Daffodils project, a remembrance concert mark Warsaw Ghetto Uprising anniversary
The 6th edition of the "Daffodils" educational campaign devoted to the World War Two Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as well as a commemorative concert will mark the approaching 74th anniversary of the 1943 revolt (April 19).
Hosted by the Warsaw-based POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Daffodils project aims to spread knowledge about the uprising, mounted by Warsaw's Jews in full awareness of their certain defeat by the Germans in order to die fighting and thus escape the Holocaust. Working on this year's Daffodils will be a record number volunteers, over 1500, who will walk Warsaw's streets handing out paper daffodils to passers-by as a memento of the event.
Every year, schools, libraries and other institutions countrywide contribute to the event.
The celebrations will culminate in an evening concert by the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra next to Warsaw's Ghetto Heroes Memorial. On the programme is the 4th Movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which in 1942 was secretly rehearsed by the Warsaw ghetto's Jewish Symphony Orchestra despite it being forbidden, by the Germans, to play music by non-Jewish composers.
The Daffodils campaign is under the honorary patronage of the Polish President, among its countrywide official ambassadors are Polish celebrities.
Entry to the April 19 observances will be free of charge.
The Warsaw ghetto was the biggest in German-occupied Poland, housing as many as 460,000 Jews in its peak period between January and March, 1941. The first stage of its liquidation, ordained under Germany's Reinhard Plan foreseeing the total annihilations of Jews in Europe, was launched on July 22, 1942, and continued until August 21.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising broke out on April 19, 1943, in the final phase of the ghetto's liquidation launched by the Germans a few months earlier. The insurgency, which lasted until May 16, was a symbolic act with little or no chance of success. In an uneven, almost one-month-long struggle, the poorly-armed fighters of the Jewish Combat Organisation (ZOB) and the Jewish Military Union (ZZW) stood up to overwhelming SS and Wehrmacht forces, the Security Police and auxiliaries.
On May 8, 1943, the then commander of the uprising, Mordechaj Anielewicz, together with a group of ZOB soldiers committed suicide in a bunker at 18 Mila Street. Just a handful of fighters managed to escape from the burning ghetto through the sewage system. Among them was the last commander of the uprising, Marek Edelman.
It is presumed that about 6,000 insurgents died in the fighting. Survivors were mostly deported to concentration camps. What remained from the Warsaw ghetto was razed to the ground by German troops led by SS General Juergen Stroop. Stroop was tried, convicted, and hanged for crimes against humanity in Poland on March 6, 1952.