The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Essay

434 Words2 Pages
In 1943, the tide of World War II began to turn against Nazi Germany. Losses in North Africa and the massive defeat at Stalingrad destroyed the myth of German military invincibility and stiffened anti-Nazi resistance, even in the killing centers and concentration camps of occupied Europe. In the Treblinka death camp, news of the German defeats filled the Jewish prisoners with both hope and trepidation. Many feared that the SS would soon liquidate the camp and its remaining prisoners so that all evidence of their heinous crimes would be destroyed. To forestall this event, a group of Jewish prisoners, calling themselves the “Organizing Committee,” began planning an uprising and mass escape. Composed mainly of the camp’s prisoner functionaries,…show more content…
The Jewish fighters also learned about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising from prisoners on the incoming transports, and this strengthened their resolve and boosted their morale. On August 2, 1943, the Committee launched their revolt. The prisoners seized weapons from the SS storeroom, attacked the German and Ukrainian guards, and set some of the buildings ablaze. Unconcerned with their own safety, the resistance leaders fought bravely to aid the escape of the inmates. Under gunfire from the watchtowers, many prisoners broke through the camp’s barbed-wire fences. Of an estimated 300 inmates who escaped from Treblinka that day, about 100 survived the massive SS manhunt. Most of the Committee’s members, including Galewski, Bloch, and Kurland, perished during the uprising. Jankiel Wiernik escaped his captors and found shelter with a righteous Pole. The following year, with the assistance of Jewish underground leaders in Warsaw, he secretly published his memoirs of Treblinka and of the bold camp uprising, which were then smuggled to England and the United States. Wiernik died in Israel in
Open Document