ROZA ROBOTA (1921,
Ciechanów – 6 January 1945) or RóżA ROBOTA
in Polish , referred to in other sources as Rojza, Rozia or Rosa, was
the leader of a group of four women
Holocaust resistors hanged in the
Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp for their role in the Sonderkommando
prisoner revolt of 7 October 1944.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Auschwitz
* 2 Legacy
* 3 Notes
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Poland , to a middle-class family, Róża had
one brother and one sister. She was a member of Hashomer Hatzair
Zionist -socialist youth movement , and joined that movement's
underground, upon the 1939 Nazi German invasion of
Poland . Róża
often used her Hebrew name, Shoshanah. In the home of Izajasz (Isaiah)
Robota at Żydowska 4 Street in
Ciechanów was the Perec Library, the
most active Jewish cultural society in the city, organizing
discussions about the Polish, Jewish and world literature, as well as
theatre performances, lectures, and dances.
Roza was transported to
Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp in a Holocaust
train during the liquidation of the
Ciechanów Ghetto in 1942. She
survived the "selection" and was assigned to Auschwitz-II Birkenau
labor commando for women, where she got involved in the underground
dissemination of news among the prisoners. No one else from her family
in Europe is known to have survived. She worked in the clothing depot
at the Birkenau Effektenlager adjacent to Crematorium III of Birkenau
, where the bodies of gas chamber victims were burned. She had been
recruited by men of the underground whom she knew from her hometown,
to smuggle "Schwarzpulver" (gunpowder; or dynamite according to other
sources) collected by women in the
Krupp "Weichsel" munitions
factory, and then transferring it to a
Sonderkommando man named
Wróbel, who was also active in the resistance. This schwartzpulver
was used to manufacture primitive grenades to help blow up the
crematorium during the
Sonderkommando revolt. In her work, she was
assisted by Hadassa Zlotnicka and Asir-Godel Zilber, both also from
Ciechanów, whom Robota apparently enlisted in the resistance.
Together with a few other women who worked in the Nazi "pulverraum"
factory, they were able to obtain, hide, and turn over to the men of
the underground no more than one to three teaspoons of the
schwartzpulver compound per day, and not every day. The Sonderkommando
blew up Crematorium III on 6 October 1944.
Robota and three other women –
Ala Gertner , Estusia Wajcblum, and
Regina Safirsztajn – were arrested by the
Gestapo and tortured in
the infamous Bloc 23 but they refused to reveal the names of others
who participated in the smuggling operation. They were hanged on 6
January 1945 – two women at the morning roll-call assembly, two
others in the evening. Robota was 23 years old. According to some
eyewitness accounts, she and her comrades shouted "Nekamah"
("Vengeance!"), or "Be Strong" to the assembled inmates before they
died. Some say they shouted, "Chazak V'amatz" – "Be strong and have
courage", the Biblical phrase that God uses to encourage Joshua after
the death of Moses.
Sonderkommando Revolt caused some 70 fatalities among the SS and
kapos, and blew the roof off one crematorium, yet the Nazis knew the
advancing Russian Army was very close to liberating the camp. It was
clear to the Nazis that all evidence of the war-time atrocities had to
be concealed, so the Germans attempted to destroy the other four
Roza Robota's memory lives on, in the naming of the
Roza Robota Gates
at Montefiore Randwick (
Sydney, Australia ). This initiative was made
possible by Sam Spitzer, a resistance fighter during World War II and
now a resident of Sydney. He named the gates in honour of his war-time
hero, Robota, and his late wife, Margaret. Spitzer's sister was in
Auschwitz with Robota.
Yad Vashem in
Jerusalem , a monument was built to honor Robota and
the three other executed women. It stands in a prime location in the
* ^ A B "Robota, Rosa" (PDF).
Yad Vashem . Retrieved 30 March 2015.
* ^ A B Patrycja Bukalska (20 January 2010). "Róża Robota
postanowiła walczyć, do końca" .
Tygodnik Powszechny , Pamięć
Auschwitz (4/2010). Retrieved 12 October 2013.
* ^ Martyna Sypniewska. "Historia Żydów w Ciechanowie" . Jewish
Historical Institute (ŻIH), Dział Dokumentacji Zabytków; J.
Szczepański, D. Piotrowicz (in Polish).
Virtual Shtetl (Wirtualny
* ^ Yuri Suhl. "Genocide: Ch. 7: The Camps, Part 1". "Rosa
Robota-Heroine of the Auschwitz Underground" (in) They Fought Back:
The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Nazi Europe (New York: Crown,
1967), pp. 219-225. Simon Wiesenthal Center, Multimedia Learning.
* ^ Patterson, David (2002). "Salmen Lewental". In David Patterson,
et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of