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Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

This article is about the 1943 uprising in the Warsaw and starvation under SS-und-Polizeifhrer Odilo GlobocGhetto. For other uprisings named in a similar manner, nik and SS-Standartenfhrer Ludwig Hahn, even before
see Warsaw Uprising (disambiguation).
the mass deportations from the Ghetto to the Treblinka
extermination camp began.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (Yiddish:
; Polish: powstanie w getcie warszawskim; German: Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto)
was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within
the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during
World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's nal eort to transport the remaining Ghetto population
to Treblinka. The uprising started on 19 April when the
Ghetto refused to surrender to the police commander SSBrigadefhrer Jrgen Stroop, who then ordered the burning of the Ghetto, block by block, ending on 16 May. A
total of 13,000 Jews died, about half of them burnt alive
or suocated. German casualties are not known, but were
not more than 300. It was the largest single revolt by Jews
during World War II.

The SS conducted many of the deportations during the

operation code-named Grossaktion Warschau, between
23 July and 21 September 1942. Just before the operation
began, the German Resettlement Commissioner SSSturmbannfhrer Hermann He called a meeting of the
Ghetto Jewish Council Judenrat and informed its leader,
Adam Czerniakw, that he would require 7,000 Jews a
day[3] for the resettlement to the East.[4][5] Czerniakw
committed suicide once he became aware of the true
goal of the resettlement plan. Approximately 254,000
300,000 Ghetto residents met their deaths at Treblinka
during the two-month-long operation. The Grossaktion
was directed by SS-Oberfhrer Ferdinand von SammernFrankenegg, the SS and police commander of the Warsaw
area since 1941.[6] He was relieved of duty by SS-undPolizeifhrer Jrgen Stroop, sent to Warsaw by Heinrich
Himmler on 17 April 1943.[7][8] Stroop took over from
von Sammern-Frankenegg following the failure of the latter to pacify the Ghetto resistance.[9]


Main articles: Warsaw Ghetto, Operation Reinhard, and When the deportations rst began, members of the Jewish
resistance movement met and decided not to ght the
Grossaktion Warsaw (1942)
In 1939, German occupational authorities began to con- SS directives, believing that the Jews were being sent to
labour camps and not to their deaths. By the end of 1942,
Ghetto inhabitants learned that the deportations were part
of an extermination process. Many of the remaining Jews
decided to revolt.[10] The rst armed resistance in the
ghetto occurred in January 1943.[11] On 19 April 1943,
Passover eve, the Germans entered the ghetto. The remaining Jews knew that the Germans would murder them
and they decided to resist to the last.[12] While the uprising was underway, the Bermuda Conference was held
from 1929 April 1943 to discuss the Jewish refugee
problem.[13] Discussions included the question of Jewish
refugees who had been liberated by Allied forces and
those who still remained within German-occupied Europe.[14][15]
Corner of elazna 70 and Chodna 23 (looking east). This section of elazna street connected the large ghetto and small
ghetto areas of German-occupied Warsaw.

2 Opposing forces

centrate Polands population of over three million Jews

into a number of extremely crowded ghettos located in
large Polish cities. The largest of these, the Warsaw
Ghetto, concentrated approximately 300,000400,000
people into a densely packed, 3.3 km central area of
Warsaw. Thousands of Jews died due to rampant disease

Hanna Krall, who interviewed the only surviving uprising

commander, Marek Edelman (from the left-wing Jewish
Combat Organization, ydowska Organizacja Bojowa,
OB), stated that the OB had 220 ghters and each was
armed with a handgun, grenades, and Molotov cocktails.


Workers Party's militia Peoples Guard (Gwardia Ludowa, GL)[23] attacked German units near the Ghetto
walls and attempted to smuggle weapons, ammunition,
supplies, and instructions into the Ghetto.[24] Polish resistance provided the insurgents with a limited number of badly needed weapons and ammunitions from
its meager stocks.[25] Jewish right-wing resistance in
the Jewish Military Union (ydowski Zwizek Wojskowy, ZW) received large quantities of armament,
including several automatic weapons, from the AKaliated National Security Corps (Pastwowy Korpus
Bezpieczestwa, PKB).[26] AK disseminated information
and appeals to help the Jews in the Ghetto, both in Poland
and by way of radio transmissions to the Allies.[22] Several OB commanders and ghters later escaped through
the sewers with assistance from the Poles and joined
the Polish underground.[22] A PKB unit commanded by
Henryk Iwaski (Bystry) reportedly fought even inside
the Ghetto along with ZW and subsequently both groups
retreated together (including 34 Jewish ghters) to the socalled Aryan side. Although Iwaskis action is the most
well-known rescue mission, it was only one of many actions undertaken by the Polish resistance to help the Jewish ghters.[27]
Stroop Report original caption: "HeHalutz women captured with
weapons. Jewish resistance women, among them Malka Zdrojewicz (right), who survived the Majdanek extermination camp.

His organization had three ries in each area, as well as

two land mines and one submachine gun in the whole
Ghetto.[16][17][18][19] The insurgents had little ammunition; more weapons were supplied throughout the uprising, and some were captured from the Germans. Some
weapons were handmade by the resistance; sometimes
such weapons worked, other times they jammed repeatedly.
Shortly before the uprising, Polish-Jewish historian
Emanuel Ringelblum (who managed to escape from the
Warsaw Ghetto, but was later discovered and executed in
1944) visited a ZW armoury hidden in the basement at
7 Muranowska Street. In his notes, which form part of
Oyneg Shabbos archives, he reported: They were armed
with revolvers stuck in their belts. Dierent kinds of
weapons were hung in the large rooms: light machine
guns, ries, revolvers of dierent kinds, hand grenades,
bags of ammunition, German uniforms, etc., all of which
were utilized to the full in the April action. (...) While
I was there, a purchase of arms was made from a former
Polish Army ocer, amounting to a quarter of a million
zoty; a sum of 50,000 zoty was paid on account. Two
machine guns were bought at 40,000 zoty each, and a
large amount of hand grenades and bombs.[20][21]
Support from outside the Ghetto was limited, but Polish
Resistance units from the mainstream Home Army
(Armia Krajowa, AK)[22] and the communist Polish

Participation of the Polish underground in the uprising

was conrmed by a report of the German commander
Jrgen Stroop, who wrote:
When we invaded the Ghetto for the
rst time, the Jews and the Polish bandits
succeeded in repelling the participating units,
including tanks and armored cars, by a wellprepared concentration of re. (...) The main
Jewish battle group, mixed with Polish bandits,
had already retired during the rst and second
day to the so-called Muranowski Square.
There, it was reinforced by a considerable
number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold
the Ghetto by every means in order to prevent
us from invading it. (...) Time and again
Polish bandits found refuge in the Ghetto and
remained there undisturbed, since we had
no forces at our disposal to comb out this
maze. (...) One such battle group succeeded in
mounting a truck by ascending from a sewer in
the so-called Prosta [Street], and in escaping
with it (about 30 to 35 bandits). (...) The
bandits and Jews there were Polish bandits
among these gangs armed with carbines, small
arms, and in one case a light machine gun
mounted the truck and drove away in an
unknown direction.
Jrgen Stroop, 1943[28]

A poster published by the OB. Translation: All

people are equal brothers; Brown, White, Black and

Yellow. To separate peoples, colors, races Is but force dispatched to put down the revolt and complete
an act of cheating!"
the deportation action numbered 2,090 men armed with
a number of minethrowers and other light and medium
Commemorative pennant of ZW - Jewish Military artillery pieces, several armored vehicles, and more
than 200 machine and submachine guns.[16][17][18][19] Its
The cover page of The Stroop Report with backbone consisted of 821 Waen-SS paramilitary solInternational Military Tribunal in Nuremberg mark- diers from ve SS Panzergrenadier reserve and training battalions and one SS cavalry reserve and trainings.
ing battalion. The other forces were drawn from the
Page 5 of Stroop Report describing German ght Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) order police (battalions from the
against Juden mit polnischen Banditen - Jews 22nd and 23rd regiments), Warsaw personnel of the
Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) intelligence serwith Polish bandits.[1]
vice, one battalion each from two Wehrmacht (Heer)
Continuation 27 April 1943 describing ght against railroad combat engineers regiments, a Wehrmacht batjdisch-polnische Wehrformation (Jewish-Polish tery of anti-aircraft artillery, a detachment of multinaarmed formation).[1]
tional (commonly but inaccurately referred to by the Germans and Jews alike as 'Ukrainians[30] ) ex-Soviet POW
a b
1. ^
Jrgen Stroop, Es gibt keinen jdischen Trawniki-Mnner auxiliary camp guards trained by the
Wohnbezirk in Warschau mehr!", Warsaw 1943
SS-Totenkopfverbnde at Trawniki concentration camp,
and technical emergency corps. Several Gestapo jailers
On the other hand, despite German evidence of Polish from the nearby political prison Pawiak, led by Franz
ghters joining the struggle, some survivors have reported Brkl, volunteered to join the hunt for the Jews. A
dierent experiences. In her book On Both Sides of the force of 363 ocers from the Polish Police of the GenWall, Vladka Meed, who was a member of the Warsaw eral Government (so-called Blue Police) was ordered by
Ghetto underground, devoted a chapter to the lack of sup- the Germans to cordon the walls of the Ghetto. Warport from the Polish resistance, writing, We knew that saw re department personnel were also forced to help in
the Polish underground had secret caches of weapons. the operation. Jewish policemen were used in the rst
Mikolai was in touch with the leaders of the Polish under- phase of the Ghettos liquidation and subsequently sum[31]
ground, They keep making promises! he told me again marily executed by the Gestapo.
and again. We are urged to be patient. (...) Often, we Stroop would later remark postwar:[9]
wondered why, in spite of our willingness to pay generously, the underground refused to help us. However, our
contacts with the Poles were tenuous and often came to
grief; many times we were sold out.[29]
I had two battalions of Waen-SS, one hundred army men, units of Order Police, and
seventy-ve to a hundred Security Police people. The Security Police had been active in the
Warsaw ghetto for some time, and during this
program it was their function to accompany SS
units in groups of six or eight, as guides and
experts in ghetto matters.[32]

By his own report, Stroop reported that after he took

command on 19 April 1943 the forces at his disposal totaled 31 ocers and 1,262 men:[35]
Stroop Report original caption: The leader of the grand operation. SS-Brigadefhrer Jrgen Stroop (center) watches housing blocks burn. The SD-Rottenfhrer at right is Josef Blsche
(Frankenstein). Photo taken at Nowolipie street looking east,
near the intersection with Smocza street. On the left is the burning balcony of the townhouse at Nowolipie 66; next to it is the
Ghetto wall.

Stroops report listed ultimate forces at his disposal as 36

ocers and 2,054 men, including:[36]

His casualty[37] lists include also members of four other

Waen-SS training and reserve units {1st SS Panzer
Grenadier; 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier; 4th SS Panzer
Grenadier; 5th SS Panzer Grenadier Training Battalions.} Polish police came from the Kommissariarts 1st,
Ultimately, the eorts of the Jewish resistance ght- 7th and 8th. There is also evidence that German Police
ers proved insucient against the German occupation of the SSPF of Lubin took part in the liquidation of the
system. According to Hanna Krall, the German task Warsaw Ghetto Jews[38]


Stroop Report original caption: Askaris used during the operation. Stroop explained that they were not Askaris in the
true sense. It was a nickname for Latvians, Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians in the SS.[33] In this photo: two
Ukrainian Trawnikis,[34] trained shooters from Trawniki concentration camp,[30] peer into a doorway past the bodies of Jews
killed during the suppression of the uprising.

