Like sheep led to the slaughter; this is one of the most famous analogies used to refer to the Jews during the holocaust. The Jews were being systematically murdered, beaten, and abused day after day, and there was almost no refusal on their part. Almost no one fought back. This however was not the case in the Warsaw ghetto.
Throughout the summer of 1942, nearly 300,000 Jews were deported from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka death camp. During this summer, a resistance organization known as the Z.O.B. was formed. It was headed by the 23 year old Mordecai Anielewicz, and was comprised primarily of young men. The deportations halted in September, and the Z.O.B. began collecting whatever weapons they could manage to smuggle into the ghetto. In January of 1943, the deportations resumed. While the Nazis expected that everything would go smoothly, as it always had, this time they were surprisingly met with resistance. As they were conducting their roundup, the Z.O.B. attacked. After a couple of days, the German troops had killed many Jews, but were forced to retreat, giving the resistance fighters the drive to continue resisting. They began planning, strategizing, and preparing for a full scale revolution. On the night of April 18, 1943, the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto received word that the Nazis were planning a final roundup of the ghetto for the next day. The Z.O.B. did all they could to plan for the next day. They arranged hiding places for the Jews of the ghetto, and assigned fighting stations for the members of the resistance. On the next day, April 19 of 1943, the Nazis came in to conduct their final roundup, and the most famous armed resistance of the holocaust began (ushmm.org). The German troops entered to find empty str...
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history.com. “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” http://www.history.com/topics/warsaw-ghetto-uprising
Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: a History of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston: New York, 1986. Print.
Haaretz.com. “Experience the Warsaw Ghetto”
Yadvashem.org. “The Holocaust: Combat and Resistance: “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising”
Yadvashem.org. “Voices from the Inferno: Holocaust Survive Describe the Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto”
Sztetl.org “The Warsaw Ghetto”
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