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• Warsaw Ghetto Insurgency Begins (1943) 

Today is: Wednesday, Shvat 12, 5773 · January 23, 2013

 

Today in Jewish History



• Warsaw Ghetto Insurgency Begins (1943) 

On January 18, 1943, the Germans began their second deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, which led to the first instance of armed resistance. The deportation was halted within a few days; only 5,000 Jews were removed instead of 8,000 as planned. The Nazis retreated, only to return three months later, at which time the Warsaw uprising started in earnest.

Link: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

In tribute to the uprising, the Israeli government designated the 27th of Nissan as its official "Holocaust and Bravery Day," and in many Jewish communities the day is observed as an annual Holocaust remembrance day. But because of the halachic prohibition to conduct eulogies and other mournful events in the festive month of Nissan, the chief rabbinate of Israel, and many Jewish communities, observe instead the 10th of Tevet as a day to mourn and remember the six million, which include many whose yahrtzeit (date of passing) remains unknown.

Jewish History

In the summer of 1942, about 300,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to Treblinka. When reports of the mass murder in the killing center leaked back to the Warsaw ghetto, an organized resistance began forming, which managed to smuggle a modest chache of arms into the ghetto. On the 14th of Nissan of 1943, the remaining 35,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto (from an original 450,000) staged an organized uprising, and drove back the Nazis with a rain of bullets when they came to begin the final removal of all Jews. The Jewish resistance lasted 27 days. A heroic stand was made in an underground bunker under 18 Mila Street, where hundreds of fighters, including the 24-year-old leader of the uprising, Mordechai Anilevitch, met their death. Although the Ghetto was burned to the ground by Iyar 3, a few stray survivors hid in the rubble and fired at the Nazis for two months longer.