warsawghettouprisingThe Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the largest and most famous resistance by the persecuted Jews against the overpowering Nazis during the period of the holocaust.

Ghettos began to be established all across Europe during the period of World War II by Nazi Germans under the instruction of Reinhard Heydrich.

Holocaust ghettos were nothing more than huge kennels within Europe of torture and confinement for the Jewish people until the ghetto could be liquidated (exterminated).

Poland was chosen as an ideal location for ghettos because of the abundant population of the Jewish race.

Warsaw, being the capital city of Poland, would prove to be the largest ghetto confinement in Europe with approximately 380,000-450,000 Jews being confined.

The total confinement of the Jews within very cramped, unsanitary and malnourished ghettos was a gradual process.

Starvation, disease and death were rampant within the confines of Warsaw. There was very little to no hope of survival.

In early 1942 “The Final Solution” evolved and begin to take hold. The ghettos began to be vacated by mass deportations to the death camp Treblinka which was also in Poland.

The decree was to deport as many as 6,000-7,000 Jews per day on cramped cattle railroad cars.


The deportations proved to be quite successful for a period of time.

Approximately 300,000 Jews give or take would be ushered to Umschlagplatz.

Which was the German word for collection point or reloading point.

Once loaded on the cattle cars the inmates were driven 61 miles to certain death at the gas chambers of Treblinka.

In Treblinka the whole transport of Jews was capable of being murdered in a couple of hours.

Once the remaining 70,000 Jews within the ghetto confines got word of the fate of their family members that had been deported the resolve was to fight for what was left of their lives.

In the beginning months of 1943 the Warsaw ghetto uprising began.

Two Jewsish resistance groups formed: ZZW and ZOB

ZZW was the Jewish Military Union (Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy) and ZOB was the Jewish Combat Organization (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa).

ZZW and ZOB began to take control of the Warsaw ghetto and proved to be a force to be respected within the confines.

The resistance groups were not only making their own weapons but they were being secretly supplied with better weapons and ammunition from Polish underground movements.

The Jewish resistance used the element of suprise as they hid in sewers, bunkers and roofs of buildings.

The Germans had to regroup and bring more force and deportations ceased for a period.

Under the leadership of ZZW commander Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum and ZOB commander Mordecai Anielewicz the Jews waged the most successful resistance of the Nazi ghettos.


The Warsaw ghetto uprising dragged on for months with German forces unable to regain control.

It was not until the Germans began to set the ghetto on fire that they were able to suppress the Jewish revolt.

The smoke and heat from the burning buildings forced the Jewish resistance to retreat to underground bunkers.

Once the majority of the Jews were underground the Nazis began to use tear gas and other means to root out the Jews who were hiding underground.

The Warsaw ghetto uprising set a precedence for other Jewish insurrections during the period of the holocaust.


The 50,000 Jews that were that played a heroic brave role in the revolt were marched out of their bunkers and hiding to umschlagplatz.

The survivors that did not flee ended up being executed in the death camps or were sent to concentration camps.

There were approximately 13,000 courageous Jews that died during the uprising and about 300 Germans that were killed.

Although most all Jews in Warsaw knew they were no match for the more equipped German Army they displayed boldness and unsubmissiveness when faced with death.

It truly can be said of the victims and the survivors they went down fighting and gained the respect of Hitler’s rise to power for a brief moment in time.

Below watch as seven survivors describe their role in the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943: