Warsaw church bells to toll on ghetto uprising anniversary
PR dla Zagranicy
Warsaw bishops have said that the bells of all of the city’s Roman Catholic churches will toll at noon on Thursday as a tribute to the victims of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; photo from Jürgen Stroop's report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943; National Archives and Records Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A wide range of events is planned for the day in the Polish capital, with the participation of President Andrzej Duda and top-ranking government officials and parliamentary leaders, to mark 75 years since the revolt, in which Jewish fighters took up arms against Poland’s German invaders.
In the evening, a concert is due to be held in front of the Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus and Polish soloists. The programme includes the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the famous choral finale based on the Ode to Joy theme, as well as a piece by young Polish composer Radzimir Dębski written especially for the occasion.
The Warsaw ghetto, which was established in April 1940, was the largest of the numerous ghettos which the Germans set up across Poland to isolate the Jewish population after invading the country in September 1939.
Around 460,000 people were crammed behind the ghetto’s walls. More than 300,000 of them were sent to the Treblinka death camp. In April 1943, the Nazis decided to wipe out the remaining tens of thousands of ghetto inhabitants. This sparked an uprising that broke out on April 19, 1943 and lasted until May 16.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the first uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe and the largest act of armed resistance by Jews in World War II.