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The US State Secretary says the 1943 Bialystok Ghetto Uprising By Jews in Poland Was an Act of Bravery and dignity

By 08/16/2023 6:07 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


In a letter delivered to Poland on Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1943 Bialystok ghetto revolt, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken called it a “brave” effort that restored the dignity of Jews throughout the Holocaust.

The state secretary’s late stepfather, Samuel Pisar, one of the ghetto survivors, and Judith Pisar, Blinken’s mother, participated in the ceremonies in the eastern Polish city of Bialystok.

Mark Brzezinski, the American ambassador to Poland, was also present. In a prepared speech, Blinken said, “I see it as one of countless acts of resistance by Jews in ghettos and Nazi German concentration camps throughout Europe to reject their dehumanization and to reaffirm their dignity.”

Even though “survival was not on the cards” when the rebellion started on the night of August 16, 1943, he said that it was a gallant move. According to Blinken, the purpose of the uprising for its leaders was to “choose how, not whether they would die.”

The uprising, which was the second-largest single act of Jewish resistance against the Nazi Germans after the April 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, was commemorated by the participants, who included municipal officials and locals.

Both uprisings were brutally put down, and those who survived were deported to concentration camps.

Jews made up roughly 43% of Bialystok’s 100,000 residents before the war. Up until the rebellion, 60,000 Jews are believed to have passed through the city’s ghetto that Nazi Germany’s occupation created.

Fewer than 200 Jews, including Samuel Pisar, who was 13 at the time, were thought to have left the ghetto, according to historians. The Holocaust claimed the lives of his whole family.

Pisar passed away in New York in 2015. It was emphasized by Blinken that for Pisar, the words “never again” were insufficient as a deterrent to war and violence. “As we lose more and more survivors, the responsibility to relay and grapple with history passes to all of us,” he stated.


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