Heroes of Warsaw Ghetto remembered 77 years after tragic Uprising
A sound of blaring sirens echoed through the streets of downtown Warsaw to mark the 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the official commemorations had not been organised.
The long wailing could be heard at noon on Sunday, April 19 - exactly 77 years after the outbreak of the Uprising.
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, which each year have been organising official commemorations of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, had decided not to hold the ceremony this year due to epidemic precautions. On behalf of Warsaw city authorities, flowers have been laid at ten locations that had witnessed dramatic fighting in April 1943.
The annual "Daffodils" campaign, that was initiated by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2013 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Rising, also took a different form this year. So far, volunteers have been handing out yellow paper daffodils - a symbol of memory of those who had fought and died in the Warsaw Ghetto. This year, the campaign was organised online. The POLIN Museum released a downloadable daffodil templates, which after printing and folding into proper shape have been posted on social media. For those not having printers, a special template was made available to cover Facebook profile picture.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on the 19th of April, 1943. It was the largest and most heroic act of armed resistance taken up by the Jews during World War Two. It was also the first civic uprising in occupied Europe. The insurgents took up the fight without any hope of a happy ending. They were driven by desire to seek revenge and to incur the greatest possible losses on their perpetrators. First and foremost, however, they chose to die with dignity, holding a gun in their hands.
During the uneven battle, which lasted for nearly one month, the Germans razed the Ghetto to ground, burning one building after another. On May 8, the leader of the insurgents, Mordechai Anielewicz, together with a group of several dozen fighters, committed suicide in a bunker at 18 Miła street. A small number of survivors managed to escape the burning ghetto through the sewers.
The SS Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, sent to Warsaw to quash the Ghetto Uprising, had written in his report: "180 Jews, bandits and subhumans were eliminated. The former Jewish residential district ceased to exist. The grand operation concluded with the blowing up of the Warsaw synagogue at 20:15. [...] The overall number of captured and surely exterminated Jews is 56,065." The entire ghetto, with the exception of 8 buildings, had been torn down.
Daffodil has become a symbol of remembrance of the tragic events of the spring of 1943 thanks to the last leader of the Uprising, Marek Edelman, who used to mark each anniversary by laying bouquets of yellow flowers at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, tvnwarszawa.pl
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Matusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl