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Daffodils handed out in Poland to mark Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 19.04.2016 09:10
For the fourth year in a row, thousands of paper daffodils will be handed out across Poland as the 73rd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is marked.
The slogan on the t-shirts reads 'Memory Connects Us'. Photo: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish JewsThe slogan on the t-shirts reads 'Memory Connects Us'. Photo: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The Jewish insurgency against the Polish capital's Nazi German occupiers was launched on 19 April 1943, with about 1,000 poorly armed partisans taking up the fight.

Official commemorations will begin at midday at Warsaw's Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. Participants in the ceremony will then walk on a fixed route through the former ghetto.

At 5:00 pm, the Association of Jewish Combatants will present medals to figures who have been active in promoting Polish-Jewish dialogue, with the ceremony taking place at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Some 50,000 paper daffodils have been prepared, and they will be handed out on the streets of the capital.

The action was initiated by the POLIN Museum in 2013, on the 70th anniversary of the rising.

Daffodils are associated with noted insurgent and later Solidarity activist Marek Edelman, who placed daffodils at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes each year on the anniversary of the uprising.

The flowers mark a poignant contrast with the yellow stars that Jews were made to wear during the Nazi German occupation.

The insurgency

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began after the Germans launched the second large wave of deportations from the ghetto, which started on 18 January 1943.

Two resistance formations, the Jewish Military Union (ŻZW) and the Jewish Combat Organisation (ŻOB), took control of the ghetto.

The uprising was launched on 19 April, with insurgents holding out for close to a month, until the revolt was finally crushed on 16 May 1943.

It is estimated that about 13,000 Jews died in the ghetto during the revolt. It had been the largest ghetto created by the Germans on Polish soil. The majority of the captured survivors were transported to death camps, marking the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Some surving Jewish combatants, including Marek Edelman, later fought in the Warsaw Uprising, launched by Poland's underground Home Army (AK) on 1 August 1944. (nh/pk)

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