The Warsaw Uprisings, 1943–1944 (ePub)
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
By 1942 the Nazi leadership had decided that the Jewish ghettos across occupied Poland should be liquidated, with Warsaw’s being the largest , processed in phases.
In response the left-wing Jewish Combat Organisation (ZOB) and right-wing Jewish Military Union (ZZW) formed and began training, preparing defences and smuggling in arms and explosives.
The first Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began in April 1943. Although this was quelled at devastating cost to the Jewish community, resistance continued until the summer of 1944. By this time the Red Army was closing on the city and with liberation apparently imminent the 40,000 resistance fighters of the Polish Home Army launched a second uprising.
For sixty-three days the insurgents battled their oppressors on the streets, in ruined buildings and cellars. Rather than come to their aid the Russians waited and watched the inevitable slaughter.
This gallant but tragic struggle is brought to life in this book by the superb collection of photographs drawn from the album compiled for none other than Heinrich Himmler entitled Warschauer Aufstand 1944.
Baxter’s narrative is straightforward and uncontroversial. But, as with all the Images of War series, the quality of the photographs give this book its value. Many are truly harrowing, even just the photos of lines of Jews being escorted out of Warsaw because we know their fate. The photos of often frightened fighters being captured conjure up similar emotions, while photos of laughing German soldiers prompt anger. Yet, looking closely, you can see the dignity and determination of the Jews; men dressed in suits, shirts, and ties, sombre rabbis, defiant women having lost everything yet standing upright in the face of death. The story being told in these photographs is one of true heroism, courage, and hope, and it is one worth telling again and again as Europe continues to face the legacy of the Nazism and hate in the 21st Century.Beating Tsundoku
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