April 19th 1943
Germans entered the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began and would last until May 16, 1943. The ghetto had lost 300,000 souls already due to deportations and murders that started in the summer of 1942. April 19 was the eve of Passover (Germans love massacring people on Jewish holidays) and the Germans were sent to liquidate the last members of the Ghetto. The streets were empty and the people were hiding in bunkers or apartments – the entry of the Germans was the signal to fight back. Grenades and pistols had been made or obtained and 12 Germans were injured or killed on the first day. The Germans had to retreat outside the ghetto walls. On the 3rd day of the uprising the Germans began setting many of the buildings on fire, forcing people out or burning them alive. Although the uprising was crushed within the first week, pockets of resistance fighters continued to battle the Nazis for almost a month. The Ghetto was destroyed completely on May 16, 1943. 912 days of the Warsaw Ghetto finally concluded, the end of hundreds of years of Polish Jewry. Vladka Meed describes the horrors in the video below.