Mordechai Anielewicz

Mordejai Anielevich (pronounced in English: Mordechai Anilewich ( 1919 – 8 May 1943 ) was the commander of the Jewish Wrestling Organization ( Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa , Polish ), also known as ŻOB , during the Warsaw ghetto uprising during The Second World War .

Childhood and youth

Anielevich was born in Wyszków , northeast of Warsaw . His mother Charel and his father Abraham were then masters of a small store. They moved after Mordechai’s birth to Povishla, a poor neighborhood in the suburbs of Warsaw by the Vistula River .

Anielewicz entered the Zionist – socialist youth movement ” Hashomer Hatzair ” after finishing high school in the Gymnasium of Wyszków.

Invasion and German occupation

The 7 of September of 1939 , a week after Germany attacked Poland , Anielewicz escaped with his comrades to the East in the hope that the army of Poland slow down the German advance. When the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the East, three weeks after Germany, Anielewicz tried to make a move towards Romania with the intention of helping the Jews escape Palestine . However, his plan failed and was captured by the Soviets and released shortly after. Then Anielewicz went to live in the ghetto of Warsaw .

When he heard that the main Polish Jewish groups had escaped Vilnius , in Lithuania , then under Soviet rule, Anielewicz traveled there and tried to convince his compatriots to return to Poland to help in the fight against the occupation Nazi . He returned to Warsaw in 1940 with his girlfriend Mira Fuchrer, where he organized guerrilla groups in the Ghetto, participated in the making of clandestine publications, organized meetings and seminars, and traveled to other cities to establish contact with other insurgent groups.

In the summer of 1942 , Anielewicz was in southwest Poland, then annexed to Germany under the name of Province of Upper Silesia , attempting to organize the Jewish defensive forces. When he returned to Warsaw, he found that during his absence had happened a massive deportation of Jews to the death camp of Treblinka , and only 60,000 of the 350,000 Jews remaining in the ghetto original. He joined the ŻOB, and in November was elected commander in chief. At the beginning of 1943 , he established communication with Armia Krajowa , the Polish Territorial Army, receiving arms from this Polish group in exile.

Rise of the Ghetto and death

On January 18, 1943, the Germans attempted to carry out the second shipment by deporting the remaining Jews to the concentration camps, but ŻOB and ŻZW expelled the surprised Germans. This incident, in which Anielewicz played a fundamental role, was the one that initiated the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto .

On April 19 the Germans launched their counterattack, managing to reduce the Jewish resistance. But the defenders of the ghetto continued hiding in the drains and the basements of the same, although without giving an organized resistance.

On May 8 , Anielewicz, his girlfriend Mira Fuchrer and many of the ŻOB leaders committed suicide in their bunker in the Ghetto [1] , shortly before the Germans occupied the building on Mila 18 Street , where he was The headquarters of the Jewish rebels. On 16 May the fighting in the Ghetto ended, although some insurgents remained hidden there until the summer. Anielewicz’s body was never found, believed to have been carried along with other Jews to the crematoria where they were incinerated. However, the inscription on the monument erected next to Mila 18’s bunker says it is buried there. Thus it is written: ” Tomb of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Fighters … These ruins of the Mila 18 Bunker Hill are the last resting place of the commanders and combatants of the Jewish Combat Organization, as well as of some civilians Among them is Mordechai Anielewicz, the commander-in-chief … In the bunker … there are more than a hundred combatants, only some of whom are known by name. Remember that the whole earth is his tomb.

At the beginning of 1944 the constitutional government of Poland , exiled in London , gave post-mortem the Polish military cross, Virtuti Militari .

A Kibbutz located in Israel , apart from having erected a statue of Mordechai Anielewicz there, took the name of Yad Mordechai in memory of his heroism and surrender, and in Wyszków, his native city, a monument was also erected in his memory.