Exactly 78 years ago on April 19, 1943, the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland broke out, in a Europe ravaged by ravaged by Nazi Germany.
The Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising began on the eve of the Passover holiday, and continued for an entire month until May 16.
It was the first large-scale revolt by Jews during World War II. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is considered a clear symbol of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.
Despite having only a few weapons and material, the resistance fighters
succeeded in holding their position against the Nazis longer than any other uprising had done.
Two groups fought separately with minimal coordination. There was the leftist Jewish Fighting Organization (JFO) faction, led by Mordechai Anielewicz and other leaders of Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Guard), as well as the right-wing Jewish Military Union (JMU) faction, led by Pawel Frenkiel.
On May 8, when the Germans discovered the large bunker at 18 Mila Street, which served as the JFO’s command center, most of the leaders and dozens of other fighters refused to surrender to the Germans.
Instead, they all swallowed cyanide pills in a massive act of suicide.
Although his body was never uncovered, it is believed that Anielewicz died on that day at Mila 18.
A total of 13,000 Jews died during the revolt, about half of them burnt alive or suffocated.
Foreign Ministers of Israel and Poland, Gabi Ashkenazi and Zbigniew Rao, and Ambassadors of Israel and Poland around the world mobilized for the "Yellow Daffodils" campaign to mark the 78th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi mobilized for the "Yellow Daffodils" campaign to mark the 78th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. (Foreign Ministry)
Foreign ministers and ambassadors - more than 50 Polish and Israeli ambassadors, from Brazil to Europe, from Kazakhstan to Vietnam - joined the Daffodil Campaign at the invitation of ELNET, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening relations between Europe and Israel based on shared democratic values and strategic interests and were photographed wearing a yellow daffodil on the lapel of their suit.
The campaign is an initiative of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
The yellow daffodil flower was chosen because the late Mark Edelman (1919-2009), the last commander who survived the uprising, received a bouquet of yellow daffodils from an anonymous sender for years on the anniversary of the revolt. .
Following the campaign, hundreds of volunteers in Poland honor the memory of those who fell in the revolt by wearing a yellow daffodil on the anniversary.
In December 2018, Simcha “Kazik” Rotem
, a member of the Jewish underground in Warsaw that helped carry out the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, died at the age of 94.
Rotem, who fought alongside JFO leader Anielewicz, was described as the last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
During the war, Rotem served as a liaison between the bunker inside the ghetto and the underground on the “Aryan” side of the city. Inside he reported to Anielewicz, and on the Aryan side he reported to Yitzhak Zuckerman, codenamed Antek.
On the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 19, 1948, which took place just 21 days before the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the subsequent attack on Israel by seven Arab armies, the Ghetto Heroes Monument was inaugurated in the Polish capital.
This monument was created by sculptor Nathan Rapoport, who was born in Warsaw and was a member of Hashomer Hatzair, a socialist-Zionist, secular Jewish youth movement in Poland. It is perhaps the most famous Holocaust monument in the world, with more groups on Holocaust trips and tourists holding ceremonies there than at any other location.
Uri Milstein and Tamar Beeri contributed to this report.