THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35,
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PHILIP SLOMOVITZ CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ SIDNEY SHMARAK
Editor and Publisher
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the eighth day of Adar, the following Scriptural selections will be read in
Pentateuchal portion: Levit. 6:18-8:36. Prophetical portion: Malachi 3:4-24.
Licht Benshen, Friday, March 20, 6:26 p.m.
VOL. XLV—NO. 4
March 20, 1964
Resistance: the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt
Did Jews resist sufficiently against
the persecutions they suffered under the
Nazis? Was there such a complete yield-
ing to bestiality that our people are to
be described as cowards who failed to
strike back when they were attacked?
We hear such accusations so often,
and there is such an unfortunate echo of
such sentiments in Israel where the
youth labor under the impact of an heroic
struggle for independence, that there is
need for clarification of the facts.
What is being forgotten is that Jews
throughout the ages had been condi-
tioned to a state of affairs under which
they were helpless against brutality, un-
armed to meet the attacks of unfriendly
neighbors, unprepared for physical
But during the most tragic periods
when Jews were so helpless, they never-
theless resisted in their way—by refusing
to resort to apostasy to acquire freedom,
by rejecting offers to abandon their faith
or to repudiate their heritage, by holding
firmly to their traditions.
The fact is that during the Czarist
days preceding the Bolshevik revolution
Jews in Russia already had begun to de-
fend themselves and to resist attacks. In
other lands Jews took up arms to pro-
tect themselves and their families.
Under the Nazis, when not the Jews
alone but all of Europe found itself in a
vise and unable to resist the destructive
threats of the Hitlerites, Jews held firmly
to their faith, refused to abandon their
heritage and often fought back. There
were numerous revolts in the ghettos into
which they were herded by the Nazis,
and the best known of the revolts took
place in the Warsaw Ghetto.
It is for the sake of historical ac-
curacy that the observances of the anni-
versary of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt
throughout the world are so vital in
establishing the truth about Jewish cour-
age in facing the Nazi beasts.
So - that all of the facts should be
known we present here a chronological
record of the Warsaw Ghetto battle which
led to the destruction of the Jewish area
of Warsaw, as compiled by the VIVO
Institute for Jewish Research:
September 1: Beginning of World War II.
September 2: Founding of the Coordinating
Committee of all Jewish welfare institutions.
September 7-28: Siege of Warsaw. German
planes bomb intensely the Jewish section on
the eve of Rosh Hashana and on Rosh Hashana.
September 29: Warsaw surrenders.
October 4: The "Aeltestenrat" (later "Ju-
denrat") of the Jewish community established.
October 26: Introduction of compulsory
labor for Jews aged 12 to 60.
November 22: Beginning of the large-scale
terror. Fifty-three Jews from the house on 9
Nalewki Street shot.
January: Some hundred Jewish physicians,
engineers and lawyers arrested and shot.
January 24: Decree governing confiscation
of so-called abandoned property. In reality this
meant general confiscation of Jewish posses-
sions. By the middle of July, 1940, 75 per
cent of all commercial and industrial estab-
lishments and a large number of houses had
End of March: Collective resistance offered
by Jewish workers and others to the pogrom
in the Jewish section carried out by Polish
hoodlums and incited by the Germans. This
resistance was organized by the Jewish Labor
October 2: Order concerning the establish-
ment of the Ghetto.
November 15: The Jews of Warsaw forced
into the Ghetto, which is closed up.
January March: Nearly 70,000 Jews of the
Western part of the Warsaw District driven
into the Ghetto.
February 20: Means of public transportation
prohibited to the Jews.
February 22: The sale of goods to Jews out-
side the Ghetto forbidden.
May 15: The German administration estab-
lishes the office of Commissar of the Ghetto.
November 10: Introduction of death penalty
for leaving the Ghetto.
March: Anti-Fascist Bloc established in the
Ghetto; issues the first call to resistance.
April 17: Fifty-two people active in the un-
derground, printers of the clandestine press From Biblical Times to Rosenzweig
and the like, shot in the street in the middle
of the night. Hence night executions are fre-
July 22: Beginning of the mass deportations
In an introduction to Julius (Yitzhak) Guttman's "Philoso-
of Warsaw Jews to Treblinka.
phies of Judaism," Prof. R. J. Zwi Werblowsky of the Hebrew
July 23: Suicide of Adam Czerniakow, chair- University, Jerusalem, says the volume "stands out not only as a
man of the Judenrat.
reliable study which condenses sound and subtle scholarship, and a
July 28: Creation of the combat unit of the
unique survey of the history of Jewish philosophy; it also repre-
sents the fruit and the summing up of an important period in the
September 6 - 12: The inhabitants of the
history of Jewish scholarship. As such, it will remain as a lasting
Ghetto that have survived the deportations are monument of a significant phase in the history of Jewish philosophy
compressed into five streets, the so-called Cal-
and its attempt to elucidate not only Judaism, but also itself."
dron. As a result of a new selection some
So outstanding is this work, which was translated from the
additional 60,000 Jews are deported to Treb-
Hebrew by David W. Silverman, that two major publishing firms,
the .Jewish Publication Society of America (222 N. 15th, Phila-
September 21: End of the summer deporta-
tions; isolated work blocks are set aside in delphia) and Holt, Rinehart and Winston (383 Madison,
joined in publishing it.
