On 19 April 1943, the day before the Nazis were due enter the Ghetto to liquidate it (the date was set as 20 April, Hitler's birthday) Jewish fighters rose up, knowing the alternative to struggle was deportation and death. Between a quarter and a third of a million Jews imprisoned in the Ghetto had already been sent to extermination camps in the previous round of deportations the previous summer.
The Germans had been planning to finally liquidate the Ghetto, deport the remaining 70,000 Jews to extermination camps, and raze the Ghetto to the ground.
The fight was totally one-sided; for every Nazi soldier killed, over 1,000 Jews died. Those that survived were deported and exterminated anyway.
Unimaginable in our day - just a few decades later. As a part of the Holocaust, it is the shame the German nation will have to live with for centuries. Let us never forget it.
Click here for the English-language pages of the website commemorating the Ghetto Uprising. And click here for BBC coverage of the commemorations. The 70th Anniversary of the start of the rising was marked by the opening of a new museum in Warsaw - the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. I shall be visiting it shortly.
Pokój ich cieniom.
This time last year:
Tarkovsky's Stalker: a zone of my own
This time two years ago:
Warsaw's big billboards
This time four years ago:
Pace of development falters
This time six years ago:
Strange days indeed