Stroop Report original caption: Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs.

Captured Jews are led by German troops to the assembly point
for deportation. Picture taken at Nowolipie street, near the intersection with Smocza.

January to April 1943

On 18 January 1943, the Germans began their second

deportation of the Jews, which led to the rst instance of Stroop Report original caption: A patrol. SS men on Nowolipie
armed insurgency within the Ghetto. While Jewish fam- street.
ilies hid their so-called bunkers, ghters of the ZW,
joined by elements of the OB, resisted, engaging the
Germans in direct clashes.[39] Though the ZW and OB
suered heavy losses (including some of their leaders),
the Germans also took casualties, and the deportation
was halted within a few days. Only 5,000 Jews were removed, instead of the 8,000 planned by Globocnik. Hundreds of people in the Warsaw ghetto were ready to ght,
adults and children, sparsely armed with handguns, gasoline bottles, and a few other weapons that had been smuggled into the Ghetto by resistance ghters.[1] Most of the
Jewish ghters did not view their actions as an eective measure by which to save themselves, but rather as
a battle for the honor of the Jewish people, and a protest
against the worlds silence.[12]
Stroop Report original caption: Destruction of a housing block.
Two resistance organizations, the ZW and OB, took Photo from intersection of Zamenhofa and Woyska.
control of the Ghetto. They built dozens of ghting
posts and executed a number of Nazi collaborators, including Jewish Police ocers, members of the fake 4 April to May 1943
(German-sponsored and controlled) resistance organization agiew, as well as Gestapo and Abwehr agents (such On 19 April 1943, on the eve of Passover, the police
as Judenrat member Dr Alfred Nossig, executed on 22 and SS auxiliary forces entered the Ghetto. They were
February 1943).[40] The OB established a prison to planning to complete the deportation action within three
hold and execute traitors and collaborators.[41] Jzef Sz- days, but were ambushed by Jewish insurgents ring and
eryski, former head of the Jewish Ghetto Police, com- tossing Molotov cocktails and hand grenades from alleymitted suicide.[42]
ways, sewers, and windows. The Germans suered 59

We were beaten by the ames, not the Germans, Edelman said in 2007.[44] In 2003, he recalled: The sea of
ames ooded houses and courtyards. ... There was no
air, only black, choking smoke and heavy burning heat
radiating from the red-hot walls, from the glowing stone
stairs.[45] The bunker wars lasted an entire month, during which German progress was slowed.[46]

Burning ghetto viewed from oliborz district.

casualties and their advance bogged down. Two of their

combat vehicles (an armed conversion of a French-made
Lorraine 37L light armored vehicle and an armored car)
were set on re by insurgent petrol bombs.[31] Following von Sammern-Frankeneggs failure to contain the revolt, he lost his post as the SS and police commander of
Warsaw. He was replaced by SS-Brigadefhrer Jrgen
Stroop, who rejected von Sammern-Frankeneggs proposal to call in bomber aircraft from Krakw and proceeded to lead a better-organized and reinforced ground

While the battle continued inside the Ghetto, Polish resistance groups AK and GL engaged the Germans between
19 and 23 April at six dierent locations outside the
Ghetto walls, ring at German sentries and positions. In
one attack, three units of the AK under the command of
Captain Jzef Pszenny (Chwacki) joined up in a failed
attempt to breach the Ghetto walls with explosives.[24]
Eventually, the ZW lost all of its commanders and, on
29 April, the remaining ghters from the organization escaped the Ghetto through the Muranowski tunnel and relocated to the Michalin forest. This event marked the end
of signicant ghting.
At this point, organized defense collapsed. Surviving
ghters and thousands of remaining Jewish civilians took
cover in the sewer system and in the many dugout hiding
places hidden among the ruins of the Ghetto, referred to
as bunkers by Germans and Jews alike. The Germans
used dogs to look for such hideouts, then usually dropped
smoke bombs down to force people out. Sometimes they
ooded these so-called bunkers or destroyed them with
explosives. On occasions, shootouts occurred. A number of captured ghtersespecially the womenlobbed
hidden grenades or red concealed handguns after surrendering. There were also clashes between small groups
of insurgents and German patrols at night.

The longest-lasting defense of a position took place

around the ZW stronghold at Muranowski Square,
where the ZW chief leader, Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum,
was killed in combat. On the afternoon of 19 April, a
symbolic event took place when two boys climbed up on
the roof of a building on the square and raised two ags,
the red-and-white Polish ag and the blue-and-white banner of the ZW. These ags remained there, highly visible from the Warsaw streets, for four days. After the war, Stroop later recalled:
Stroop recalled:
May First was memorable for a number of
reasons. I witnessed an extraordinary scene
The matter of the ags was of great
that day. A group of prisoners had been herded
political and moral importance. It reminded
into the square. In spite of their exhaustion,
hundreds of thousands of the Polish cause, it
many of them held their heads high. I stood
excited them and unied the population of the
nearby, surrounded by my escort. Suddenly I
General Government, but especially Jews and
heard shots. A young Jew in his midtwenPoles. Flags and national colours are a means
ties I'd guess was ring a pistol at one of our
of combat exactly like a rapid-re weapon,
police ocers as lightlike thousands of such weapons. We all knew
ning. One of the bullets hit the ocers hand.
that Heinrich Himmler, Krger, and Hahn.
My men sprayed the Jew with re. I managed
The Reichsfuehrer [Himmler] bellowed into
to whip out my own pistol and hit him as he fell.
the phone: 'Stroop, you must at all costs bring
As he lay dying, I stood over him, watching
down those two ags!'"
his life ebb away. Jurgen Stroop, Conversations
Jrgen Stroop, 1949[7]
with an Executioner [47]

During this ght on April 22, SS ocer Hans Dehmke

was killed when gunre detonated a hand grenade he was
holding.[43] When Stroops ultimatum to surrender was
rejected by the defenders, his forces resorted to systematically burning houses block by block using amethrowers
and re bottles, and blowing up basements and sewers.