The work originally was published in Germany but the
December 2: The statute of the Jewish com-
present translation is from a revised and enlarged Hebrew
bat organization embracing all Zionist parties
(except the Zionist-Revisionists) and the Jewish
Offering a history of Jewish philosophy from Biblical
Labor Bund, is adopted.
times to Franz Rosenzweig, Dr. Guttman, (1880-1950), who
at the time of his death was on the faculty of the Hebrew
January 18-22: First armed challenge by the University, dealt with the fundamentals and first influences
Jewish combat organization to a new deporta- of Jewish philosophy in Biblical and Talmudic times and in
tion from the Ghetto. The resistance compels the era of Jewish Hellenistic influences, and gave thorough
the Germans to stop the action after having accounts of the religious philosophy in the Middle Ages and
deported some 6,500 Jews.
the scholarship of modern times.
February 16: Himmler's order to destroy
Explaining the basic Biblical religious ideas, Dr. Guttman
the Ghetto and to replace it with a concentra- declared, "Even where Biblical religion seems to verge most on
tion camp later to be removed to Lublin.
an irrational conception of an essential meaningfulness, the mono-
March: Second armed action of the Jewish theism of the prophets, the belief in the moral quality and pur-
posive nature of the divine will was an absolute certainty which
April 19: Beginning of the Uprising on the informed all aspects of religious life. It was the basis of their
Eve of Passover.
understanding of history."
April 21 -28: Simultaneous resistance in di-
In his study of the Hellenistic influences on Judaism, Prof.
verse places in the Ghetto.
Guttmann dealt at length with the works of Philo and he made
April 28: Beginning of the attacks of small this important observation in reference to Judaeo-Hellenism:
armed groups of the combat organization.
"It has often been remarked that at least one scriptural
May 8: The Germans destroy the bunker on book, the Book of Kohelet, clearly shows the influence of
Mila 18. Suicide of several leaders of the Up- Greek philosophy. If this is the case, Greek philosophy must
have made an influence felt in Palestine at the beginning of
May 16: The Germans destroy the large the second century B.C.E., for Kohelet can not have been com-
synagogue on Tlomackie. General Stroop re- posed later than this date. All efforts to find specific Greek
ports: "There is no longer a Jewish residential doctrines in the Book of Kohelet, however, have yielded only
district in Warsaw."
vague analogies, from which the characteristic Greek flavor has
been lost . . . The actual parallels between Greek and Jewish
August: When the Soviet army reaches the thought in the Book of Kohelet are no proof of necessary con-
right bank of the Vistula and stops on the nection with any definite philosophic school. They merely show
other side of Warsaw, an uprising against the contact of Judaism with contemporary popular Greek
the Germans breaks out in the city. The former thought."
Ghetto fighters participate in the uprising as
Great scholarship is evinced in the sections that follow, in
a separate combat group. The uprising is the reviews of the philosophic works of Saadia, in the rise of
Jewish philosophy in the Islamic world and the historic factors of
January 17: The Soviet army occupies War-
A chapter on Neoplatonism and Neoplatonists includes
saw. Jews in hiding begin to gather in the evaluative essays on Juda Halevi, Ibn Gabirol, Pan Pakuda and
suburbs of Praga.
others of that era.
There is also a section dealing with the Aristotelian period,
These facts and figures show how a
great community collapsed, how a people with Maimonides, the influences of Maimonides and Averroes and
that was rich in culture and from whom the* struggle against philosophy after Maimonides; with Crescas,
period and Spinozaism.
had sprung many noted spiritual guides the Spanish
The modern era, Moses Mendelssohn, post-Kantian philo-
was led to its doom.
sophy, renewal of Jewish religious philosophy at the end of the
•Into the ghetto that was established last century, are the matters to which is devoted the final
in that community were sent hundreds of section of Dr. Guttmann's historic work.
thousands of Jews who perished at the
Here he deals with Samuel Hirsch, Krochmal, Moritz Lazarus
hands of the Nazis. But among them Hermann Cohen and finally with Rosenzweig.
Rosenzweig's influence is analyzed in the striking new aspects
arose great heroes. They faced the enemy
at great odds. Every year, at Passover- which reached a renewed nadir in the 19th Century. Rosenzweig is
time, we honor their memory. We do it described as being "far removed from the tendency of con-
again this year with a recognition of temporary Judaism . . . in his doctrine of Israel as an eternal
emphasizing the popular character of the community of
the basic truth that there was resistance, people,
Israel but denying any political connotation to this term."
that while millions were murdered, there
Dr. Guttmann emphasized "a unique type of continuity"
were many who did not submit too read- maintained by philosophy through crises and polemics, comment-
ily. May their deeds live as examples to ing that the striking testimony to the development of Jewish
the generations to come that proud men philosophy "maintains its linkage with the past despite the abyss
and women will not submit to tyranny. which divides the Middle Ages from modern times?
'Philosophies of Judaism'