19 April 1943 – start of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (Yiddish: אױפֿשטאַנד אין װאַרשעװער געטאָ; 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 final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka. The uprising started on 19 April when the Ghetto refused to surrender to the police commander SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen 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 suffocated. German casualties are not known, but were not more than 300. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.
The uprising was the subject of Aleksander Ford’s 1948 film Border Street, 1950 novel The Wall by John Hersey, Leon Uris’s 1961 novel Mila 18, Jack P Eisner’s 1980 autobiography “The Survivor,”, Andrzej Wajda’s films A Generation (1955), Samson (1961) and Holy Week (1995), and Jon Avnet’s 2001 film Uprising. It was also portrayed in the 1978 NBC miniseries Holocaust by Marvin J. Chomsky and the 2002 film The Pianist by Roman Polanski. The revolt was briefly featured in the 1986 fantasy film 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 conflict. 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”.