On May 8, the Germans discovered a large dugout located at Mia 18 Street, which served as OBs main
command post. Most of the organizations remaining
leadership and dozens of others committed mass suicide
by ingesting cyanide, including the chief commander of
OB, Mordechaj Anielewicz. His deputy Marek Edelman escaped the Ghetto through the sewers with a hand-


ful of comrades two days later.

Regarding the booty of arms, it must be taken into considOn May 10, a Bundist member of the Polish government eration that the arms themselves could in most cases not
in exile, Szmul Zygielbojm, committed suicide in Lon- be captured, as the bandits and Jews would, before being
don to protest the lack of reaction from the Allied gov- arrested, throw them into hiding places or holes which
could not be ascertained or discovered. The smoking out
ernments. In his farewell note, he wrote:
of the dug-out by our men, also often made the search for
arms impossible. As the dug-outs had to be blown up at
I cannot continue to live and to be silent
once, a search later on was out of the question. The capwhile the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose reptured hand grenades, ammunition, and incendiary bottles
resentative I am, are being murdered. My comwere at once reused by us against the bandits. Further
rades in the Warsaw ghetto fell with arms in
their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not
permitted to fall like them, together with them,
1,240 used military tunics (part of them with medal
but I belong with them, to their mass grave. By
ribbons-Iron Cross and East Medal)
my death, I wish to give expression to my most
profound protest against the inaction in which
600 pairs of used trousers
the world watches and permits the destruction
of the Jewish people.
Other equipment and German steel helmets
108 horses, 4 of them still in the former Ghetto
The suppression of the uprising ocially ended on 16
May 1943, when Stroop personally pushed a detonator button to demolish the Great Synagogue of Warsaw.
Stroop would recall:
Up to 23 May 1943 we had counted:
4.4 million Zloty; furthermore about 5 to 6 million Zloty
What a marvelous sight it was. A fantasnot yet counted, a great amount of foreign currency, e.g.
tic piece of theater. My sta and I stood at
$14,300 in paper and $9,200 in gold, moreover valuables
a distance. I held the electrical device which
(rings, chains, watches, etc.) in great quantities. State of
would detonate all the charges simultaneously.
the Ghetto at the termination of the large-scale operation:
Jesuiter called for silence. I glanced over at my
Apart from 8 buildings (Police Barracks, hospital, and acbrave ocers and men, tired and dirty, silhoucommodations for housing working-parties) the former
etted against the glow of the burning buildings.
Ghetto is completely destroyed. Only the dividing walls
After prolonging the suspense for a moment,
are left standing where no explosions were carried out.
I shouted: Heil Hitler and pressed the button.
But the ruins still contain a vast amount of stones and
Jrgen Stroop, Conversations with an Executioner
scrap material which could be used.

Sporadic resistance continued and the last skirmish took

place on 5 June 1943 between Germans and a holdout
Besides claiming an estimated 56,065 Jews accounted
group of armed Jews without connections to the resisfor {although his own gures showed the number to be
tance organizations.
57,065} and noting that The number of destroyed dugouts amounts to 631. in his ocial report 24 May 1943,
Stroop listed the following as captured booty:[50]

5 Death toll

7 Polish Ries
1 Russian Rie
1 German Rie
59 pistols of various calibers

13,000 Jews were killed in the ghetto during the uprising

(some 6,000 among them were burnt alive or died from
smoke inhalation). Of the remaining 50,000 residents,
most were captured and shipped to concentration and extermination camps, in particular to Treblinka.

Several hundred hand grenades, including Polish Jrgen Stroops internal SS daily report for Friedrich
and home-made ones .
Krger, written on 16 May 1943, stated:
Several hundred incendiary bottles
Home-made explosives
Infernal machines with fuses
A large amount of explosives, ammunition for
weapons of all calibers, including some machinegun ammunition.

180 Jews, bandits and sub-humans, were

destroyed. The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large-scale
action was terminated at 20:15 hours by blowing up the Warsaw Synagogue. ... Total number of Jews dealt with 56,065, including both
Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can

24 April: 0 killed, 3 wounded; 1,660 captured;
1,811 pulled out of dugouts, about 330 shot.
25 April: 0 killed, 4 wounded; 1,690 captured; 274
shot; very large portion of the bandits...captured.
Total of 27,464 Jews caught
26 April: 0 killed, 0 wounded; 1,722 captured;
1,330 destroyed"; 362 Jews shot. 30 Jews displaced. Total of 29,186 Jews captured
27 April: 0 killed, 4 wounded; 2,560 captured of
whom 547 shot; 24 Polish bandits killed in battle";
52 Polish bandits arrested. Total of 31,746 Jews
Stroop Report original caption: Bandits jump to escape capture.
A man leaps to his death from the top story window of an apartment block. Taken at 23 and 25 Niska Street[51]

be proved. ... Apart from 8 buildings (police

barracks, hospital, and accommodations for
housing working-parties) the former Ghetto is
completely destroyed. Only the dividing walls
are left standing where no explosions were carried out.[28]
According to the casualty lists in Stroops report, German forces suered a total of 110 casualties 17 dead (of
whom 16 were killed in action) and 93 injured of whom
101 are listed by name, including over 60 members of the
Waen-SS. These gures did not include Jewish collaborators, but did include the "Trawniki men" and Polish
police under his command. The real number of German
losses, however, may be well higher (the Germans suffered about 300 casualties by Edelmans estimate). For
propaganda purposes, the ocial announcement claimed
the German casualties to be only a few wounded, while
propaganda bulletins of the Polish Underground State announced that hundreds of occupiers had been killed in the
German daily losses and the ocial gures for killed or
captured Jews and bandits, according to the Stroop report:
Stroop Reports daily gures

