Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

The event known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on April 19, 1943 and ended on May 16, 1943. A total of 56,065 Jews were captured by the Germans during the uprising, and around 6,000 were killed during the destruction of the buildings in the ghetto.

All the photos on this page are from the photo album of Jürgen Stroop, the Commander of the SS troops who put down the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. There are 50 photos included in The Stroop Report, which documents the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto during this action.

In spite of the fact that the photo above is included in the Stroop Report, which was compiled during April and May, 1943, it was identified by Holocaust survivor Tsvi C. Nussbaum as a photo taken after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on July 13, 1943 in front of the Hotel Polski on the Aryan side of the Warsaw ghetto, where some Jews had been living as Gentiles. Nussbaum claims that he is the seven-year-old boy in the photo and that the woman on his left is his aunt. Since Nussbaum and his aunt had foreign passports, they were sent to the Bergen-Belsen detention camp as "exchange Jews."

The soldier, who is holding a gun on the little boy in the photo, was Josef Blösche; he was put on trial in East Germany after the war and was executed after being convicted of participating in the action to put down the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Beginning in June 1942, the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were transported to the Treblinka death camp on the Bug river, near the eastern border of German-occupied Poland, where they were immediately killed in gas chambers. Eventually, reports of the mass murder got back to the Warsaw Ghetto and a resistance organization called the Z.O.B. (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa) was formed to prevent any more deportations from the ghetto. The leader of the Z.O.B. was Mordecai Anielewicz.

In January 1943, the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto resisted the next round-up for deportation to Treblinka; the young Z.O.B fighters fired on German troops as they tried to get the Jews into railroad cars to be transported to the death camp. The Germans retreated after four days of fighting and the Jews began to prepare to hold out against future attempts to liquidate the ghetto.

The following quote is from the opening statement by Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal in which he reads from the Summary of the Stroop Report:

It is the original report of the SS Brigadier General Stroop in charge of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and its title page carries the inscription "The Jewish ghetto in Warsaw no longer exists." It is characteristic that one of the captions explains that the photograph (the photo shown at the top of this page) concerned shows the driving out of Jewish "bandits"; those whom the photograph shows being driven out are almost entirely women and little children. It contains a day-by-day account of the killings mainly carried out by the SS organization, too long to relate, but let me quote General Stroop's summary:

"The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could only be suppressed by energetic actions of our troops day and night. The Reichsfuehrer SS ordered, therefore, on 4/23/1943, the cleaning out of the ghetto with utter ruthlessness and merciless tenacity. I, therefore, decided to destroy and burn down the entire ghetto without regard to the armament factories. These factories were systematically dismantled and then burned. Jews usually left their hideouts, but frequently remained in the burning buildings and jumped out of the windows only when the heat became unbearable. They then tried to crawl with broken bones across the street into buildings which were not afire. Sometimes they changed their hideouts during the night into the ruins of burned buildings. Life in the sewers was not pleasant after the first week. Many times we could hear loud voices in the sewers. SS men or policemen climbed bravely through the manholes to capture these Jews. Sometimes they stumbled over Jewish corpses: sometimes they were shot at. Tear gas bombs were thrown into the manholes and the Jews driven out of the sewers and captured. Countless numbers of Jews were liquidated in sewers and bunkers through blasting. The longer the resistance continued the tougher became the members of the Waffen SS, Police and Wehrmacht who always discharged their duties in an exemplary manner. Frequently Jews who tied to replenish their food supplies during the night or to communicate with neighboring groups were exterminated.

"This action eliminated," says the SS commander, "a proved total of 56,065. To that, we have to add the number killed through blasting, fire, etc., which cannot be counted." (1061- PS)


Marek Edelmann - last survivor of the uprising

Ghetto Heroes

Mila 18

Ghetto Wall

Nozyk Synagogue

The Ghetto


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This page was last updated on March 10, 2010