Warsaw Ghetto Uprising WW2 1939-1945

From April 19 to May 16 of 1943 Jews living in the ghetto in Warsaw, Poland started the armed revolt against shipping Jews to extermination camps. The revolt inspired many others to start in extermination camps and other ghettos throughout Eastern-Europe.

Warsaw ambush

After Germans invaded Poland in September of '39, more than 400,000 Jews where confined to a 1 square mile in the capital Warsaw. In November of 1940, the ghetto was sealed of by brick walls, barbed wire fences, and armed guards. Anyone caught trying to leave the ghetto was shot and killed on sight.

Nazi's wanted control over the Jews so they regulated what food was allowed into the camp. Starvation and diseases killed thousands each month. Ghetto camps like the one in Warsaw where all over German occupied land, but Warsaw was the largest in Poland.

"August 2nd, 1943. Jewish inmates at Treblinka stole weapons from and armory car. Several hundred inmates escaped but many were recaptured and executed." (Warsaw Ghetto Uprising).

In July 1942, Heinrich Himller, head of the Nazi paramilitary corps(Shutzstaffel)(SS), was ordered to "resettle" Jews to extermination camps. Jews were told that they were being deported to work camps, but word soon reached the ghetto and Jews came to realize that deportation to work camps meant execution.

Cattle cars for deportation

Two months later 265,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka extermination camp. 20,000 others were sent to forced-labor camps or killed in the deportation process. An estimated 55,000-60,000 Jews remained at the Warsaw ghetto camp.

The remainder of the Jews at Warsaw created groups of underground self-defense units known as Jewish Combat Organization, or ZOB. These groups smuggled in weapons from anti-Nazi poles.

On January 18th, 1943 Nazis entered the Warsaw camp to round up a group of Jews to be deported. During the round up a ZOB group ambushed the Nazis. fighting lasted for several days before the Germans withdrew. Deportations from Warsaw were halted for the next few months after the ambush.

On April 18th 1943, Himmler sent a SS forces and collaborators with tanks to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto. A small Jewish resistances, armed with weapons, were out numbered by Germans but managed to fight them for a month. During this time Germans took over the Warsaw camps brick by brick, killing or capturing thousands of Jews. In a symbolic act, German's blew up the Warsaw Ghetto synagogue.

About 7,000 Jews died during the uprising while nearly 50,000 other Jews were sent to extermination or labor camps. It was believed that the Germans lost several hundred men in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Resources used: History.com Staff. "Warsaw Ghetto Uprising." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2017

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