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Study and Theory/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Speech by Yitzhak Zukerman

The night of the decision about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto

pursuant to testimonies of the participants, September, 1942

We will be destroyed: the situation is that we will be destroyed, however our honour will be saved, days will come and they will remember: that the youth of this nation arose, helpless, and it saved the honour as far as it was able. Several members spoke, one at a time in their fashion.

The significance was one, the desperation had taken control of the emotions. The emotions demanded acts.  In an air of absolute desperation, it was difficult to hear anything else. Nevertheless I said: the emotions are genuine however the conclusions are erroneousl


The fracture is great and the shame is great. However the act that you are suggesting is an act of desperation. It will expire without an echo. The damage to the enemy will be little. The youth will die. Our gains until now are innumerable failures and we will gain more defeats. We need to start again.


The action is over at the moment. It is possible that there will days of relative truce. Perhaps for weeks and perhaps even for months. Every day is a win. Arieh needs to return and go out to the Aryan side. Again we need to search for new contacts, in return for money that we raise in the ghetto. We will buy weapons ourselves from private traders.

We need to fight to the end against the evil Jews. If not for the Jewish betrayal the Germans would not have taken control so quickly and easily of the ghetto. Perhaps we will still be able to succeed...


Firstly there was general annoyance. They blamed me that I was intending to prevent the final possible action. If we don’t go out onto the streets, there will not be enough strength tomorrow to do even that. He is clipping our wings....the argument was serious. The atmosphere was blazing. But little by little some sober voices of moderation were heard. The atmosphere cooled down. Practical suggestions were made. It was a very crucial night for the fighting Jewish Irgun. It was decided to wait and start again in building the Jewish fighting force. And using all the means and the strength available to us, inhuman means.


On that night the fate of the January uprising and the fate of the uprising of April 1943 were inaugurated.

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