The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bells toll for Warsaw ghetto uprising 70 years on
A woman lays down a flower at the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising monument during festivities to celebrate the Warsaw Ghetto uprising's 70th anniversary in Warsaw on April 19, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI.

By: Anna Maria Jakubek

WARSAW (AFP).- Sirens rang out and church bells tolled Friday as Poland marked the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising that saw young Jews take up arms against Nazi German forces.

Hundreds of people including Holocaust survivors gathered at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, where Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski called the revolt a "fight for dignity".

"But it was also an accusation of passivity and ineffectiveness of the whole free world, the world that could not bring itself to help."

In attendance were the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron, plus one of the last three living survivors of the uprising.

Simcha "Kazik" Rotem, 89, recalled that by April 1943 most of the ghetto's Jews had died and the 50,000 who remained expected the same fate.

But rather than die in the gas chambers at the Treblinka death camp, Rotem and hundreds of his comrades launched the April 19 uprising to "choose the kind of death" they wanted.

"But to this very day I keep thinking whether we had the right to make the decision to start the uprising and by the same token to shorten the lives of many people by a week, a day or two," Rotem said.

"Nobody gave us authorisation to do that and that's the doubt I have to live with."

Around 7,000 Jews died in Europe's first urban anti-Nazi revolt, most of them burned alive, and nearly all the rest were then sent to Treblinka.

Rotem survived by masterminding an escape through the drain system with dozens of comrades. Polish sewer workers guided them to the surface.

Poland's chief rabbi Michael Schudrich told AFP that the 70th anniversary is special precisely because "we still have among us those who actually fought".

"There's a sense that we have an obligation to make sure we really remember to pay tribute now while we still can hear from (them) and so we can thank them for what they did."

It was also the first anniversary to begin with a few minutes of bell tolls -- an important "gesture on the part of the Church", according to Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw.

Three clergymen joined Schudrich in reciting a prayer at the ceremony, where participants wore daffodil pins.

That was a hat tip to Marek Edelman, an uprising commander who every year until his death in 2009 laid a bouquet of the flowers -- yellow like the star marking Jews in World War II -- at the ghetto hero monument.

That memorial lies on the former site of the Jewish ghetto that was razed by the Germans and where the communist regime built housing directly on the rubble.

"Below the buildings, below the asphalt of the new streets, you'll find (the ghetto's) roots, with thousands of buried victims," tour guide Jacek Leociak told AFP.

The German parliament observed a minute of silence Friday in memory of the fighters.

"We recall with great humility the suffering, the self-sacrifice and the fight for freedom of the people of the Warsaw ghetto," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin.

Once Europe's Jewish heartland, Poland saw 90 percent of its 3.3 million pre-war Jews wiped out by 1945.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened Friday to bear witness to that thriving 1,000-year presence that was crippled by the Holocaust.

Crippled but not forgotten: On Thursday, hundreds of people gathered for a midnight concert that included Jewish songs.

"Do you hear that? Cantors are singing. Jewish culture is undergoing a revival in Warsaw," Zvi Rav-Ner, Israel's ambassador to Poland, told AFP.

"A nation vanished, but the culture wasn't burnt to ashes in the crematoriums," added Polish-Jewish actress Golda Tencer.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

April 22, 2013

First comprehensive museum retrospective of works by Urs Fischer opens at MOCA

Never before seen photographic portraits by Mario Testino on view at his cultural institute in Lima

Into darkness: The art of troop life in Afghanistan with Archibald portrait prize winner

Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp: One hundred years of contemporary art in half a cubic meter

The Ross Art Group: New York City art gallery to host Coney Island 'Sideshow' exhibit May 2-25

Solo exhibition of new resin sculptures and drawings by Peter Alexander opens at Quint Contemporary Art

Exhibition of new work by Martin Boyce opens at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Unique exhibition of photo maquettes by Chuck Close on view at Eykyn Maclean

Diamonds sparkle at Bonhams New York: Fine Jewelry Sales total over $5.3 million

Alan Gussow: Interrupted Spring" opens at Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York

First U.S. presentation of The Museum of Non Participation exhibition by artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

"Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship" at Americas Society in New York

Chrysler Museum roadshow takes the art into the air with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's "Airborne"

Bells toll for Warsaw ghetto uprising 70 years on

Will.I.Am records Mona Lisa song in Paris's Louvre

Absence, disappearance and loss of memory in the work of twelve Iranian artists

Rebecca Warren's 'The Living' opens at Kunstverein Munich

Judy Chicago contributor exhibits in New York's first non-art fair

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful