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Study and Theory/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Mordechai Tennenbaum

Letter from the Ghetto

From a letter by Mordechai Tennenbaum, who fell in the Bialystok Ghetto, to his friends in Israel:

We knew, there was no place for defense. The force that captured all of Europe and smashed entire countries in several days, could have been us, a smattering of young people. It was an act of desperation, of determination. We desired only one thing: to sell our lives for a price – as much as possible – the highest. We started preparations to defend ourselves.

We were in a continual race against the companies of destruction of Himmler: who would be ready first?


Would we succeed in preparing for our greatest and final act, or would “the action” come first and find us unprepared?

In most of the cases Himmler won. The SS soldiers and the Gestapo offices worked better than we did. But if we forced the German forces to destruct the Warsaw Ghetto in a prolonged battle with the help of tanks, air bombardments, land mines and mortars – we are not defeated.


I do not know if and when this letter will reach you my friends.

I wanted in these lines to establish a meagre memorial monument for those who have gone, who are lost already, who were most dear to me.

Do not forget them!

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