The Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza: Understanding History

By Ernesto Estévez Rams on November 6, 2023

Anne Frank

Anne Frank was in hiding from fascist terror in Amsterdam from 1942 until August 4, 1944. Her diary is perhaps the most famous diary in the modern world. On the morning of August 4, 1944, Anne was arrested by the occupying power. Because they were in hiding, they were considered criminals and eventually sent to Auschwitz. Anne Frank was Jewish.

Anne died probably in March 1945, it is not known for certain. Nor is the actual cause of her death known, it is believed to have been from cold; I wish I could say she died of love. But that was not the case. Despite the horror, Anne, at that age of 16 with which she died, did not lack love. “I want to be useful or bring joy to all people, even those I have never met. I want to go on living even after my death,” she wrote on Wednesday, August 5, 1944.

photo: Xinhua news

In December 2022, a 16-year-old teenager, Al-Rimawi, was shot twice in the back in Palestine. The first went through his chest, the second through his abdomen. According to the army of the occupying power, the soldiers shot at “suspected” stone-throwers and graffiti on a car.  The following Sunday, 16-year-old Jana Zakarneh was killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Jana and her family were hiding in their home in the midst of an Israeli army raid that was firing on the roofs of buildings. At some point, the uncle tells us, Jana went to the roof to see if a family member had been wounded. There she was found murdered, at the same age at which Anne Frank died. According to her uncle, the teenager was shot four times, twice in the face, once in the shoulder and a fourth time in the neck. According to the Minister of Defense of the occupying power, it was all an accident “if she was not really involved in terrorism”. I mean, like Anne years ago, maybe hiding from terror makes you a criminal.

How many Anne Frank’s have died in Palestine?

In November 1940, the Nazis establish the Warsaw ghetto. It was so overcrowded that on average there were 9.2 people per room. There was barely enough to survive in the face of water and food shortages. Before World War II, Jews lived in Warsaw’s commercial districts. The Nazi invaders viciously bombed the Jewish quarters of the city, killing an estimated 30,000 Jews.

After the occupation, Jews were forcibly confined to ghettos. The Warsaw ghetto was the largest. The ghetto was surrounded by walls and barbed-wire fences. Whoever left the place without authorization was shot on the spot. In an attempt to starve out the residents of the ghetto, the Nazis reduced the food entering the ghetto. Arrests were rounded up and those caught were taken to concentration camps where they were murdered.

On January 18, 1943, Jews in the ghetto took up arms. The Jews had managed to get weapons into the ghetto in small parties, and had prepared for resistance. The insurgents gained control of the site and set up barricades. On April 19, three months after the heroic resistance, came the final assault of the fascist troops. In one month they murdered 13,000 Jews, about half of them burned alive. Knowing victory impossible, the Jews fought to the death. They asked for no truce. They were heroes for their people.

Zionists say they do not understand why Palestinians take up arms, and that their insurgency is terrorism. Let them read their own history. Where it says Ana put Jana. Where it says Jews put Palestinians, where it says Warsaw put Gaza and where it says Nazis put Zionists. Maybe then they will understand.

Source: Granma translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English