19 April: 1 killed, 24 wounded; 580 captured

20 April: 3 killed, 10 wounded; 533 captured
21 April: 0 killed, 5 wounded; 5,200 captured
22 April: 3 killed, 1 wounded; 6,580 captured; 203
Jews and bandits killed; 35 Poles killed outside the
23 April: 0 killed, 3 wounded; 4,100 captured; 200
Jews and bandits killed; 3 Jews captured outside
the Ghetto.Total of 19,450 Jews reported caught

28 April: 0 killed, 3 wounded; 1,655 captured of

whom 110 killed; 10 bandits killed and 9 arrested. Total of 33,401 Jews caught
29 April: 0 killed 0 wounded; 2,359 captured of
whom 106 killed
30 April: 0 killed 0 wounded; 1,599 captured of
whom 179 killed. Total of 37,359 Jews caught
1 May: 2 killed, 2 wounded; 1,026 captured of
whom 245 killed. Total of 38,385 Jews caught; 150
killed outside the Ghetto
2 May: 0 killed, 7 wounded; 1,852 captured and 235
killed. Total of 40,237 Jews caught
3 May: 0 killed, 3 wounded; 1,569 captured and 95
killed. Total of 41,806 Jews caught
4 May: 0 killed, 0 wounded; 2,238 captured, of
whom 204 shot. Total of 44,089 Jews caught
5 May: 0 killed, 2 wounded; 2,250 captured
6 May: 2 killed, 1 wounded; 1,553 captured; 356
7 May: 0 killed, 1 wounded; 1,109 captured; 255
shot. Total of 45,342 Jews caught
8 May: 3 killed, 3 wounded; 1,091 captured and 280
killed; 60 heavily armed bandits caught
9 May: 0 killed, 0 wounded; 1,037 Jews and bandits caught and 319 bandits and Jews shot. Total
of 51,313 Jews caught; 254 Jews and bandits shot
outside the Ghetto
10 May: 0 killed, 4 wounded; 1,183 caught and
187 bandits and Jews shot. Total of 52,693 Jews
11 May: 1 killed, 2 wounded; 931 Jews and bandits caught and 53 bandits shot. Total of 53,667
Jews caught
12 May: 0 killed, 1 wounded; 663 caught and 133
shot. Total of 54,463 Jews caught

13 May: 2 killed, 4 wounded; 561 caught and 155
shot. Total of 55,179 Jews caught

and then helped to plan and execute the revolt and mass
escape of 2 August 1943.

14 May: 0 killed, 5 wounded; 398 caught and 154 In October 1943, Brkl was tried and condemned to
Jews and bandits shot. Total of 55,731 Jews death in absentia by the Polish Resistances Special
Courts, and shot dead by the AK in Warsaw, a part of
Operation Heads targeting notorious SS ocers. That
15 May: 0 killed, 1 wounded; 87 caught and 67 same month, von Sammern-Frankenegg was killed by
bandits and Jews shot. Total of 56,885 Jews Yugoslav Partisans in an ambush in Croatia. Himmler,
Globocnik and Krger all committed suicide at the end
of the war in Europe in May 1945. The Central Govern 16 May: 0 killed, 0 wounded; 180 Jews, bandits
ment Governor of Warsaw at the time of the Uprising Dr.
and subhumans destroyed. Total of 57,065 Jews
Ludwig Fischer was tried and executed in 1947. Stroop
either captured or killed[52]
was captured by Americans in Germany, convicted of
war crimes in two dierent trials (U.S. military and PolAccording to Israel Gutman, the number cited by Stroop
ish) and executed by hanging in Poland in 1952 along with
(16 dead, 85 wounded) cannot be rejected out of hand,
Warsaw Ghetto SS administrator Franz Konrad. Stroops
but it is likely that his list was neither complete, free of
aide, Erich Steidtmann, was exonerated for minimal inerrors, nor indicative of the German losses throughout the
volvement"; he died in 2010 while under investigation for
entire period of resistance, until the absolute liquidation
war crimes. Walter Bellwidt, who commanded a Waenof Jewish life in the ghetto. All the same, the German
SS battalion among Stroop forces, died on October 13,
casualty gures cited by the various Jewish sources are
1965. Hahn went into hiding until 1975, when he was
probably highly exaggerated.[53] Other historians such
apprehended and sentenced to life for crimes against huas Raul Hilberg and French L. MacLean endorse the acmanity; he died in prison in 1986. SS Oberfhrer Arpad
curacy of ocial German casualty gures.[54][55] On the
Wigand who served with von Sammern-Frankenberg as
other hand, Stroop report vastly exaggerated actual losses
SS and Police Leader in Warsaw from 4 August 1941 to
(and strength) of the resistance.
23 April 1943 was tried for war crimes in Hamburg GerThe Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the largest single revolt many in 1981 and sentenced to 12.5 years in prison; died
by Jews during World War II.[56]
26 July 1983.


