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The Info List - Mordechai Anielewicz


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World War II
World War II

* Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising †

AWARDS

* Cross of Valour * Cross of Grunwald , 3rd class

MORDECHAI ANIELEWICZ (1919 – 8 May 1943) was the leader of Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (English: Jewish Combat Organization), also known as ŻOB, during the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising from January to May 1943. His predecessor in command was Pinkus Kartin .

CONTENTS

* 1 Biography * 2 Honours * 3 In popular culture * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 External links

BIOGRAPHY

Anielewicz was born into a poor Jewish family in the small town of Wyszków , near Warsaw
Warsaw
. After completing secondary school, he joined and became a leader of the " Hashomer Hatzair ", the Zionist -socialist youth movement .

On 7 September 1939, a week after the German invasion of Poland , Anielewicz escaped with a group from Warsaw
Warsaw
to the east of the country in the hopes that the Polish Army
Polish Army
would slow down the German advance. When the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
invaded and then occupied Eastern Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
, Anielewicz heard that Jewish refugees, other youth movement members and political groups had flocked to Wilno , which was then under Soviet control. He travelled to Wilno and attempted to convince his colleagues to send people back to Poland to continue the fight against the Germans. He then attempted to cross the Romanian border in order to open a route for young Jews to get to the Mandate of Palestine , but was caught and thrown into a Soviet jail. He was released a short time later, and returned to Warsaw
Warsaw
in January 1940 with his girlfriend, Mira Fuchrer . Anielewicz and girlfriend Mira Fuchrer in the destroyed Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto (a painting by Shimon Garmize) Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Heroes\' Monument in Warsaw
Warsaw
(Anielewicz is in the center, wielding a hand grenade) General view of Miła 18 memorial in Warsaw, place of death of Mordechai Anielewicz
Mordechai Anielewicz

In the summer of 1942, Anielewicz visited the southwest region of Poland – annexed to Germany
Germany
– attempting to organize armed resistance. Upon his return to Warsaw, he found that a major deportation to the Treblinka extermination camp had been carried out and only 60,000 of the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto 's 350,000 Jews remained. He soon joined the ŻOB, and in November 1942, he was appointed as the group's chief commander. A connection with the Polish government in exile in London
London
was made and the group began receiving weapons from the Polish underground on the "Aryan " side of the city. On 18 January 1943, Anielewicz was instrumental in the first act of the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising by leading the first battle with a "dozen fighters with pistols," preventing the majority of a second wave of Jews from being deported to extermination camps . This initial incident of armed resistance was a prelude to the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising that commenced on 19 April.

Though there were no surviving eyewitnesses, it is assumed that he died on 8 May 1943, along with his girlfriend and many of his staff, at the surrounded ŻOB command post at 18 Miła Street . His body was never found and it is generally believed that it was carried off to nearby crematoria along with those of all the other Jewish dead; nevertheless, the inscription on the obelisk at the site of the Miła 18 bunker states that he is buried there.

HONOURS

Anielewicz memorial at kibbutz Yad Mordechai

In July 1944, Anielewicz was posthumously awarded the Cross of Valour by the Polish government in exile. In 1945 he was also awarded the Cross of Grunwald , 3rd Class by the Polish People\'s Army .

During the later part of the war, a unit of the People\'s Guard formed from Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto survivors bore the name of Anielewicz. In December 1943, kibbutz Yad Mordechai in Israel
Israel
was renamed after him and had a monument erected in his memory. There are also memorials for him in Wyszków and in Warsaw, where in the 1960s Gęsia Street, site of a former German concentration camp , was renamed Mordechaj Anielewicz Street. In 1983, 40 years after their deaths, the Israeli government issued a two-stamp set honoring Anielewicz and Josef Glazman as heroes of the Warsaw
Warsaw