A cautionary tale about the recently deceased Jewish, Warsaw Ghetto uprising leader Marek Edelman:
Edelman’s life was the stuff of fiction. From fighting in the Ghetto Uprising, escaping via the sewers to the ‘Aryan’ side of Warsaw, a founder of Solidarity in Poland who was briefly imprisoned by the Stalinists.
Edelman was the living proof that Jews could fight anti-Semitism where they lived and didn’t have to escape to a state mirrored on the principles of their oppressors in someone else’s land in Palestine. Above all he excoriated the Jewish collaborators and traitors who the Zionists had seen fit to call ‘heroes’. He didn’t fit in with or conform to Zionism’s narrative of the Holocaust.
Today Zionism praises the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but in the 1930’s and 1940’s it treated and made deals with the Nazis. In the Ghetto the Jewish leadership did nothing as two-thirds of the Jews were deported without resistance. The Chairman of the Judenrat, Adam Czerniakow, a General Zionist and compared to most leaders of the Judenrat, an honourable man, committed suicide. ‘what could we do’ was the familiar refrain of the Jewish leadership. But the Bund, which delayed the setting up of the Ghetto through demonstrations and mass mobilisation, believed in relying on the masses, not the lying words of the Nazi enemy.