The Last Days of the Warsaw Ghetto:
A Survivor's Account of a Heroic Chapter in Jewish History
The Ghetto was burning. For days and nights it flamed, and the fire consumed house after house, entire streets. Columns of smoke rose, sparks flew, and the sky reflected a red, frightening glow. Nearby, on the other side of the wall, citizens of the capital strolled, played, and enjoyed themselves. They knew that “the Jews were burning.” The wind blew smoke and soot from the burning ruins in their direction. Sparks scattered and now and then a house outside the Ghetto would catch fire. But these fires were immediately extinguished. Only in the Ghetto no one hastened to put out the flames, to come to the rescue. Everything was burning and there was no one to halt the blaze.
This was the Ghetto of the largest Jewish community that had ever existed in Europe. Within its walls the last remaining Jews, still numbering tens of thousands, were trapped. Some days before, in April 1943, the Germans had planned to kill this remnant, to send it in death cars to Oswiecim and Belsitz, as they had previously sent hundreds of thousands without opposition. But this time they met with an unexpected situation. Units of the “Fighting Jewish Organization” manned the street coiners and the ruins, planting land mines and hurling grenades into the files of German troops. Taken by surprise, the Germans retreated. They attacked the next day and the next, but each time they met with resistance. After ten days of battle, the Germans did not dare to enter the Ghetto.
About the Author