Tribute to Warsaw’s WWII Jewish fighters

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance has paid tribute to the heroes of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ahead of Sunday’s anniversary of the World War II-era revolt.

Mateusz Szpytma, deputy head of Polands Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), pays tribute to the heroes of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on Friday.

Mateusz Szpytma, deputy head of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), pays tribute to the heroes of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on Friday.Photos: PAP/Marcin Obara

The deputy head of the government-affiliated institute, Mateusz Szpytma, on Friday laid a wreath in front of a monument in central Warsaw to honour the wartime fighters.

The ceremony, scaled down due to the global coronavirus pandemic, marked almost 77 years since the outbreak of the uprising, in which Jewish fighters took up arms against Poland’s German invaders.

Szpytma was on Friday cited as saying that the fighters in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II fought not only for their lives, but also their honour.

“They did not want to die in an extermination camp; they preferred to die with arms in their hands instead,” he said, as quoted by public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.

Poland’s parliamentarians in 2018 passed a special motion paying tribute to the Jewish fighters to mark the 75th anniversary of the uprising.

The Sejm, Poland’s lower house, said in the motion at the time that the fighters had shown „the highest heroism and dedication in defence of the universal values of human freedom and dignity.”

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which broke out on April 19, 1943 and lasted until May 16, was the first uprising in German Nazi-occupied Europe and the largest act of armed resistance by Jews in World War II. It is estimated that about 13,000 insurgents died in the ghetto during the revolt.

Some surviving Jewish combatants later fought in the Warsaw Uprising, launched by Poland’s underground Home Army (AK) on August 1, 1944.

The Warsaw ghetto, established in April 1940, was the largest of the many ghettos which the Germans set up across Poland to isolate the Jewish population after invading the country in September 1939.Institute of National Remembrance@ipngovpl_eng

📌One year before the #WarsawGhettoUprising broke out, the #Germans killed over 50 Jews in the #WarsawGhetto on so-called „Black Friday”. The murder, perpetrated #OTD in 1⃣9⃣4⃣2⃣, aimed at spreading terror and enforcing obedience. A year later, the Jews decided to fight. #WWII

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The Polish president in December 2018 paid tribute to the last surviving Warsaw ghetto fighter who died in Israel at the age of 94.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR

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