The Last Seder in the Warsaw Ghetto

Passover 1943, an act of great spiritual defiance.

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During the Nazi occupation of the Warsaw Ghetto, despite the hunger, typhus and dysentery, the Jews did their best to celebrate Passover.

But Passover of 1943 was different.

The Nazis started deporting Jews to Treblinka in January, 1943.

The final liquidation of the ghetto was scheduled for the night of Passover.

On April 18th, the eve of Passover, Germans soldiers were ready to empty the ghetto.

Jewish resistance fighters were stationed on rooftops…

While below the last remaining Jews of Warsaw held a Seder, expressing their dignity, pride and hope.

Throughout the night, despite the increasing sounds of enemy fire, many resistance fighters attended the Seder of Rabbi Meisels...

engrossed in the retelling of the Jewish people’s redemption from Egypt.

“The Rabbi’s reading was punctuated by explosions and the rattling of machine-guns; the faces of the family around the table were lit by the red light from the burning buildings nearby.” Tuvia Borzykowsk,i 29 years old at the time

Itzchak Milchberg sat in his uncle’s bunker that night, crammed with 60 people, with the sound of shooting surrounded them.

Itzchak’s uncle whispered in his ear:

“You may die, but if you die, you’ll die as a Jew. If we live, we live as Jews.”

“If you live, you’ll tell your children and grandchildren about this.”

Itzhak remembers that his uncle had matzah at the seder but no bitter herbs.

“There was plenty of bitterness already.”

A large SS unit attempted to deport the remaining Jews to their deaths, but they encountered fierce fighting from the Jewish resistance.

The Warsaw ghetto uprising will be remembered as the greatest physical resistance during the Holocaust.

Spiritually, the Seder that took place below its charred streets that night can continue to inspire generations of Jews

who refused to be broken even at the darkest of times.


Comments (8)

(8) Angela Gluck, April 13, 2020 1:25 PM

Factual error

The deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka began on 22 July 1942 (nor January 1943, as stated in your article).

(7) david, April 9, 2020 8:23 PM

I love being Jewish

very brave and totally devoted to God's will.

(6) Elizabeth Bryce, April 8, 2020 8:53 PM

Very touching and sad but also amazing that amidst all the horror these brave human beings put up such a fight and held on steadfast to their faith

(5) William J. Levy, April 8, 2020 4:23 PM

It never should have happened!

The Warsaw Ghetto established in 1939 and the uprising was in 1943, 4 years later and how many dead Jews?

If only the 600,000 German Jews had destroyed Hitler and his Nazis in the 1920's there would never have been a Holocaust and there would be millions of Jews alive today.

Jews love to say "Never Again!". I simply say "Why Not?"

Jews, not counting the real Israelis, are the Perfect Enemy and we have no UNITY so Jews die in lone attacks in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, in synagogues and elsewhere and Jews do nothing.

Try doing that to the Blacks.

I think of the parents of Anne Frank and the secret hiding place they built as did probably of thousands of Jews instead of uniting and fighting the Nazis.

We were THE PERFECT ENEMY because we posed no threat to these killers and Jews like Elie Wiesel and on 60 Minutes the other night a Holocaust survivor forgave the Nazis.

What a Chaval and Boucha and that is why Jews will always die because we don't kill them first as it is written in our Torah.

AM ISRAEL CHAI

(4) Elisha Benjamin Ankri, April 8, 2020 4:51 AM

This video along with the music and dialogue, "touched my ❤" Indeed, many are dying daily due to the corona virus but during the holocaust, individuals were forced to die regardless of age, health, religion, job, or any one affiliated as being known as a "Jew!" We will try our best to have an individual Seder on Passover. These Seders although, alone, allow us to reflect on the Seders of our past and the ones we will attend in the near future as a "proud Jewish people" that continues to survive?????

(3) Rachel Kapen, April 7, 2020 4:30 PM

This year it׳s especially important to remember that Seder.

This year we are not going to have our family and friends at our Seder because of the virus and many of us resent that fact. However, unlike the one at the Warsaw Ghetto, there will hopefully be another one for us next year. We ought to remember that.

(2) Anonymous, April 7, 2020 11:54 AM

Rx

Their hearts were broken their spirit was not.

(1) Anonymous, April 5, 2020 10:02 PM

That was so moving. Thank you.

I am crying right now from this video. It was so beautiful. I'm going to retell it as best as I can to the American boys in my yeshiva in Israel with whom I will God willing be spending this year's Seder. Thank you so much. May we all have a wonderfull Pesach and year.

 

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