May 21, 2013

"Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943..."

"... in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and Molotov cocktails, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93."
“We didn’t have enough weapons, we didn’t have enough bullets,” Mr. Spiegel once told an interviewer. “It was like fighting a well-equipped army with firecrackers."....

70 comments:

edutcher said...

Guts to spare. And a true lover of liberty.

That's why I never laughed at Polish jokes.

As Ann Coulter once observed, "The Warsaw Ghetto held out longer than France".

MadisonMan said...

I find it interesting that his obituary includes "one of the last" -- and his wife's obituary (she died in 2002) also includes "one of the last"!!

Eventually the New York Times will be right. Or maybe "one of the last" means, in NYTimes-speak, one of 10,000 remaining, or one of 5.

Crunchy Frog said...

Imagine how long they could have held out had they had guns.

And then think about why the progs work so hard at weakening the 2nd Amendment.

Colonel Angus said...

The Brits wanted to airdrop supplies into Warsaw but needed to land and refuel in Soviet occupied territory. FDR didn't want to upset Stalin so other than one sortie, refused to participate.

traditionalguy said...

It would have been nice if someone had told the Warsaw Jews that Tyranny was just around the corner and they had not believed the civilized Germans would treat them as humans.

Oh yeah, that nut Theodor Herzl did warn them.

ricpic said...

Boruch is a rare spelling. The name is almost always spelled Baruch and means blessed. Spiegel is of course Jewish for catalogue.

RonF said...

My wife and I were in Warsaw and Kracow in November and December. She's 1/2 Polish. Among the various things we did was to take a tour of
Warsaw that included the memorial to the Polish Ghetto Uprising. One side depicts a number of Jews being led off to the concentration camps. The other side shows a group of Jews fighting. The guide was very respectful.

Methadras said...

A perfect example of an armed populace trying to fight against tyranny. This is why the 2nd amendment is necessary. They didn't have one in Poland, but they certainly understood it. I have nothing but respect for the Polish people. They are a tough lot.

Methadras said...

Colonel Angus said...

The Brits wanted to airdrop supplies into Warsaw but needed to land and refuel in Soviet occupied territory. FDR didn't want to upset Stalin so other than one sortie, refused to participate.


Yeah, FDR didn't want to piss of one of his compatriots.

lemondog said...

Who By Fire

hiawatha biscayne said...

catalogue! haw!

bpm4532 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bpm4532 said...

"One of the last" Think about that in your obituary the next time these folks want to trim back the 2nd amendment, because it would NEVER happen here. No never...

Larry J said...

A small number of people with nothing to lose and only a handful of firearms took on an army. They'd kill a German soldier and take his weapon and ammo. They held out for weeks. Guts.

ndspinelli said...

When I was an investigator in KC I would often go to the M&M deli on 31st St. in the 'hood. It was owned and operated by Bronia Roslawowski, a resident of the Warsaw Ghetto and an Aushwitz survivor. She told me she NEVER wore long sleeves because she wanted everyone to see her tattoo and to know what it meant. Great woman and great sandwiches. She made her own corned beef and pastrami

Cedarford said...

Generally, the "hero armed citizen" is only successful against a better-armed army if the occupier is constrained by rules and laws.
The Germans and Japanese were savage and without restraint when confronted with insurrection. Their answer was to kill everybody and keep on killing until resistance stopped. They had no concern as well with "winning hearts and minds".

Without getting focused on the Germans, consider the Japanese. They, unlike the French or the Americans, subdued all of Indochina. And did with only about 6,000 soldiers.
The way they did that was if a Japanese patrol was ambushed, they killed everyone in the 3 closest adjacent villages. A few women were left as survivors, gang-raped, and then sent to the next 3 closest villages to tell them what happened.

Barbaric but effective.
Armed resistance against a better armed foe only works if the foe has restraint, or resistors and the population that supports the resistance is convinced that they are goinf to die anyways ...so what the heck? Why not die fighting back?

Patrick said...

I sure hope I never have to find out whether I could show that sort of courage.

Cedarford said...

edutcher said...
Guts to spare. And a true lover of liberty.

That's why I never laughed at Polish jokes.

As Ann Coulter once observed, "The Warsaw Ghetto held out longer than France".

=======================
Irrelevant.

Guerilla action once a country is overwhelmed is not the same as a country holding out.
France held out longer than Poland did.
Britain "held out" only because it was an island nation that still had an effective Navy. Had nothing to do with Churchill speeches.

America and certain allies beat Iraq in under 14 days in the Gulf War.
But if we consider guerilla resistance the same as a nation holding out - then the Noble Iraqi "Freedom Lovers" held out for over 8 years against the American "Heroes" there to uplift them for over 8 years.

EVery week in Bush's Iraq War....was it a new "Warsaw Ghetto Uprising"? Showing that armed Iraqis with guts are never beaten by the vile Infidel Occupier???




Astro said...

@ Crunchy Frog
From now on I'm using the term Proglodytes.

Big Mike said...

@Patrick, I echo what you wrote.

@Colonel Angus, I'd like to see a reference. IMHO the total air supremacy that the Luftwaffe held over occupied Europe meant that the British air drops would have to be at night. Good luck trying to get the necessary precision with a night drop. I imagine that practical reality had a greater impact on abandoning the plan.

Colonel Angus said...

France held out longer than Poland did.

Considering that pound for pound the French army was as large and as well equipped as the Germans plus had the BEF on their shores, that's not saying a whole helluva lot.

The Drill SGT said...

Colonel Angus said...
The Brits wanted to airdrop supplies into Warsaw but needed to land and refuel in Soviet occupied territory. FDR didn't want to upset Stalin so other than one sortie, refused to participate.


To be fair, the Soviets were not nice people. When our planes ended up coming down in Soviet territory, our crews disappeared into the Gulag. very few came back.

chrisnavin.com said...

Cedarford: Friend Of The Jews

Colonel Angus said...

@Colonel Angus, I'd like to see a reference. IMHO the total air supremacy that the Luftwaffe held over occupied Europe meant that the British air drops would have to be at night. Good luck trying to get the necessary precision with a night drop. I imagine that practical reality had a greater impact on abandoning the plan.

From what I read, Allied missons would have flown out of Italy, bypassing Germany and going up through the Balkans. By late 1944, I'm not sure the Luftwaffe had much presence there since at that stage they were relegated to bomber interdiction over Germany.

I don't have the reference offhand but Churchill pushed for resupply as the Polish Home Army was largely anti communist and the hope was they might serve as a bulwark against the Soviets after the war. Stalin did refuse the use of Soviet airbases, that much I know for a fact.

Whether resupply would have been effective is obviously a valid argument in any event.

The Drill SGT said...

Folks, in order to understand the circumstances, you must not confuse the Jewish Ghetto uprising of Jan 43 with the Polish Home Army uprising of Aug - Sep 44. Some of you are conflating the two. The NYT piece is about the first.

The second one is also heroic and bitter. With the Russian Army about to cross the river and attack the German positions in Warsaw, the Home Army revolted and for 60 days fought the Germans to a stand still while the Russians waited for Polish resistance to be crushed. Why?

Because the Home Army wasn't Red and it saved the Russians from having to shoot them...



Colonel Angus said...

Some of you are conflating the two. The NYT piece is about the first.

Bah. You are indeed correct and I am guilty for not reading more carefully.

Colonel Angus said...

Original Mike: Since I can't obviously read as well as you, I retract my argument with respect to the air drops. I was thinking of the 44 uprising. :-)

You are correct, no attempts were considered in '43, obviously as you correctly pointed out the Luftwaffe dominated the skies.

Baron Zemo said...

Cedarford knows who the true heroes of WW2 were....the concentration camp guards.

Baron Zemo said...

Cedarford knows who the true heroes of WW2 were....the concentration camp guards.

Colonel Angus said...

It is a fascinating yet horribly tragic event when a nation like Germany with with rich history of scientific, artistic and cultural contributions to Western civilization could succumb to such a level of barbarity.

MadisonMan said...

Cedarford, I know it would kill you to compliment a Jew, but this was the time to do it.

Lem said...

In 2003, on the uprising’s 60th anniversary, Mr. Spiegel and the five other living ZOB fighters were honored by the Polish government.

