update desk

Poland commemorates the 75th anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

“We bow our heads to their heroism, their bravery, their determination and courage,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the ceremony at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder speaks at Poland's official ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Credit: World Jewish Congress.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder speaks at Poland's official ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Credit: World Jewish Congress.

Poland marked the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on Thursday with Polish and Jewish leaders praising the heroism and determination of the fighters against near certain death.

“We bow our heads low to their heroism, their bravery, their determination and courage,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the ceremony at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw. “Most of them died … as they fought for dignity, freedom and also for Poland, because they were Polish citizens,” he said.

Nearly a year after invading Poland in 1939, the Nazis created a special district in the city for its roughly 480,000 Jews. In what became known as the Warsaw Ghetto, tens of thousands would die from hunger and disease, and 300,000 were eventually shipped to the Treblinka death camp to be killed.

On April 19, 1943, when the Nazis began liquidating the ghetto and its remaining 60,000 Jews, hundreds of Jewish fighters emerged and attacked the Nazis, preferring to die fighting than being shipped to the gas chambers.

In his address, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder noted that the anniversary of the uprising also overlaps with Israel’s 70th anniversary this year, and that the Jewish fighters in Warsaw inspired the future defenders of Israel just a few years later.

“I believe that it was the heroism of the brave young Polish-Jews who stood up to the Nazis here that inspired the future young defenders of Israel, who defeated five armies many times their size,” said Lauder.

“There is a history of strength and courage in the Jewish people that defies number and odds and, sometimes, reality … and it was here in Warsaw that one of the most important chapters in that history was written … we are standing on a modern-day Masada.”

The commemoration in Poland comes amid heavy criticism of the Polish government for its recent law criminalizing anyone who attributes crimes committed during the Holocaust to Poles and Poland.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates