Warsaw remembers the victims of the ghetto uprising after 80 years

“We dug a dugout, like an underground trench to hide in, and when the Nazis burned the ghetto, the earth heated up above our heads. I felt like I was in a baking oven, ”recalls Kerstyna Budnica, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, whose uprising was celebrated yesterday in Poland in the eightieth anniversary of its founding.

Kirystyna was discovered with horror by recently found photographs taken on the same day by Polish firefighter Zbigniew Grzywaczewski, which were displayed for the occasion at the Polin Museum. They are the only pictures Taken from inside the ghetto Museum director Marta Dzievolska explained to the brilliant visitors that the angle of view of what was happening from the inside is completely different, “a Polish firefighter, hiding and risking his life, took pictures of the massacre, the tragedy from the inside that now does not allow anyone to feel alienated ».

Among those who attended the ceremony was the President of Poland Andrzej Duda. Israel, Isaac Herzog, and Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, paying tribute to the victims at the Memorial to the Heroes of the Ghetto as municipal sirens and church bells ring in Warsaw to remember the rebels wiped out by the Nazis, before going together to a synagogue.

More than 3,000 volunteers distributed paper daffodils, in a gesture in memory of activist Marek Edelman, the last leader of the uprising, who died in 2009 and used to celebrate this memory by placing a bouquet of daffodils at the foot of the Star of David memorial.

As former German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt in front of the Warsaw Monument in 1970, Steinmeier was the first German president to speak in what was once a ghetto, where more than 300,000 Jews were deported to the camp’s gas chambers. from Treblinka, 80 kilometers east of the Polish capital, where about 50,000 fighters remained: 7,000 killed in the fighting and another 6,000 in the fire.

He felt “deep sadness and shame” as he recalled the “brave ghetto fighters” and “the horrific crimes committed by Nazi Germany”, said Steinmeier. He acknowledged that “Germany’s responsibility will always apply”, and acknowledged that “very few perpetrators have been brought to justice” after war, in a context in which Poland is suing Germany for war reparations of €1.3 billion.

criticism of Putin

Steinmeier owes this privilege to his personal friendship with the Head of State and Head of Government of Israel, as well as his diligent work visiting Nazi crime scenes. But in Poland, Steinmeier is a symbol of the wrong German policy towards Russia, because he held the post of foreign minister at key moments. Aware of this, the president took advantage of the letter to also lament A new war on European lands He is highly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he indirectly compares to Hitler for “violating international law, questioning borders, stealing territory, and causing untold suffering, violence, destruction and death to Ukrainians”.

Coinciding with the anniversary, Poland and Israel also closed the long-running dispute over the memorial, which prompted Tel Aviv to ban school trips to Nazi extermination sites.

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