I'm just noticing how similarly close in appearance and far cry distant at the same time the words 'honored' and 'ignored' are.

Honest... I'm not just commenting to squeeze in "far cry" to make myself look good.

Big Mike said...

@Colonel Angus, the Chinese have had a civilization for thousands of years; that didn't stop the Great Leap Forward from happening. Would you care to walk through the south side of Chicago unarmed after dark? The barbarian is always just below the surface.

Colonel Angus said...

@Colonel Angus, the Chinese have had a civilization for thousands of years; that didn't stop the Great Leap Forward from happening. Would you care to walk through the south side of Chicago unarmed after dark? The barbarian is always just below the surface.

Good point.

EMD said...

Cedarford, I know it would complement you to kill a Jew


FIFY?

Zach said...

I was just at the Warsaw museum commemorating the (1944) uprising this Saturday. Incredibly brave people, but it ended incredibly badly. The Germans dynamited every single structure in the city, and many of the resistance leaders were murdered by the Russians after the war for "anti-Soviet activity."

The Polish suffered tremendously in the war. They lost about 6 million total: 3 million Jews and 3 million ethnic Poles. The Polish girl I was staying with had never even heard of Yiddish, one of the major prewar languages.

Rusty said...

The Polish partisans had to show them how to load their guns and which bullets went with what.
Owning firearms was considered vulgar by the Polish and Jewish middle class.

virgil xenophon said...

Cedarford displays as an otherwise intelligent guy whose obviously well-read and knows his history and current and military affairs.. I just don't understand his blind-spot..

SGT Ted said...

Was he a bitter clinger?

AllenS said...

Everyone in Israel knows the story.

SGT Ted said...

I just don't understand his blind-spot.

His blind spot is to use an identity politics style template on Jews and Jews alone.

Anything bad or unflattering that any individual Jew does is proof that all Jews are like that. Jew bankers are greedy. All other white guy bankers not guilty of any greed whatsoever. Any Jew that gets to a position of power or influence? Cabal of Jews made it happen. Any Italians or Irish guys that got there? No Problemo.

Anything favorable shown by the US to a foreign Democratic Nation, that is fighting a war with Islamic barbarians, but happens to be run by Jews? Cabal of Jews unduly influencing US politics in cahoots with a Furrin Nation. As if no other foreign countries have suck-ups trying to get aid money out of DC or influence foreign policy.

He is one of those Jewish conspiracy theorists that does not apply the same standards to other nationalities that he holds for the Jews. They are all One to him.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Cedarford said...

Guts to spare. And a true lover of liberty.

That's why I never laughed at Polish jokes.

As Ann Coulter once observed, "The Warsaw Ghetto held out longer than France".


=======================
Irrelevant.

Guerilla action once a country is overwhelmed is not the same as a country holding out.
France held out longer than Poland did.


Anent Miss Coulter, the word "sarcasm" ring any bells?

As noted quite widely, the attitude in France was, "Let's get it over with". Most of the fighting the French did was only after Dunkirk.

Collaboration in France was considered nothing of which to be ashamed, it was just accommodating to a difficult circumstance. These Germans were reasonable people; you could do business with them, have sex with them. Wasn't Marechal Petain, the greatest hero of the Great War, working with them?

That began to change when Chief Minister Pierre Laval began rounding up Jews and slave laborers for deportation as part of that accommodation. But French resistance was sporadic and light, compared to many other countries.

No, the Jews held out much longer.

AReasonableMan said...

SGT Ted said...
Anything favorable shown by the US to a foreign Democratic Nation, that is fighting a war with Islamic barbarians,


Or maybe he recognizes that either we are all barbarians or none of us are. The original meaning of barbarian is foreigner, the other.

John said...

Zach said:

The Polish suffered tremendously in the war. They lost about 6 million total: 3 million Jews and 3 million ethnic Poles.

I do appreciate you pointing it out. It needs to be said loudly and often.

I take exception with your language. The Pols did not lose 6 million.

When a bill falls out of my pocket it is lost. It is also on me even if it it accidental.

No, 6 million Poles, Jew and Gentile alike (about 50/50) were MURDERED in the death camps.

They were murdered by National Socialists

We should never try to candy coat this with euphemisms like "lost", "died", "were taken from us" or the like.

