Letter from Mordecai Anielewicz
Warsaw Ghetto Revolt
(April 23, 1943)
It is impossible to put
into words what we have been through. One thing is clear, what
happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans ran twice from the
ghetto. One of our companies held out for 40 minutes and another –
for more than 6 hours. The mine set in the "brushmakers"
area exploded. Several of our companies attacked the dispersing
Germans. Our losses in manpower are minimal. That is also an
achievement. Y. [Yechiel] fell. He fell a hero, at the machine-gun.
I feel that great things are happening and what we dared do is of
great, enormous importance....
Beginning from today we
shall shift over to the partisan tactic. Three battle companies will
move out tonight, with two tasks: reconnaissance and obtaining arms.
Do you remember, short-range weapons are of no use to us. We use
such weapons only rarely. What we need urgently: grenades, rifles,
machine-guns and explosives.
It is impossible to
describe the conditions under which the Jews of the ghetto are now
living. Only a few will be able to hold out. The remainder will die
sooner or later. Their fate is decided. In almost all the hiding
places in which thousands are concealing themselves it is not
possible to light a candle for lack of air.
With the aid of our
transmitter we heard the marvelous report on our fighting by the
"Shavit" radio station. The fact that we are remembered
beyond the ghetto walls encourages us in our struggle. Peace go with
you, my friend! Perhaps we may still meet again! The dream of my
life has risen to become fact. Self-defense in the ghetto will have
been a reality. Jewish armed resistance and revenge are facts. I
have been a witness to the magnificent, heroic fighting of Jewish
men in battle.
Ghetto, April 23, 1943
[M. Kann], Na
oczach swiata ("In the Eyes of the World"), Zamosc,
1932 [i.e., Warsaw, 1943], pp. 33-34.
* Written to Yitzhak