Sunday, October 04, 2009

Anti-Nazi Resistance Hero Dies

From the Hope Not Hate blog...

The world lost one of the heroes of the anti-Nazi resistance yesterday with the death of Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Marek was one of 200 Jews who battled German troops for a month in 1943 before the Ghetto was razed to the ground. It was the single largest revolt during the Holocaust.

The Warsaw Ghetto was set up by the Nazis in 1940, as part of a wider operation to round up Jews across occupied Eastern Europe. Between 300,000 and 400,000 people were crowded into the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest of its kind in Europe.

In the summer of 1942 the Nazis began the forcible transportation of Jews from the Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp, in an operation codenamed Grossaktion Warschau.

In mid-January 1943, the Germans began their second wave of deportation, but this time it was met by an armed insurgency within the ghetto. While Jewish families hid in their "bunkers", Jewish Military League (Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, ŻZW) fighters, joined by elements of the Jewish Combat Organisation (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ŻOB) engaged the Germans in two direct clashes. Hundreds of people took up small arms to fight the Nazis. They took control of much of the Ghetto, built defences and executed collaborators.

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