Yesterday marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Below you can download a number of histories and firsthand accounts of the revolt, and below that read an article Marcus Barnett wrote on the subject last year for Jacobin. Roughly 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were killed by gas or bullet over a six-week span in 1943, after 92,000 or so perished from starvation or disease the three years before.
About the authors below: Edelman and Goldstein were Bundists, while Rotem and Zuckerman were left-wing Zionists. Gutman was later an inmate of Auschwitz, where he narrowly survived. Berg was only a child when she lived in the Warsaw Ghetto, and refused to share further details of her experience or speak out after a translation of her diary (by Henri Lefebvre co-author and Frankfurt School fellow traveler Norbert Guterman) was serialized in American newspapers in 1944.
- Mary Berg, Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Diary (1944)
- Marek Edelman, The Ghetto Fights (1946)
- Bernard Goldstein, Five Years in the Warsaw Ghetto (1946)
- Yitzhak Zuckerman (Antek), A Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1974)
- Simha Rotem (Kazik), Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter (1986)
- Israel Gutman, Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1994)
Daily life in the ghetto
Scenes from the uprising
April 19th, 2017
On the eve of Passover 1943 — the nineteenth of April — a group of several hundred poorly armed young Jews began the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, one of the first insurrections against Nazism.
For a small group of fighters, realizing — in the lyrical words of one militant — that “dying with arms is more beautiful than without,” an isolated group of Jewish militants resisted for twenty-nine days against a much larger foe, motivated by a desire to kill as many fascists as they could before they themselves were killed. The uprising, etched into the collective memory of postwar Jewry, remains emotive and emboldening.
That their heroism was a crucial part of the war is disputed by nobody today. But less known is the extent to which the uprising, far from being a spontaneous one of the masses, was the product of planning and preparation from a relatively small — incredibly young — group of Jewish radicals. Continue reading