Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Some groups of Jews organized to fight the Nazis.

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Impact of the Revolt

The revolt in the Warsaw ghetto had broad implications. The Poles were impressed with the revolt and realized that even a handful of people, with a minimal amount of weapons, could cause great damage to the enemy in city fighting, and could tie down large forces.

For the Jews, the revolt in the Warsaw ghetto motivated the underground cells and fighting organizations in other areas--Bialystok, Vilna, Cracow, Czestochowa, Bendin--to fight and maybe die rather than fall into the hands of the Nazi conquerors. It also inspired others to escape to the forests, where they joined the partisans.

The Nazis learned a lesson from Warsaw as well. If they believed that the Jews would not resist, they were suddenly aware that the Jews could organize and fight with great valor and sacrifice. This was one of the reasons why they took steps to prevent further large-scale revolts in the deportations of Jews from other ghettos.

The revolt in the Warsaw ghetto, and the revolts in the ghettos in general, became a symbol for those who fought for the independence of Israel, as well as a beacon for all of humanity. It has taught us how a small handful of people, without hope, in complete isolation, and in a depressed physical and mental state, could overcome all obstacles and embark on a heroic struggle.

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Yisrael Guttman

Yisrael Guttman, previously Yad Vashem's Chief Historian and Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, is Yad Vashem's Academic Advisor. He was a member of the Jewish Underground in the Warsaw ghetto, and he survived Auschwitz.