The German Army crushed the doomed Jewish uprising on May 16th, 1943 after a month of heroic resistance by young Ghetto fighters.
It is an event meticulously documented by both Nazi military administrators and Jewish historians within the ghetto itself.
In the historical narrative of World War II, the Warsaw Ghetto is a relatively unambiguous footnote.
Outside of Israel, the tragedy is of little to no interest to anyone—even to Diaspora Jews living in the United States.
About 20 years ago, I heard a secondhand story about a distinguished Holocaust historian who was interviewed by a member of the mainstream press. The reporter asked the scholar if there were any relevant lessons for today's young people from the Holocaust.
There was a pause, and the sage sardonically quipped—"I hope not."
Alas, there are some very obvious contemporary lessons and warnings for both Jews and Gentiles.
- Jew-hatred knows no bounds—especially in Europe.
- Education and high culture do not cure violent anti-Semitism—but often inflame it.
- If Jews cannot or will not actively defend themselves, they will likely end up dead or marginalized.
- Memories of our ancestors make us who we are—wherever we are.
My online Warsaw Ghetto art gallery was something of a catharsis for me. There was a release and relief from strong repressed emotions. Creating art is widely believed to be a therapeutic tool for coping with fear, depression, and anxiety.
It is my hope that these deeply disturbing images of inhumanity in the Warsaw Ghetto will in some small way help you reclaim your own humanity in a world still very much plagued by the mass murder of innocent civilians, pestilence, and sadistic cruelty.