See also: Warsaw Uprising

After the uprising was over, most of the incinerated

Jewish prisoners liberated from the concentration camp

Gsiwka and the Battalion Zoka ghters during the Warsaw
Uprising in August 1944

Warsaw Ghetto area after the war. Gsia Street, view to the west

houses were razed, and the Warsaw concentration camp

complex was established in their place. Thousands of
people died in the camp or were executed in the ruins of
the Ghetto. At the same time, the SS were hunting down
the remaining Jews still hiding in the ruins. On 19 April
1943, the rst day of the most signicant period of the
resistance, 7,000 Jews were transported from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka extermination camp,[57] where,
purportedly, they developed again into resistance groups,

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 took place over a

year before the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The Ghetto
had been totally destroyed by the time of the general uprising in the city, which was part of the Operation Tempest, a nationwide insurrection plan. During the Warsaw
Uprising, the AKs Battalion Zoka was able to rescue
380 Jewish prisoners (mostly foreign) held in the concentration camp "Gsiwka" set up by the Germans in
an area adjacent to the ruins of former Ghetto. These
prisoners had been brought from Auschwitz and forced
to clear the remains of the ghetto.[58] A few small groups
of Ghetto residents also managed to survive in the un-

detected bunkers and to eventually reach the Aryan
side.[59] In all, several hundred survivors from the rst
uprising took part in the later uprising (mostly in noncombat roles such as logistics and maintenance, due to
their physical state and general shortage of arms), joining
the ranks of the AK and the AL. According to Samuel
Krakowski from the Jewish Historical Institute, The
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had a real inuence ... in encouraging the activity of the Polish underground.[60]
A number of survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, known as the Ghetto Fighters, went on to found
the kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta'ot (literally: Ghetto Fighters"), which is located north of Acre, Israel. The founding members of the kibbutz include Yitzhak Zuckerman (Icchak Cukierman), who represented the OB on
the 'Aryan' side, and his wife Zivia Lubetkin, who commanded a ghting unit. In 1984, members of the kibbutz
published Daphei Edut (Testimonies of Survival), four
volumes of personal testimonies from 96 kibbutz members. The settlement features a museum and archives dedicated to remembering the Holocaust. Yad Mordechai,
a kibbutz just north of the Gaza Strip, was named after
Mordechaj Anielewicz. In 2008, Israel Defense Forces
Chief of Sta Gabi Ashkenazi led a group of IDF ocials to the site of the uprising and spoke about the events
importance for IDF combat soldiers.[61]

lyze the Uprising in military terms. This was

a war of less than a thousand people against a
mighty army and no one doubted how it was
likely to turn out. This isnt a subject for study
in military school. (...) If theres a school to
study the human spirit, there it should be a major subject. The important things were inherent in the force shown by Jewish youth after
years of degradation, to rise up against their destroyers, and determine what death they would
choose: Treblinka or Uprising.[62]

On 7 December 1970, West German Chancellor Willy

Brandt spontaneously knelt while visiting the Monument
to the Ghetto Heroes memorial in the Peoples Republic
of Poland. At the time, the action surprised many and was
the focus of controversy, but it has since been credited
with helping improve relations between the NATO and
Warsaw Pact countries.
Many people from the United States and Israel came for
the 1983 commemoration.[63]

7 Controversy
In recent years, a new research by historians Dariusz Libionka (Poland) and Laurence Weinbaum (Israel) on the
ZW has called into question the validity of what has
been written on the Revisionist Zionist underground that
fought in the ghetto. Their monograph (Bohaterowie,
hochsztaplerzy, opisywacze) cast new light on some of the
Polish and Jewish accounts retold by those who wrote
about the revolt. Over the years these testimonies found
their way into many secondary sources both popular
and scholarly works by other authors as well as reference books. The research by Libionka and Weinbaum
attempted to deconstruct and discredit the testimony of
Henryk Iwaski and two others who claimed to have
fought in the ranks of the organization or aided it.[64] Libionka and Weinbaum maintain that Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum, who is often credited with having played a commanding role in the ZW, and after whom a square
was named in Warsaw, was in all likelihood an entirely ctitious gure, a product of faszywka (political

Nevertheless, the stories of Apfelbaum and Iwaski as

heroic combatants of the Ghetto, continue to be the focus
of commemorations.[66] In Israel, on the 70th anniversary of the uprising, a new edition of the 1963 book on
Monument to the Ghetto Heroes by Nathan Rapoport
the ZW written by Chaim Lazar-Litai was published,
In 1968, the 25th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto up- and retold the story of Iwaskis and Apfelbaums comrising, Zuckerman was asked what military lessons could manding role in the ZW. The retired Israeli politician
be learned from the uprising. He replied:
Moshe Arens, who has also written widely on the ZW
and the Warsaw Ghetto, contributed a foreword to the
I dont think theres any real need to ananew edition.[67]



In popular culture

The uprising was the subject of Aleksander Ford's 1948

lm Border Street,[68] 1950 novel The Wall by John
Hersey, Leon Uris's 1961 novel Mila 18, Andrzej Wajda's lms A Generation (1955), Samson (1961) and Holy
Week (1995),[69] and Jon Avnet's 2001 lm Uprising. It
was also portrayed in the 1978 NBC miniseries Holocaust
by Marvin J. Chomsky and the 2002 lm The Pianist by
Roman Polanski. The revolt was briey featured in the
1986 fantasy lm Highlander (as well as in the 1997 novel
Highlander: Zealot) and the 2009 video game Velvet Assassin. The graphic novel Yossel by Joe Kubert imagines the conict. Songs about the uprising include Hirsh
Glick's "Zog Nit Keynmol" (a song written in 1943),
Johnny Clegg's Warsaw 1943 and David Rovics' I Remember Warsaw.

See also
Sobibor Uprising
Biaystok Ghetto Uprising
Ghetto uprising
Ochota massacre
Wola massacre



[1] Guttman, John (March 2000). World War II: Warsaw

Ghetto Uprising. World War II Magazine. Retrieved 2
May 2012.
[2] (2008-04-18). Zapomniani onierze ZW (in
Polish). Retrieved 2012-11-07.
[3] Warsaw Ghetto Diaries: Hillel Seidman, pg. 58
[4] Mlynarczyk, Jace Andrzej (2004). Treblinka ein
Todeslager der Aktion Reinhard"". In Musial, Bogdan.
Aktion Reinhard Die Vernichtung der Juden im Generalgouvernement (in German). Osnabrck: Fibre. pp.
[5] Court of Assizes in Dsseldorf, Germany. Excerpts From
Judgments (Urteilsbegrndung). AZ-LG Dsseldorf: II


