One can only imagine the horrors that the Jewish community was forced to endure during the rise in power of Adolf Hitler and his relentless Nazi army. As Hitler’s minions demolished through the Jews, no one would have ever thought that a resistance was even plausible, let alone would actually happen. However, in 28 short days the first ever German opposition took place in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, and provided the Jews with a glimpse of light at the end of the long road that was the Holocaust.
The Warsaw Ghetto consisted with over 450,000 Jews inhabiting its wall surrounded streets and housing. Upon arrival Jews were subject to disease, starvation, and constant torture from the Nazi’s. After only a few short weeks, the head of the Jewish Council, Adam Czerniakaw, committed suicide in an act to show his people not to conform to the Nazi’s harsh ways, and to take control of your own lives again.
Almost daily, Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were stuffed in rail cars and transferred to the Trebinka Extermination Camp, where over 300,000 Warsaw residents were gassed and killed. Many attempted to escape but few were successful. With only 60,000 remaining, most of which were teenagers, they came together and formed the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB) and the Jewish Military Union (ZZW). Their goal? To fight back against the “final liquidation” planed to take place January 18, 1943.
Once the German’s gained knowledge of the resistance forming, they retreated to gain reinforcements. The resistance only grew stronger. Then, on April 19, 1943 the German’s attacked once again, the final liquidation. The members of the resistance buried themselves into bunkers and came out for swift attacks and retreated once again. A majority of the fighting was done by the ZZW. The long battle fought by the Jews lasted a month, but sadly ended with the destruction of the entire ghetto ending with the Tlomacki Synagogue on May 16.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising made little headlines in its time. This was because the Germans wanted their unstoppable persona withheld, and hoped that the inspiration to stand up against the Nazi’s would not spread throughout other ghettos and concentration camps. Internationally, the uprising was greatly romanticized. The members of the ZZW and ZOB were given the façade of superhero’s, and in many ways they were. Although it was a...