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The battle of the Warsaw Ghetto continues

 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising -
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – Photo from Jürgen Stroop Report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943. The original German caption reads: “Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs”.

An iconic image of World War II. People identified in the picture:
Identity of the boy in the front was not confirmed, but is possibly Artur Dab Siemiatek, Levi Zelinwarger (next to his mother, Chana Zelinwarger) or Tsvi Nussbaum.
Hanka Lamet – small girl on the left
Matylda Lamet Goldfinger – Hanka’s mother next to her (second from the left)
Leo Kartuziński – teenaged boy in the background with white bag on his shoulder
Golda Stavarowski – in the background, first woman from the right, with one hand raised
Josef Blösche – SS man with gun, was executed in 1969

I have looked at the given photocopy. Concerning the person in the SS uniform, standing in the foreground of a group of SS members and holding a sub-machine gun in firing position and wearing a steel helmet with motorcycle goggles, this is me.

The picture shows that I, as a member of the Gestapo office in the Warsaw Ghetto, together with a group of SS members, am driving a large number of Jewish citizens out from a house. The group of Jewish citizens is comprised predominantly of children, women and old people, driven out of a house through a gateway, with their arms raised.

The Jewish citizens were then led to the so-called Umschlagplatz, from which they were transported to the extermination camp Treblinka.

Statement made by Josef Blösche following his arrest in 1969. For more analysis of the picture see Action Reinhard.

The unequal struggle between the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and the SS continued. Renewed attempts had been made by the Nazis to close down the ghetto on the 19th April. They intended to murder all the occupants, either immediately by shooting them or by sending them to the extermination ‘camp’ at Treblinka.

With very few weapons available to them the Jews had put up what resistance they could. Now they were being hunted down by SS troops who systematically worked through the ghetto, forcing people out of hiding or burning down the the buildings in which hid. The daily reports of SS-und Polizeifuehrer Stroop documented the actions of the Nazis:

Progress of the Action on April 25, 1943, Begun at 1:00 P.M.

Seven shock troops for thorough combing were formed for today, at a strength of 1/70, to which each was assigned a specific block of houses.

Mission: “Repeated thorough combing of all buildings, identification of bunkers and their blowing up, as well as capture of Jews. Where they meet any resistance or bunkers cannot be reached, the buildings are to be burnt to the ground.”

In addition to the activity of these 7 shock troops for thorough combing, a special mission was undertaken against a bandit nest lying outside the former ghetto wall, which was inhabited only by Poles.

Today’s mission ended for almost all of the shock troops with the breaking out of giant fires which caused the Jews to leave their hiding places and refuges. In total, 1690 Jews were captured alive. According to stories from the Jews, there have definitely also been parachutists dropped here and bandits who have been supplied weapons from an unknown location. 274 Jews were shot, and as on other days, uncounted Jews were buried alive in the blown-up bunkers and, as near as can be determined, burned. With today’s bounty of Jews, a very large portion of the bandits and lowest elements of the Ghetto has, in my opinion, been captured. Immediate liquidation was not carried out due to the onset of darkness.

I will attempt to obtain a train for T II for tomorrow, otherwise the liquidations will be carried out tomorrow. Also today repeated armed resistance took place and in one bunker 3 pistols and explosive charges were captured. Further today, significant supplies of paper money, currency, gold coins and items of jewelry were secured. The Jews still control possessions of significant value. If last night the former ghetto was covered with the glare of fire, then today a giant sea of fire can be seen. Since the thorough combings, carried out in accordance with plans and the rules, revealed ever more Jews in large numbers, the Action will be continued on April 26, 1943. Start: 10:00 A.M.

The full report is available to read at the Jewish Virtual Library.

 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising - Photo from Jürgen Stroop Report
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – Photo from Jürgen Stroop Report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943. The original German caption reads: “Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs”. Captured Jews are led by German soldiers to the assembly point for deportation. The woman at the head of the column, on the left, is Yehudit Neyer (born Tolub). She is holding onto the right arm of her mother-in-law. The child is the daughter of Yehudit and her father, Avraham Neyer, who can be seen to the girl’s left. Avraham was a member of the Bund. Of the four, only Avraham survived the war. He currently lives in Israel. Picture taken at Nowolipie street looking East, near intersection with Smocza street. On the right townhouse at Nowolipie 63 further the ghetto wall with a gate, behind the wall one can see burning house Nowolipie 61. On the left burning balcony of the townhouse Nowolipie 66.

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