On the Agenda: Death:
A Document of the Jewish Resistance
The document here printed has a special place in the treasury of literature devoted to Jewish resistance to the Nazis; it is the record of a meeting of the executive committee of the Bialystok branch of the Hechalutz (Palestinian pioneers) movement in Bialystok, held February 27, 1943. The chairman was Mordecai Tannenbaum, who had been sent with some others from the Vilna ghetto to organize the resistance in Bialystok. The subject of the meeting was death.
On August 21, 1943, six months after the meeting (and six years ago this month), a detachment of German police entered the ghetto. They were greeted by a barrage of small arms fire, and fled in confusion; the battle of Bialystok began. The Nazis brought up heavy artillery and unleashed an eight-day bombardment, after which they put the ghetto to the torch. But the resistance continued until the bitter end, and it was not until the middle of September that the Nazis could proclaim that the revolt was suppressed. An estimated forty thousand Jews fell in the battle of Bialystok. One of them was Mordecai Tannenbaum.
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