Never, Never, Never forget. They were murdered.

By socialists in the name of socialism.

John Henry

John said...

Only slightly off topic but I recommend that everyone read Sinclair Lewis' 1937 classic book "It Can't Happen Here" about how socialist fascism came to the US.

It CAN happen here and it WILL happen here if we let it.

You can buy it through Ann's portal or download it from Gutenberg Australia here:

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301001.txt

The TXT file works just fine with a Kindle.

John Henry

John said...

Zach said:

The Polish suffered tremendously in the war. They lost about 6 million total: 3 million Jews and 3 million ethnic Poles.

I do appreciate you pointing it out. It needs to be said loudly and often.

I take exception with your language. The Pols did not lose 6 million.

When a bill falls out of my pocket it is lost. It is also on me even if it it accidental.

No, 6 million Poles, Jew and Gentile alike (about 50/50) were MURDERED in the death camps.

They were murdered by National Socialists

We should never try to candy coat this with euphemisms like "lost", "died", "were taken from us" or the like.

Never, Never, Never forget. They were murdered.

By socialists in the name of socialism.

John Henry

The Drill SGT said...

No, 6 million Poles, Jew and Gentile alike (about 50/50) were MURDERED in the death camps.

They were murdered by National Socialists


The bulk were killed by Nazi's. However, one should not leave Stalin's name off the roll of Dishonor:

1. The secret treaty dividing Poland with the Nazi's in '39
2. The Katyn Forest killings of '40, where Stalin's minions murdered the Polish Army Officer Corps, Priests, Professors and Mayors. Anyone who would speak out against them
3. The Warsaw Uprising passivity of '44.
4. the killings and enslavement of the returning "London Poles" and Home Army resistance after the Soviet Army rolled thru.
5. 40 years of KGB killings and transportations

Richard Fagin said...

American Jews don't get it when it comes to the right to keep and bear firearms. Israeli Jews do. You'd think the story of the Warsaw ghetto would be instructive to the rest of my fellow American Jews, but hell they still think like Russian peasants. Yes it can happen here.

John said...

Drill Sgt,

Quite right, we should NEVER forget the 20-30mm killed by Stalin, including many Poles.

In my note I was talking out the 6mm Poles murdered in the various National Socialist extermination/murder camps.

Stalin's Poles were on top of that.

"Uncle Joe", as FDR called him. FDR should have a warm spot in Hell for that if nothing else.

John Henry

Cedarford said...

It is good for the Jewish people that on some occasions Jews have fought.

Certainly the military histories will long consider the Israeli defense of the Golan against a far numerically superior Syrian force a truly great feat of arms by any Nation.


The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is some consolation for all the other places where the roundups went unresisted, or were actually facilitated by "head Jews" who were offered visas out, a portion of pay from seized assets..But it is sort of in line with Flight 93, the cornered rat sort of resistance. A choice between dying with no protest or resistance to the Germans or the Islamists that are going to crash the plane - or at least going down fighting. Much as a doomed rat will charge a cat or a coyote.

Braver were the communist Jews in the Baltics and the Pale that Russia took from Poland. They helped the Soviets in the liquidations of non-communist Gentile Elites in those countries..then fled as Germans approached. Fearing not just the Germans, but quite vengeful locals eager to string up the communists.
But rather than beg to be considered refugees and sent safe to the rear - most of those Jewish communists who were able to..joined the Red Army and stood with their Soviet comrades. And fought and died bravely for Communism against the Fascist forces.
And were rewarded with leadership positions in the puppet governments the Soviets established in Eastern Europe and absorbed Baltic areas.
And participated in the 3 round of liquidations, following of course the German 2nd round of liquidations of Jews and Communists..

In Poland, the Home Army Uprising, which was far more serious and better fought than the Ghetto Uprising.

Of course, the other thing most Americans do not know, besides the Warsaw battle, and the incredible role Free Poles played on the Allied side - in the extent to which the Soviets, returning Polish Jewish Communists, and other returning non-Jewish Communists targeted members of the Home Army with liquidation and the Gulags.
The Home Army was 400,000. Belived by Soviets to be a rival to control. The NKVD and the Jewish dominated Ministry of Public Security (Secret Police) liquidated 20,000 arrested Polish resistance people outright 1944-46. Another 50,000 were selected by Jews to be shipped out of Poland to the Soviet Gulag system.
In addition to Home Army, the secret police targeted Elites in the professions, the Catholic Laity, even Bishops and Priests - for imprisonment or liquidation.

