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The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

By Justyna Majewska

„My dream has come true. Jewish self-defense in the ghetto was a fact. Jewish armed resistance and vengeance have become reality. I was a witness of great, heroic struggle of Jewish fighters”, wrote Mordechaj Anielewicz on 23 April 1943 to Icchak Cukierman, responsible for contact with Polish underground, who remained outside of the Warsaw Ghetto at that time. 

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the first urban revolt againt the Germans in occupied Europe, continued. Izrael Gutman, historian of the Holocaust, but above all – an insurgent wrote: „No act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust fired the imagination quite as much as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April 1943. It was an event of epic proportions in which a group of relatively unarmed, untrained Jews managed to lead a military revolt against the Nazi war machine.” (Resistance. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, p. XI).

In order to present the genesis and course of the Uprising, it is necessary to describe the situation in the Warsaw Ghetto after the Great Deportation in summer of 1942.

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