of the ZOB (Jewish Fighting Organization), Fall 1942
  • First Victory
    • In January 1943, Warsaw ghetto fighters fired upon German troops as they tried to round up another group of ghetto inhabitants for deportation.
    • Fighters used a small supply of weapons that had been smuggled into the ghetto.
    • After a few days, German troops retreated.
    • This small victory inspired the ghetto fighters to prepare for future resistance.
  • January 18-21, 1943
    • In retaliation for the acts of the ZOB, German units massacre approximately 1,000 Jews in the main square of the Warsaw Ghetto.
    • All deportation activities are also suspended.
    • In the meantime, encouraged by initial resistance efforts, the ZOB and Jewish retaliation units continue to orchestrate a larger, full-scale uprising against the Germans.
  • Fighting Continues
    • For one month after the massacre, ZOB and other Jewish resistance organizations continue to resist the Germans through a plethora of acts.
    • Meanwhile, structures in the ghetto are damaged by the conflict.
  • Ghetto Destroyed
    • After a month of fighting, the Germans blow up the Great Synagogue in Warsaw, signaling the end of the uprising and the destruction of the ghetto.
  • A Last Stand
    • On April 19, 1943, the Germans under the command of SS General Juergen Stroop, began the final actual destruction of the ghetto and the deportation of the remaining Jews.
    • However, the ghetto population does not report for deportation to concentration camps.
    • The ZOB and other resistance organizations barricaded themselves inside of structures and prepared to resist the Germans until the very end.
  • German Response
    • After three days German forces begin burning the ghetto to force Jews out of the hiding places.
    • Resistance continues for weeks as the Germans dismantle and destroy the entire ghetto.
    SS Major General Jürgen Stroop (center)
  • Outcome
    • Approximately 50,000 Jews are left in the ghetto after the January 1943 deportations.
    • General Stroop reports after the destruction of the ghetto that 56,065 Jews have been captured. Of those, 7,000 were deported to the Treblinka extermination camp, and the remainder were sent to forced-labor camps and the Majdanek extermination camp.
    • Some of the resistance fighters escape from the ghetto and join partisan groups in the forests around Warsaw.
  • Further Information/Bibliography
    • United States Holocaust History Museum: http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/wswchr.htm
    • Holocaust Survivors’ Encyclopedia: http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/cgi-bin/data.show.pl?di=record&da=encyclopedia&ke=118
    • Photos: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/RESOURCE/GALLERY/G1941WGU.HTM
    • AISH.com: http://www.aish.com/holocaust/overview/he05n27.htm
    • Jewish Virtual Library: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/warsawtoc.html