[9] Jewish Virtual Library, Ferdinand von SammernFrankenegg Source: Danny Dor (Ed.), Brave and
Desperate. Israel Ghetto Fighters, 2003, p. 166.
[10] Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
[11] Voices From the Inferno: Holocaust Survivors Describe
the Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto January 1943:
The First Armed Resistance in the Ghetto An online exhibition by Yad Vashem
[12] Voices From the Inferno: Holocaust Survivors Describe
the Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto January 1943:
Fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto An online exhibition by
Yad Vashem
[13] United States Department of State / Foreign relations
of the United States diplomatic papers, 1943. General
(1943), Bermuda Conference to consider the refugee
problem, April 1928, 1943, and the implementation of
certain of the conference recommendations, s. 134249.
[14] Fabrizio Calvi, Pacte avec le diable, les tats-Unis,
la Shoah et les nazis, Albin Michel, 2005 ISBN
[15] The Allies Refugee ConferenceA Cruel Mockery by
Dr. Rafael Medo
[16] Krall, Hanna (2008). Zdazyc przed Panem Bogiem (in Polish). Wydawnictwo a5. p. 83. ISBN 83-61298-02-9.
[17] Krall, Hanna (1986). Shielding the Flame: An intimate
conversation with Dr Marek Edelman, the last surviving
leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. transl. by Joanna
Stasinska Weschler, Lawrence Weschler. Henry Holt &
Company. p. 95. ISBN 0-0300-6002-8.
[18] Krall, Hanna (1992). To Outwit God. transl. by Joanna
Stasinska Weschler, Lawrence Weschler. Northwestern
University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8101-1050-4.
[19] Krall, Hanna (1992). To Outwit God. transl. by Joanna
Stasinska Weschler, Lawrence Weschler. Northwestern
University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8101-1075-X.
[20] Moshe Arens, Flags over the Warsaw Ghetto: The Untold Story of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Gefen Publishing
House 2007 ISBN 9652293563 page 186.
[21] Yosef Kermisch, To live with honour and die with honour! Selected documents from the Warsaw Ghetto Undergroung Archives. Oneg Shabbat, Jerusalem, Yad
Vashem, 1986.

[6] The Nizkor Project, Statement by Stroop to CMP investigators about his actions in the Warsaw Ghetto (24 February 1946) Wiesbaden, Germany, 24 February 1946.

[22] Barczynski, Roman (2001). Addendum 2: Facts about

Polish Resistance and Aid to Ghetto Fighters. Americans of Polish Descent, Inc. Retrieved 1
May 2012.

[7] Moshe Arens, Who Defended The Warsaw Ghetto? (The

Jerusalem Post)

[23] Ghetto 1943. Grossaktion Warschau at the Wayback Machine (archived April 18, 2008). (Polish)

[8] Jurgen Stroop Diary, including The Stroop Report: Table

of Contents (Jewish Virtual Library)

[24] Stefan Korbonski The Polish Underground State: A Guide

to the Underground, 19391945


[25] Andrzej Sawiski, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and The Polish Home Army Questions and Answers. Translated
from Polish by Antoni Bohdanowicz. Article on the pages
of the London Branch of the Polish Home Army ExServicemen Association. Last accessed on 14 March

[46] Voices From the Inferno: Holocaust Survivors Describe

the Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto January 1943:
In the Bunkers During the Uprising An online exhibition
by Yad Vashem

[26] Richard C. Lukas Forgotten Holocaust The Poles under German Occupation 19391944 Hippocrene Books
1997 ISBN 0-7818-0901-0

[48] The Last Letter from the Bund Representative with

the Polish National Council in Exile. Retrieved 2012-11-07.

[27] Stefan Korbonski, The Polish Underground State: A

Guide to the Underground, 19391945, pages 120139,

[49] Moczarski (1981), page 164.

[28] From the Stroop Report by SS Gruppenfhrer Jrgen

Stroop, May 1943.
[29] On Both Side of the Wall, pp. 94109, New York: Holocaust Library, 1972, ISBN 0-89604-012-7
[30] USHMM: Recognize someone? Askari or Trawniki
guards peer into a doorway past the bodies of Jews killed
during the suppression of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The
original German caption reads: Askaris used during the
operation. Photo Archives. Hostile commentator: denaturalized former guard at Trawniki, Bruno Hajda, tried in
the U.S., February 1996 (No. 97-2362).
[31] World War II: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Retrieved 28 January 2012.


[32] Statement by Stroop to Investigators About His Actions

in the Warsaw Ghetto. 194602-24. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
[33] Moczarski (1984), page 103.
[34] Two Ukrainian Members of the SS. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
[35] Stroop Report 19 April 1943
[36] Stroop report p.7
[37] Stroop Report pp.25-30
[38] Otto Hanke trial
[39] David Wdowiski (1963). And We Are Not Saved. New
York: Philosophical Library. p. 222. ISBN 0-80222486-5.
[40] The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, by Marek Edelman. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
[41] Benjamin Wald Jewish Virtual Library
[42] Josef Andzi Szerynski Jewish Virtual Library
[43] Stroop Report 22 April 1943. PDF le, direct download.
[44] Last Warsaw ghetto revolt commander honours fallen
comrades. European Jewish Press. 20 April 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
[45] Europe | Warsaw Jews mark uprising. BBC News.
2003-04-20. Retrieved 2012-11-07.

[47] Moczarski (1981), pages 148149.

