It’s Your Turn

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Also at http://blog.jamesfbrody.com/?ci=23323 or http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/it-s-your-turn and reposted by Katie Baker at http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/james-brody-it-s-your-turn

Dr. Marek Edelman was one of five who led the Jewish rebellion in Warsaw between 1941 and 1943. The ghetto started with 600,000 members, more than 350,000 filled trains bound for Treblinka, trains that came back to Warsaw empty the next morning.

The Germans surrounded the northern quarter of Warsaw, built high fences, and installed sentry boxes. They also installed a Jewish Council (a “Judenrat”), Jewish Police, and Ukrainian Police that were directed by German commanders and German troops. The Jews cooperated, hoping to save a later Jewish nation by spilling some Jewish blood now. Besides, they never considered the possibilities of gas poisoning and cremation where they would be burned in alternating layers so that women’s fat would kindle the men.

Jews were first excluded from professional jobs, property ownership, and political participation and directed into the Ghetto, at first from surrounding Warsaw and then from surrounding towns. Jewish caloric intake was restricted as, systematically, were the kinds of jobs and amount of money they were allowed to have. The Jewish community continued schools for their children who also snatched packages from passing strangers, sometimes gorging bread and sometimes soap. Any question of an order led to a bullet. Sitting and doing nothing earned you a bullet. And the crowded conditions and limited medicines meant that Generals Typhus, Spotted Fever, and TB attacked every ghetto member.

Edelman’s band eventually got pistols (ten at first, later a hundred) and one machine gun from the Polish Home Army. Edelman’s younger soldiers made napalm and land mines that sometimes killed 100 Germans with a button push. They fought from rooftops, second story balconies, basements, and sewer pipes. There were fewer than 60,000 in September 1942 when the Jews finally believed what they heard of announced German intentions. Edelman’s force eventually consisted for fewer than 1000.

The German army – even with tanks, cannon, and planes – could not break the Jewish resistance, and all oppressed people, Jewish or not, learned that Germans could feel terror and could die. Eventually, the entire ghetto burned but the remaining partisans spent thirty-six hours in booby-trapped, shit-filled sewers and came out in a free intersection where trucks picked them up for delivery to resistance groups. A few dozen escaped to the snow-carpeted forests.

The entire nightmare started with clear announcements from Hitler and his commanders…just as we now hear from some of our leaders in Washington…Do you believe it?

References

Edelman, Davies, and Uris tell substantially the same story. Kuznetsov tells the story as it happened in Kiev. And Goldberg lines up neatly the concepts of socialism and fascism when he calls them the same.

Davies, Norman (2005) Rising ‘44: The Battle for Warsaw. NY: Penguin.

Edelman, Marek (1995) The Ghetto Fights: Warsaw, 1941-1943. London: Bookmarks.

Goldberg, Jonah (2007) Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. NY: Doubleday.

Kuznetsov, A (Anatoli) (1970) Babi Yar. New York: Washington Square.

Uris, Leon (1961/1983) Mila 18. NY: Bantam.


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