On 22nd July it will be 71 years since the beginning of the first liquidation action of the Warsaw Ghetto which led to the murder of more than 250 thousands of Jewish residents of Warsaw in the extermination camp in Treblinka. I invite you, for the second time, to join our initiative to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to take part in the 2013 March of Remembrance.
Last year, in the 2012 March of Remembrance, we brought back the memory of Janusz Korczak and the children who died in the Holocaust. We commemorated them by walking the opposite way to the way that the teacher went with his pupils (Umschlagsplatz — Orphanage).
This year, we want to remind you of the difficult choices that the Jews trapped in the ghettos and those led to death had to face. We are going to remind you the life stories of ten persons that will symbolize the Jewish fate during the Holocaust. The main character is Marysia Ajzensztadt who voluntarily joined her father being taken to Umschlagsplatz. At the end of the March you will receive cards with the stories and you will be able to connect them with a golden ribbon yourselves.
On 21st July we will walk a symbolic way back: from Umschlagplazt to the areas of the house where the Ajzensztadts lived, at Tłomackie Square, in the immediate vicinity of the Great Synagogue.
Marysia Ajzensztatd was the daughter of a conductor of the choirs of Warsaw synagogues, Dawid Ajzensztatd. She is called the Nightingale of the Ghetto due to her immaculate voice, which used to reverberate not only in the synagogue, but also in the ghetto cafes. Marysia had a wide repertoire: from classical music to songs in Hebrew and folk songs sung in Yiddish.
We do not know how she died. The provided pieces of information are contradictory. Adolf Berman writes: „She died during the first action. During the blockade they took her beloved father to Umszlagplatz. Mary got through to him and did not want to part with him. The SS men killed her on the spot.” Rachel Auerbach, however, gives another version: „Maybe the team conducting the blockade of their house left alone ‘the young and healthy’; enough that they did not want to take her. They wanted to do what was typical during the action, so ‘natural’: to take the old, ‘useless’ parents. My Father!? And Mary did not let it happen. Maybe she asked, maybe she threatened, maybe she wrapped her arms around his neck or shielded him with her own body, screaming she wouldn’t let him go. What she did exactly I don’t know because I wasn’t there. Only one thing I’ve heard exactly: Mary had been shot for that. "
The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute
Partners of the March
Jewish Community Center for Holocaust Research IFiS PAN
Stowarzyszenie Drugie Pokolenie
Jewish Youth Organization
Districts: Śródmieście and Wola
The Honorary Patronage over the March of Remembrance has been assumed by the President of Warsaw