Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto (from Patient Women).

Interlude, from Patient Women

The Warsaw Ghetto held out for 42 days against Hitler. Teenaged women armed with stones held out against tanks, troops, mortar, shell fire, and a week of bombing that would have made a citizen of Hanoi sit up and take notice.
The Warsaw Ghetto held out longer against Hitler than entire countries did—Poland surrendered after a week. France, despite its much vaunted resistance, never even fought.
Why did Hitler seek to destroy this ghetto, why was he obsessed with this particular ghetto, why was it essential that the Warsaw Ghetto be razed, and all its inhabitants, every, last one, found, shot, gassed, destroyed?
Because of the diaries. The diary. The diary of the Warsaw ghetto inflamed Hitler’s mind. Jews, Hitler knew, always kept records, chronicles of their abuse. There was a diary at the ghetto in Lodz; they ran a newspaper there, controlled, yes, controlled, but beneath that, there was a diary, a true record, and his intelligence was convinced that there was a diary in Warsaw, too.
Somewhere, somewhere in the sewers and the cellars was the resistance, and buried deep, deep there, with the resistance, were the diaries. The oppressed, Hitler knew, chronicled everything.
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