Warsaw Passover
By Moshe Katz
CEO
Israeli Krav International 

April 19, 2019, Israel, Eve of Passover


April 19, 1943, Warsaw, Poland, Eve of Passover

It is the eve of Passover. Traditionally such a happy time as we remember and celebrate the exodus from Egypt, from slavery and degradation. This year we remember all those who are no longer with us; friends, parents, neighbors, rabbis, they have long since been taken away, sent to the "camps", and they traveled the Himmelstrasse, the road to heaven through the chimneys of the crematorium in Treblinka and Auschwitz.  

As we sit at the table, adorned with the best we have, as meager as it is, we wonder, will there ever be another Seder? is this the end of the Jewish nation, once so proud and strong, is this the end?

Some young Jews have finally organized, they know that the Nazis, the Germans, are coming, they know that soon the last Jews of Warsaw will be taken away. The Germans were planning to complete the deportation within 3 days. They came this afternoon but we chased them away. 

The youngest child asks, Ma Nishtana Halayla Hazeh mi col ha layloth? How is this night different from all other nights, as Jewish children have asked for more than 3,000 years. But this night is different for all this night the German soldiers will be running away. 

This afternoon as the German army entered the ghetto, the starved Jews greet them with home made weapons. The Germans are ambushed by Jewish insurgents firing and tossing Molotov cocktails and hand grenades from alleyways, sewers, and windows. We fight back. 

It is 1943, April, the 19th. Warsaw. How bleak the world feels to us Jews. 

At Muranowski Square the Jewish chief leader, Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum, is killed in action, but we fight back gloriously. Mordechai Anielewicz and Pawel Frankl lead the way. Young Jewish men and women fight back on the Festival of Freedom, on the eve of Passover. The blood of past warriors flows in their veins. Our heroes go up to heaven, in glorious flames. 

On the afternoon of 19 April, a symbolic event took place when two boys climbed up on the roof of a building on the square and raised two flags, the red-and-white Polis flag and the blue-and-white banner of the ŻZW (Jewish fighting force). These flags remained there, highly visible from the Warsaw streets, for four days.

April, 19, 1943, Warsaw, Poland, how tragic, how sad we feel. Is this the last Seder (Passover celebration) ever? Will this be the end of the once proud Nation of Israel? Will there be a little child alive next year to ask the 4 Questions of the Passover Seder? Will there ever be another Jewish father to lead the service?

We live like rats, in the sewers, underground, in bunkers with little air. We are hungry all the time. Our clothing is rags, we are cold. The world is silent. How far we are from our homes in Israel, how far we are from the great Kingdom of David and Solomon, Where is our Moses and Aaron to lead us?

Mordechai Anielewicz, only 22 years of age, writes...It is impossible to put into words what we have been through. What happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans fled twice from the ghetto... My life's dream has come true. Defense in the ghetto has become a fact. Armed Jewish resistance and revenge are actually happening. I have witnessed the glorious and heroic combat of the Jewish fighters.

Back to the future.....Silence, now a monument stands where once giants stood! I have been there, I have stood in silence were once Mordechai and his friends fought. They are still there, deep in the ground. I thank the Polish people for honoring their memory, for not using that prime property to build apartment buildings.

April 19, 2019, Israel, we are in the glorious state of Israel, much of the world is still against us. American "democratic" politicians rant and spew their hatred towards us. Europe is filled again with hate crimes. 

We sit in Israel, we celebrate Passover, a small child tonight will ask the traditional four questions, and yes, we know, that this is not the last Seder, this is not the last Passover. And we remember them all, Pavel, Mordechai, Yizhak Zukerman, Marek Edelman, Henryk Iwański  a Polish man who helped the Jewish people and was awarded the title Righteous among the Nations by Yad va Shem, Maurycy Orzech. We remember them all, the men, the women, the children. 


The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don't adjust! Revolt against the reality!


Mordechai Anielewicz


The enemy of the Reich, Jewish women and men, fighters against tyranny, Warsaw Ghetto Revolt, April 1943

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising  (Yiddish: אױפֿשטאַנד אין װאַרשעװער געטאָ‎; Polish: powstanie w getcie warszawskim; German: Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto)


Moshe inside the Warsaw Ghetto....