By the mid- 50s, those Poles that survived had seen themselves be classified such that 1 out of 3 Poles was considered a political criminal and enemy to society, or a counterrevolutionary, or an Anti-Soviet, anti-Semite.


cubanbob said...

Naturally one can leave it to C4 to gloss over the fact that the postwar communists in Poland were largely baptized Catholics. That would spoil his narrative.

Cedarford said...

cubanbob said...
Naturally one can leave it to C4 to gloss over the fact that the postwar communists in Poland were largely baptized Catholics. That would spoil his narrative.

=========================
The stats on who was in the Ministry of Public Security is documented.
Perhaps you are thinking of the NKVD of the Soviets, where Stalin believed the Jews had too much influence in the early days of Bolshevik terror and scaled them back so Jews never comprised more than 40% of the "Soviet Gestapo" again.
Even in the 30s, Stalin questioned Jewish loyalty to Russia, even as he regarded Jews as enthusiastic advocates of taking communism global and eagerness to kill or imprison "counterrevolutionaries, members of the Russian Orthodox Church, and those that had less than rosy opinions of Jews in the 1917 Revolution and thereafter...

Petunia said...

RIP to a truly heroic man.

Mila 18 by Leon Uris is an excellent novel. Definitely worth the read.

rcocean said...

I've always admired the Poles for the fight that they put up in Warsaw. I wonder how many are still alive. Was B.S. the last one?

rcocean said...

No nation suffered more under the Nazis. Almost 6 million Poles - out of 30 million - were killed.

rcocean said...

The Warsaw ghetto fight of '43 probably helped inspire the much bigger uprising of '44 which resulted in Warsaw being razed and hundred of thousands killed by the Nazis.

Gary Rosen said...

"I've always admired the Poles for the fight that they put up in Warsaw"

Of course rc erases Jews from the equation. C-fudd will give him a cookie and an extra rimshot on the flophouse mattress.

Gary Rosen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Rosen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Rosen said...

"Certainly the military histories will long consider the Israeli defense of the Golan against a far numerically superior Syrian force a truly great feat of arms by any Nation."

... while Israel was fighting off Syria's ally with 10x the population of Israel. Israel has survived for 65 years though it is a tiny sliver of land surrounded by lunatics who outnumber it 40-50 to 1 and have all the oil money in the world.

Rusty said...

I have no respect for the ghetto leaders who wrung their hands and then chose who would board the next train.
But the people who stood up and fought back get huge respect.

Remember Gary. A Pole caught helping a Jew was not only summarily executed, but so was their family, wives, parents, children.

ken in sc said...

All of humankind is only one generation away from barbarism. We do not inherit civilized behavior. We have to be taught. Children do not need to be taught to lie, cheat, steal, hit, bite, or be selfish. They do that naturally. They have to be taught not to do these things.

John C said...

Drill SGT, the Nazis WERE National Socialists; the name translates into English as the "National Socialist German Workers' Party" (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).

ken in sc said...

BTW, I once met an Auschwitz survivor. He was a retired GE engineer. As a teenager, he was in the Polish resistance. He said if the Germans had known what he was really doing, he would have been shot. They weren't sure, so they sent him to camp. He said he pulled the sledges of dead bodies from the gas chambers to the ovens. I saw his tattoo number.

He was given credit for being in the resistance and went to school on the Polish version of the GI bill. He was also a private pilot. We took an aircraft maintenance course together.

Gary Rosen said...

Rusty, I know the Poles suffered greatly in WWII but you gotta know Fudd and rc. Their motives for posting here are not the same as yours.

paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

The Jews in the '43 Warsaw Ghetto uprising were Polish

rcocean said...

Again, C-Fudd and Gary Rosen. One never sees one without the other.

Funny dat.

rcocean said...

Except when C-fudd gets enough attention. Then Gary, mysteriously doesn't show up.