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May 02, 2003 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-05-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

T is Week

Insight

Remembering

Commemoration marks 60th anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

erected on the site of the ghetto.
And in the 1950s, the Israeli govern-
ment designated the 27th of Nisan, a
date that was about halfway through the
Ghetto Uprising, as Yom HaShoah —
Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was
the first time in occupied Europe that
civilians put up armed resistance
against Nazi occupiers," says Marek
Edelman, 82, the only surviving corn-
mander of the revolt.
"We wanted to show that the Jews,
who were considered subhuman, were
people like any other," Edelman, a
cardiologist and human-rights activist
who still lives in Poland, told the

later led to formulation of the idea of
the fight for human dignity and rights
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
included in the U.N. Charter."
Rome
Commemorating the ghetto has also
n April 19, 1943, heavily
became an international event.
armed Nazi troops penetrat-
Poland's President Aleksander
ed into the Warsaw Ghetto
Kwasniewski, Israel's President Moshe
with a grim goal: the liqui-
Katsav and other dignitaries, including
dation of the ghetto and the deporta-
the president of the European Jewish
tion of the last remnants of Warsaw's
Congress, Michel Friedman, took part
Jews — some 40,000 men, women
in this week's ceremony, and the last
and children.
living participants in the uprising
The German forces were met by
received high state honors.
something unexpected: a fierce attack by
"Sixty years ago, young men and
some 750 young Jews fueled by despera-
women from the Jewish Fighting
tion and armed with a few machine
Organization here in Warsaw, in the
, guns, , homemade grenades
and makeshift
Warsaw Ghetto, grabbed their arms
b
Molotov cocktails.
and, creating an
The battle between
organized resistance
the scrappy Jewish
movement, fought
fighters and the mighty
to defend their dig-
German army has been
nity and honor,"
described as a contest
z Kwasniewski said in
between an ant and an
announcing the
elephant.
events.
But the Jews held out
"We all should
for a month before the
remember that the
ghetto was finally over-
Warsaw Ghetto
whelmed and burned to
Uprising was the first
the ground, leaving a
organized anti-
handful of survivors
German eruption of
and a lunar landscape
this kind in the
of devastation.
occupied Europe,"
This year marks the
he said. "In the face
60th anniversary of the
of the crushing
uprising, April 19 to
power of the Nazis, a
Nazis round up Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Nazi plans to
May 16, 1943. On April honor Adolf Hitler on his 44th birthday on April 20, 1943, by murdering all
handful of Jewish
26, as it does every year,
young people by
the remaining Jews in occupied Warsaw were foiled when young Jews rebelled.
Poland's tiny Jewish
their desperate,
community marked the anniversary
three-week-long fight
Warsaw Voice newspaper last week.
with a small ceremony at the Ghetto
gave testimony to enormous heroism."
Monument on the secular calendar date
"There was no talk about victory or
On April 29, Kwasniewski and
on which the uprising began.
avoiding extermination," he recalled.
Katsav joined thousands of teenagers at
The Polish government hosted high- "It could only be about surviving with Auschwitz for the culmination of the
level official commemorations this
dignity, with arms in hand, for a few
annual March of the Living Holocaust
week to coincide with Yom HaShoah
more days. We showed that you could
commemoration, which is always
on April 29.
fight against the occupier."
timed to coincide with Yom HaShoah.
During the past 60 years, the
He added, "This was the first brick
Memory of the Warsaw Ghetto
yanked out of the wall of Nazism in
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising has come to
Uprising has cast a long shadow in a
Poland. After our struggle, there were
symbolize both the horrors of the
country where, under communism, dis-
rebellions in the Treblinka and
Shoah and the struggle against Nazi
cussion of Jewish issues was practically
tyranny.
Sobibor extermination camps, in the
taboo and where anti-Semitism festered.
ghettos of Bialystok and Czestochowa.
Five years to the day after the first shots
Poland was home to 3.5 million
We shook the conscience of the Polish Jews before World War II and Warsaw
were fired, a huge memorial designed by
sculptor Natan Rapaport to commemo-
underground army and international
was Europe's biggest Jewish city. Its
opinion. We started a process that
rate both heroism and annihilation was
REMEMBERING on page 22

RUTH E. GRUBER

0

5/ 2
2003

22

Remember
When • •

From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 year ago.

1993

-, , , mrulaissinitima
,

Dr. Arnold Zuroff, founder of
Congregation Bais Chabad of
Farmington Hills, will be honored
with the Chesed Award for his ded-
ication to the congregation and the
Jewish community.

1983 : r

"Jewish Sites in Lebanon: Summer,
1982," with photos by Micha Bar-
Am, is an exhibition prepared by
Beth Hatefutsot of the Nahum
Goldmann Museum of the Jewish
Diaspora in Tel Aviv. The show will
tour the United States.

1973-"7?"'11.21r4M
Dr. Herbert H. Paper, professor of
linguistics and Near Eastern languages
at the University of Michigan, will
discuss "The Diversity and Variety of
Jewish Languages" before the Yiddish
Cultural Committee at the Jewish
Center in Detroit.

1963
The second annual regional confer-
ence of Hadassah will be held at the
Occidental Hotel in Muskegon.

1953
The first child born at Sinai
Hospital of Detroit since its obstet-
rical department was opened is the
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice
J. Lezell of Detroit.
The first escapees from Soviet-
controlled East Germany to reach
Israel are Erwin Hilkowitz and his
daughter Monica.

1943 -
More than 400 Jewish service men
and women join in celebration of the
Passover holiday in an impressive
seder service in the Drill Hall of Fort
Brady in Sault St. Marie.
Herman Yablokoff and Bella Mysel
and the supporting cast of The Dish
Washer are retained for another play
at Littman's Yiddish People's Theatre
in Detroit thanks to the enthusiastic
response from audiences.

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin
Archives ofTemple Beth El

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