Marci Shore: The Jewish Hero History Forgot

tags: World War II, Holocaust, Poland, Marci Shore, Yale University, Warsaw Ghetto uprising



Marci Shore, an associate professor of history at Yale University, is the author of “The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe.”

SEVENTY years ago today, a group of young men and women fired the shots that began the largest single act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is rightly commemorated — through books, memoirs and movies — as an extraordinary act of courage in the face of near-certain death. Those who fought in the ghetto provide the iconic image of heroism, and an antidote to images of Jews being led to the gas chambers.

The uprising was indeed extraordinary. But the manner in which it has been remembered over the years — in Communist Poland, in the West and in Israel — says more about the use of history for contemporary purposes than the uprising itself. The true nature of the uprising cannot be understood through its postwar commemorations but only through its wartime origins....



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