Religious leaders of Poland's Jewish community, flanked by Jewish World War II veterans, laid flowers and prayed Tuesday to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Polish Defense Minister Radek Sikorski participated in the ceremony. Several dozen officials and local residents also lit candles and said kaddish at the monument to the heroes of the ghetto struggle during observances held on the eve of the anniversary. On April 19, 1943, hundreds of young Jewish fighters took up arms in the first major act of armed civilian resistance against the Nazis, who invaded and occupied Poland in 1939. The insurgents opted to fight the Nazis in the face of the German plan to exterminate the tens of thousands of Jews remaining in the Ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto is the site slated to host a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art Museum of the History of Polish Jewry. Poland will fund nearly 80 percent of the project.