Peres: “I Stand in Awe” of Warsaw Ghetto Fighters
by Zach Pontz
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, took part in a ceremony to commemorate 70 years since the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising at the Ghetto Fighters House Museum in the Western Galilee. He was joined by fighters from the ghetto, Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren.
“The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is one of the peaks of bravery of the Jewish people. We salute the fighters of the uprising; future generations will continue to carry the memory of the uprising,” Peres told those assembled.
Chavka Folman-Raban, who served as a young liaison during the uprising spoke of her sense of mission and of the individual and group preparation before the uprising began, “For me to be in Israel is a dream, when I was a fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto, when I was caught and I sat in German prison, when we were deported and sent to the camps, on the death march and in the face of murderous atrocities and the flames and the smoke we never stopped dreaming of the land of Israel. We prayed that we’d arrive here and set up a kibbutz, and create a new life.”
During the ceremony Peres was presented with a rare and authentic diary written by one of the fighters of the uprising from inside the ghetto detailing the deportations and the stories of those who went to their deaths while the uprising began. In the diary, which is translated into Hebrew, the author describes from his viewpoint the actions and bravery of the Jewish fighters.
Addressing those present who took part in the uprising, Peres said: “To sit between you is to sit between a legend and a dream. It is hard to fathom the heights of your bravery. One cannot understand the depth of the Nazi atrocities when compared alongside the heroic bravery of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters. I stand in awe of the heroism of the fighters and am shocked, to this day, by the Nazi hatred.”