Roza Robota

Roza Robota (1921, Ciechanów – June 6, 1945) 1 or Róża Robota in Polish , 2 mentioned in other sources as Rojza, Rozia or Rosa, was the leader of a group of four women who resisted the Holocaust and were hung in the The extermination camp of Auschwitz for its role in the revolt of the Sonderkommandos the 7 of October of 1944.


He was born in Ciechanów , Poland , into a middle-class family; Róża had a brother and a sister. He was part of the Zionist Youth Movement of Hashomer Hatzair , where he had a clandestine activity after the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Róża his name commonly used Hebrew , Shohanah. The Perec Library, the most active Jewish cultural society in that city, was organized in the house of Izajasz (Isaiah) Robota at npumero 4 in Żydowska Ciechanów Street, where discussions were organized about Polish, Jewish and world literature, as well as works Theater, conferences and dances. 3


Roza was transported to the death camp in a train Holocaust during the dissolution of the ghetto Ciechanów in 1942. 2 he survived the selection and was assigned to Auschwitz II (Birkenau) where he became involved in the clandestine news spread among the prisoners. He worked in the clothing store adjacent to Crematorium III, where the bodies of the victims killed in the gas chambers were burned . He was recruited by other prisoners who organized clandestinely, to know his hometown, to smuggle “Schwarzpulver” ( gunpowder or dynamite according to different sources) 4 collected by women in the munitions factory “Weichsel” by Krupp , To deliver them to a Sonderkommando named Wróbel, 5 who was also a militant of the resistance. This schwartzpulver was used to make rudimentary grenades that helped to blow up the crematorium during the revolt of the Sonderkommando . In this task was aided by Hadassa Zlotnicka and Asir-Godel Zilber, also of Ciechanów, whom Robota apparently enlisted for the resistance. Together with other women who worked in Nazi factory were able to obtain, hide and bring men crematory, one to three teaspoons of schwartzpulver a day and not every day. The Sonderkommando flew the Crematorium III on October 6, 1944. 6

Robota and three other women (Ala Gertner, Estusia Wajcblum, and Regina Safirsztajn) were arrested by the Gestapo and tortured in block 23 but refused to reveal the names of the other participants of the operation. They were hanged on January 6, 1945. Robota was 23 years old. According to various witness testimony of the execution, she and her comrades shouted “Nekamah” (“Revenge!”), Or “Be strong” to their comrades who were present. Some people said that they shouted “Chazak V’amatz” (“Be strong and have courage” , the biblical phrase that God addresses to Joshua after the death of Moses.

The revolt caused 70 deaths among the SS and flew the roof of a crematorium. Because the Russian troops were at close range, and in an attempt to hide the evidence of the crimes, the Nazis attempted to destroy themselves four other crematoria.


In Yad Vashem , in Jerusalem , a monument was built in honor of Robota and the other three executed women.


  1. Back to top↑ «Robota, Rosa» (PDF) (in English) . Yad Vashem .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Patrycja Bukalska (January 20, 2010). «Róża Robota postanowiła walczyć, do końca» . Tygodnik Powszechny, Pamięć Auschwitz (4/2010) (in Polish) .
  3. Back to top↑ Martyna Sypniewska. «History Żydów w Ciechanowie» . Żydowski Instytut Historyczny (ŻIH), Dział Dokumentacji Zabytków; J. Szczepański, D. Piotrowicz (in Polish) . Wirtualny Sztetl.
  4. Back to top↑ Yuri Suhl. «Genocide: Ch. 7: The Camps, Part 1» . “Rose Robota-Heroine of the Auschwitz Underground” (in) They Fought Back: The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Nazi Europe (New York: Crown, 1967), pp. 219-225 . Simon Wiesenthal Center, Multimedia Learning.
  5. Back to top↑ Patterson, David (2002). “Lewental Salmen”. In David Patterson, et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Holocaust Literature , p. 112. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  6. Back to top↑ Yahil, Leni (1987). The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945 , p. 486. Oxford University Press.