Yesterday was the anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 in Warsaw, Poland.
Not to be confused with the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, resulting in Hitler razing the city of Warsaw to the ground, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising took place a year earlier in 1943 as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto revolted against their Nazi oppressors, resulting in the burning of the Ghetto (now Old Mokotów. Stary Mokotów), leaving almost no survivors in its wake.
A commemoration of the event was held at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw at Noon yesterday.
Everyone placed yellow daffodils on the Memorial which stands in front of the museum, in memory of Marek Edelman, a Commander of the Ghetto Uprising and one of the only survivors who went on to fight in the Warsaw Uprising, Powstanie Warszawskie, and take part in the Solidarity movement, Solidarność. His children, family and friends were also in attendance as we all walked through what used to be the Jewish Ghetto and commemorated those who were lost in this dreadful period of European History.
The commemorative walk through the Ghetto ended at Umschlagplatz, where the Jews were transported from the Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp by the Nazis.
The commemoration was interesting to be a part of and it was even more interesting to note that the anniversary landed on the Sabbath, preventing many of the observant Jewish community from attending. Furthermore, the date falls on the day before Easter, when most of Warsaw and Poland are getting their Easter baskets blessed at church, known as Święconka.
Altogether the event was an opportunity to reflect on the turbulent history of the city of Warsaw, a city I have grown to love deeply over the years. Jewish history is perhaps one of the most controversial topics in Poland and continues to be problematic in the development of the permanent exhibition in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The commemoration was an opportune moment to pause and think.
It is now time to get off of this computer and enjoy the beautiful Easter Sunday here in Warsaw.
The Liberated Polyglot