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Jewish Underground Movement in Poland Sends First-hand Report to Jews of America

March 16, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The first comprehensive report from the Jewish underground movement ever to reach this country was made public here today by the World Jewish Congress. It describes in detail how Jews revolted against the Germans not only in the ghetto of Warsaw, but also in the ghettos of Bialystok, Czastochowa, Wilno, Tarnow, Bendzin and in the “death camps” of Treblinka and Solibor.

“In the battles in the above mentioned cities, men of all ideological leanings fought together as comrades – Chalutz youth, Shomrim youth, Poale-Zionists and bundists, the report says. “They were bound by ties of death, not of life; they fought side by side for the honor and the glory of the Jewish people. Through the Jewish Fighting Organization, we exerted ourselves in the organization and strengthening of the fight.”

The Jewish Fighting Organization, the report reveals, is carrying on its activities, as guerilla fighters, under the supervision of the Jewish National Committee which is the central body directing the underground activities. “We are only a small group of workers left alive,” the report points out. “We have made it our duty, despite the incredible obstacles, to serve the remnants of our exhausted people. We are determined to fulfill this duty – regardless of hardship – until the last drop of our blood.” Represented in the Jewish National Committee are Zionists, Socialists, and various other Jewish political groups of pre-war Poland.


Emphasizing that “the Nazi barbarians, faced with certain defeat, are killing off the pitiful remnants of the Jewish population in Poland,” the report says: “As you read our communication, do not for a moment think that we are broken in spirit. We regard our merciless doom with sober eyes. We know you have done everything possible to save us.”

The report then goes on to relate how the Jewish heroes of the Bialystok ghetto had battled for a month, killing hundreds of Germans, and how the Jewish rebels in the “death camps” of Solibor and Treblinka organized themselves in fighting “fives” and at a pre-arranged moment launched their attack; throwing themselves upon the German and Ukrainian guards, they disarmed and killed the majority of them, burned down the gas-chambers and the “living-crematoria” and after having accomplished this, escaped to the neighboring forests.

Describing the revolt in Bialystok which took place last August “on instructions from the Jewish National Committee,” the report states: “On the 17th of August there began the liquidation of the only large ghetto in the East of Poland, in Bialystock, where there were approximately 40,000 Jews, During the first three days of this action, seven transports of victims were taken to the death-camp at Treblinka. In addition, a passenger train, filled with children, left Bialystok. There were two Jewish nurses in each car. It is the general conviction that, before going to their deaths, these children were to furnish blood for wounded German soldiers. On the fourth day of the action, the fight began. Bloody combats took place in a number of streets. The Jews fought mostly with grenades and incendiary bombs; they also had a few machine-guns. In order to crush the uprising the Germans set the ghetto afire. The bitter fight lasted eight days. But the Jewish resistance did not weaken and lasted for another month.”

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