Sirens will sound in the Polish capital on Monday, in commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, PAP reported.
“At noon, on the 78th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the sirens of the province’s warning and alarm system will be activated in the capital to commemorate the heroes of this uprising,” PAP reported, adding that “the continuous signal will be triggered in the capital and will last one minute.”
Poland’s former health minister Konstanty Radziwiłł, a member of the aristocratic Radziwiłł family, issued a statement saying, “This is how we want to commemorate the Heroes and draw the attention of residents to this event.”
The Warsaw ghetto was razed to the ground on April 20, 1943, as a gift to Adolf Hitler on his 54th birthday. The demise of the ghetto began on April 19 when the Jews refused to surrender to the police commander SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, who ordered the burning of the ghetto, block by block, an operation that ended on May 16. Some 13,000 Jews died, half of them burnt alive or suffocated. German casualties were fewer than 150, with 93 wounded.
It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II. The Jews knew that the uprising was doomed, and, as Marek Edelman, the only surviving uprising commander, put it, their aim was “to pick the time and place of our deaths.”
After the summer of 1942, when more than a quarter of a million Jews were deported from the ghetto to Treblinka and murdered, the remaining Jews began to build bunkers and smuggle weapons and explosives into the ghetto. The left-wing Jewish Combat Organization (ŻOB) and right-wing Jewish Military Union (ŻZW) formed and began to train. A small resistance effort during another roundup, in January 1943, was partially successful and spurred Polish resistance groups to support the Jews in earnest.
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews will conduct its “Daffodils” campaign, promoting knowledge about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The daffodil became a symbol of the memory of the events of the spring of 1943 thanks to Edelman, who each year, on the anniversary of the uprising, placed a bouquet of daffodils at the Monument to the Ghetto Warsaw Heroes.
This year, the POLIN Museum decided to launch a thematic action devoted to the memory of women who fought in the Warsaw ghetto, the coordinator of Daffodils Zofia Bojańczyk told PAP.
“There were also women, often very young, who fought hand in hand with their friends in the uprising, carried weapons, served as liaison officers, and wore grenades in their coats. They showed incredible courage but also spoke very modestly about this experience. The survivors didn’t even call it heroism. And we want to dedicate this anniversary and the accompanying program to the Daffodils campaign to them,” Bojończyk said.
The museum will hand out paper daffodils for locals to pin on their shirts. The POLIN Museum website also offers a template for the self-assembly of a paper daffodil.