HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
The Holocaust Memorial Day and Day for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity is commemorated on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In the early morning of 19 April 1943, German army and police units entered the Warsaw Ghetto, which, in accordance with Heinrich Himmler's orders, were to carry out the final liquidation of the Jewish residential quarter of Warsaw.
On that day, the Jews locked behind the walls seized their weapons. The Uprising not only irreversibly changed the landscape of occupied Warsaw, but was also one of the key events in the history of the German concentration camp in Lublin.
The determined resistance demonstrated that day by soldiers from the Jewish Combat Organisation and the Jewish Military Union, which started the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 80 years ago, was one of the greatest acts of resistance put up by Jews against the Third Reich. From a military point of view, the resistance of the Jewish fighters had no chance of success. Their aim, however, was not victory, but a dignified death with arms in their hands, as well as retaliation against the German and Austrian oppressors under the sign of the swastika.
The period from late April to mid-May 1943 was the time of the largest influx of Jewish prisoners sent to Majdanek from the Warsaw Ghetto. At that time, a total of approximately 19,500 deportees was sent on trains departing from the Umschlagplatz to KL Lublin.
The new arrivals were subject to preliminary selections carried out by doctors and orderlies in SS uniforms. Many of the deportees were murdered in the gas chambers shortly after arriving at KL Lublin. For those deemed "fit for labour", the Gehenna of camp life awaited them among thousands of other prisoners. In mid-May 1943, there were 17,527 Jewish men and women in the camp, the highest number in the history of Majdanek. The vast majority of those deported to KL Lublin from the Warsaw ghetto did not survive the war. The Jews who survived the following months behind the wires of Majdanek were murdered during Operation Erntefest on 3 November 1943. The few survivors included those who were sent to other camps, including Auschwitz. Among those who survived the hell of the Holocaust through such circumstances were Halina Birenbaum and Israel Gutman.
80 years later, we are connected through the commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust and the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (#ŁączyNasPamięć), which is why we are presenting a unique testimony from the time of the Holocaust - "Maryla's Diary", which will be discussed during two meetings around the book.