[50] The Stroop report pp.7778

[52] Online transcript of Stoops report in German and English translation. Retrieved 28
January 2012.
[53] Israel Gutman, The Jews of Warsaw, 19391945: Ghetto,
Underground, Revolt, Indiana University Press, 1982
[54] Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Third
Edition, Yale University Press, 2003 (volume 2, p.537)
[55] French L. MacLean, The Ghetto Men: The SS Destruction
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Military History, 2001
[56] Jewish uprisings in Ghettos and Camps, 19411944.
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[57] Treblinka Day By Day.
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[58] Voices From the Inferno: Holocaust Survivors Describe
the Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto Clearing the Remains of the Ghetto. An online exhibition by Yad Vashem
[59] Voices From the Inferno: After the Uprising: Life Among
the Ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. An online exhibition by
Yad Vashem
[60] Samuel Krakowski War of the Doomed Jewish Armed
Resistance in Poland, 19421944 ISBN 0-8419-0851-6,
p. 213-14, Holmes & Meier Publishers 1984
[61] Azoulay, Yuval. IDF Chief, in Warsaw: Israeli, its army
are answer to Holocaust., Haaretz, 29 April 2008.
[62] A. Polonsky, (2012), The Jews in Poland and Russia, Volume III, 1914 to 2008, p.537
[63] Krajewski, Stanislaw (2005). Poland and the Jews: reections of a Polish Polish Jew. kow: Wydawnictwo Austeria.
p. 151. ISBN 8389129221.
[64] Hubert Kuberski, Mwi Wieki Libionka/Weinbaum
book review. Czasopismo Historyczne
2012-05-15. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
[65] Historia ydowskiego Zwizku Wojskowego to wieloletnia historia przekama WPROST. 201204-19. Retrieved 2012-11-25.



[66] Monika Krawczyk, The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Military and Spiritual Resistance Forum Zydow Polskich.
Retrieved July 10, 2013.
[67] Chaim Lazar: Litai Masada of Warsaw: The Jewish Military Organization in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising [Hebrew], Tel Aviv: Jabotinsky Institute in Israel, 2013.
[68] Border-Street Trailer Cast Showtimes. The
New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-07.(subscription required)
[69] Andrzej Wajda. Ocial Website of Polish movie director Films The Holy Week"". Retrieved


Further reading

Edelman, Marek (1990). The Ghetto Fights: Warsaw, 194143. London: Bookmarks Publications.
ISBN 0-906224-56-X.
Gebhardt-Herzberg, Sabine (2003). Das Lied ist
geschrieben mit Blut und nicht mit Blei": Mordechaj
Anielewicz und der Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto
(in German). Bielefeld: S. Gebhardt-Herzberg.
ISBN 3-00-013643-6.
Goldstein, Bernard (2005). Five Years in the Warsaw Ghetto. Oakland: AK Press. p. 256. ISBN
Jahns, Joachim (2009). Der Warschauer Ghettoknig. Dingsda-Verlag, Leipzig, ISBN 978-3928498-99-9
Moczarski, Kazimierz (1984). Conversations with
an Executioner (Wikipedia). Englewood Clis,
N.J.: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-300-09546-3.
Original in Polish: PDF 1.86 MB.
Paulsson, Gunnar S. (2002). Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 19401945. New Haven: Yale
University Press. ISBN 0-13-171918-1.Review


External links

Voices From the Inferno: Holocaust Survivors Describe the Last Months in the Warsaw Ghetto, an
online exhibition by Yad Vashem
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the Yad Vashem
The Warsaw Ghetto archive (including The Stroop
Report) at Jewish Virtual Library
Stroop Report online in German and English


The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by Marek Edelman



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photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr 689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-3 [3]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-4 [4]] )
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1939-1945. W dwudziest rocznic powstania w warszawskim getcie 1943-1963, Rada Ochrony Pomnikw Walki i Mczestwa, Warszawa
1963 (strony nienumerowane/pages unnumbered) Original artist: Nieznany/unknown
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uprising.JPG License: Public domain Contributors: No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright
claims). Original artist: No machine-readable author provided. Shalom assumed (based on copyright claims).
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License: Public domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: Poznaniak
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File:Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_26552.jpg Source:
Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_26552.jpg License: Public domain Contributors:
6003996 Original artist: Unknown<a href='//' title='wikidata:Q4233718'><img alt='wikidata:
width='20' height='11' srcset='
svg.png 1.5x, 2x' datale-width='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a> (Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken
by photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr 689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-3 [3]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-4 [4]] )
File:Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_26568.jpg Source:
Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_26568.jpg License: Public domain Contributors:
6003996 Original artist: Unknown<a href='//' title='wikidata:Q4233718'><img alt='wikidata:
width='20' height='11' srcset='
svg.png 1.5x, 2x' datale-width='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a> (Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken
by photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr 689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-4 [4]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-5 [5]] )
File:Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_03.jpg Source:
Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_03.jpg License: Public domain Contributors:
Original artist: Unknown<a href='//' title='wikidata:Q4233718'><img alt='wikidata:Q4233718'
1.5x, 2x' data-lewidth='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a> (Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken by
photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr 689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-8 [8]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-9 [9]] )


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Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_06b.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: en:Image:Warsaw-Ghetto-Josef-Bloesche-HRedit.
jpg uploaded by United States Holocaust Museum Original artist: Unknown<a href='//'
Wikidata-logo.svg/20px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png' width='20' height='11' srcset='
Wikidata-logo.svg/40px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 2x' data-le-width='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a> (Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken by photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr
689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-3 [3]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-4 [4]] )
Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_09.jpg License:
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cgi-bin/isadg/ Original artist: Unknown<a href='//' title='wikidata:
Wikidata-logo.svg/30px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 1.5x,
40px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 2x' data-le-width='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a> (Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken by photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr 689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-8 [8]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-9 [9]] )
File:Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_13.jpg Source:
Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_13.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: High-resolution image from http://narademo. Original artist:
Unknown<a href='//'
Wikidata-logo.svg/20px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png' width='20' height='11' srcset='
Wikidata-logo.svg/40px-Wikidata-logo.svg.png 2x' data-le-width='1050' data-le-height='590' /></a> (Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken by photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr
689.[#cite_note-Stempowski-5 [5]][#cite_note-Zbikowski-6 [6]] )


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