Christians and Jews to march in memory of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Christians and Jews are to march on Sunday to sites commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which started in the Polish capital 75 years ago.

The Polish Council of Christians and Jews organised the march which will be led by Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, Catholic Bishop Rafał Markowski and Reformed Evangelical Church Pastor Michał Jabłoński.

The march will start at the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes and end at Umschlagplatz, the site from Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were transported to Nazi German death camps.

Along the way marchers will stop by a number of sites, including a Righteous Tree which commemorates people who risked their lives trying to save Jews during WWII and a monument to Szmul Zygielbojm – a Jewish-Polish politician who committed suicide in protest of the indifference of the Allied governments in the face of the Holocaust.

Marchers will also pause at the site of a former underground hideout for the Jewish Combat Organisation, which was a key player in the uprising and at a monument to Janusz Korczak, a teacher at an orphanage in the ghetto who escorted nearly 200 of his students to the Treblinka death camp, where he died alongside them.

The Warsaw ghetto, which was established in April 1940, was the largest of the numerous ghettos which the Germans set up across Poland to isolate the Jewish population after invading the country in September 1939.

Around 460,000 people were crammed behind the ghetto’s walls. More than 300,000 of them were sent to the Treblinka death camp. In April 1943, the Nazis decided to wipe out the remaining tens of thousands of ghetto inhabitants. This sparked an uprising that broke out on April 19, 1943.

It was quashed less than a month later with the bombing and burning of buildings in the ghetto, street-by-street, and the rounding-up or murder of residents.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the first uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe and the largest act of armed resistance by Jews in World War II.

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