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  • 1943

    January 30 - VICHY MINISTER JOSEPH DARNARD (Vichy, France) Formed the Milice, a militia unit which was officially recognized by the Nazis. His units worked with the Germans to capture Jews for deportation. Darnard was executed for treason in October 1945. [111] (103)

    February, STATUS REPORT (Europe) - Out of the approximately 2,700,000 Jews in areas occupied by the Germans since June 1941, less then 10% were still alive. [111] (103)

    March 9, OPPOSITION TO TRANSPORTATION (Bulgaria) - Vice-president of the Bulgarian Parliament, Dimitar Peshev protested to Minister of Interior Gabrovski, against planned deportations of Jews. Peshev and 42 fellow members of the National Assembly, presented a petition to the prime minister that successfully held off their deportation. Consequently, Peshev was dismissed as vice president. As a compromise, none of the (approximately 34,000) Jews from old Bulgaria were deported. Yet over 11,384 Jews from Macedonia and Thrace were sent to their death. [111] (103)

    March 15, SALONIKA (Greece) - The first transport left to Auschwitz under the direction of Eichmann's deputy, Dieter Wisliceny. By August 7, the last of the 19 transports left Salonika. Of the 46,091 Jews deported, only about 2000 survived. Wisliceny, who also served in Greece and Hungary, later surrendered to the Allies, presenting them with invaluable evidence. He was hanged in Bratislava in 1948. [111] (103)

    March 25, MATHAUSEN (Austria) - A Bavarian Catholic priest reported that an estimated 10,000 Dutch Jews had already been murdered in poison gas experiments at the Mathausen concentration camp. The report was confirmed by the Dutch government-in-exile on April 5, and by an American diplomat on June 8. Despite this, no action was taken by the American State Department or the British government. [111] (103)

    April, RABBI MICHAEL DOV WEISSMANDEL (Slovakia) - An Orthodox Rabbi, together with Gisi Fleischmann, leader of the Women's International Zionist Organization and head of the Aliya section of the officially established Jewish Centre in Slovakia, helped organize (through bribes to Slovak officials) a slow down of the number of people being deported and to find false "Aryan" papers for many of them. After the Slovak revolt, Rabbi Weismandel succeeded in jumping from a train while Gisi Fleischman as a result of her work was shot as soon as she arrived in Auschwitz at the request of Eichmann's deputy Rolf Gunther. [111] (103)

    April 22, MOSHE MERIN (Bedzin, East Upper Silesia) - The head of the Judenrat of Bedzin and Sosnowiec informed the council that 8 young men were executed by the Gestapo for treason. Merin, who supported cooperation with the Nazis " in order to save a few", had sent some of the victims to the Gestapo for their underground activities. [111] (103)

    May 8, MORDECHAI ANIELEWICZ (Poland) - Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was killed in the main bunker at Mila 18. The Germans blocked up the exits and began to propel gas into the bunker which contained over 100 fighters. Many of them killed themselves. Anielewicz had united the various factions, published a newsletter Neged Hazerem (Against the Stream) and started an urban kibbutz in Warsaw. Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is named after him. [111] (103)

    May 10, THE SEWERS OF WARSAW (Poland) - Were used by the remaining fighters to flee to the forests, especially from the bunker at Mila 18. Among them was Tosia (Tova) Altman, who was one of the leaders of the HaShomer HaTzair youth movement which played a vital role in the revolt. Tosia, who had worked as a courier, succeeded in getting to the Aryan side when on May 24, 1943, she was badly burned in an accidental fire. The Gestapo captured her and she died in custody without any medical help. Another dominant figure in the ZOB, Zivia (Celina) Lubtkin, succeeded in getting to the Aryan side and fought in the Polish uprising along with Yitzchak ("Antek") Zuckerman in August 1944. Approximately 75 fighters made it out through the sewers. [111] (103)

    May 16 - SS GENERAL JUERGEN STROOP (Poland) Sent in his report, "A Jewish Quarter in Warsaw no longer exists." His final action was the destruction of the Great Synagogue on Tlomacka Street. Stroop reported 56,065 Jews captured, 13,929 killed and 631 bunkers destroyed. Though it is impossible to know the exact amounts, Polish estimates place the numbers of German dead to well over 1,000, with many more wounded. Some fighters escaped to the Aryan side of the city through sewage tunnels and others fled and tried to join Polish underground forces. Despite the official end to the uprising, small groups knows as "rubblemen" continued to attack German troops until mid-September. [111] (103)

    July 2 - ALOIS BRUNNER (France) Described by Eichmann as "one of my best men", took over Drancy, the main transit camp in France. During his 14 months in France, he sent an estimated 25,000 men, women and children to their deaths. Brunner was an assistant to Eichmann and was responsible for the deaths of over 128,000 people including 200 Americans. Brunner also masterminded the deportation of Thessaloniki's 50,000 Jews to death camps. Brunner was one of the most wanted war criminals and succeeded in finding refuge in Syria, which steadily refused to give out any information on him. [111] (103)

    July 16 - WITTENBERG DAY (Vilna, Lithuania) Ended with Yitzhak Wittenberg, head of the FPO (the various political organizations in the ghetto created a unified fighting organization, F.P.O. (Fareynigte Partizaner Organizatsye), surrendering in the Vilna Ghetto. A week earlier, Wittenberg had been fingered by two members of the Vilna Communist Committee (outside the ghetto) as their Jewish contact. Wittenberg was taken into custody, probably by Jacob Gens, the head of the Judenrat, and Salek Dessler, the head of the Ghetto police, but succeeded in getting away. The Germans then demanded that he be turned over to them or they would destroy the ghetto. After a long and tragic debate, the FPO decided that he should give himself up. He was dead the next day, dooming the future of the ghetto resistance to failure. Many underground leaders, including Josef Glazman, decided to leave the ghetto and join the partisan in the forests. (103)

    July 22 - PARTISAN UNIT NEKAMA (Lithuania) Was founded in the Narosch forest near Vilna by Josef Glazman, the head of Lithuanian Beitar. Glazman was one of the founders of the F.P.O. On October 7, 1943, the Germans attacked and only one young girl survived. [111] (103) August, GENERAL BOR-KOMOROWSKI (Poland) - The newly appointed commander of the Polish Home Army issued an order that actions should be taken against "Jewish bandits" (partisans). He encouraged his groups to "liquidate the leaders of those bands," even by cooperating with the Germans. Many Home Army members killed or turned over to the Germans thousands of Jewish partisans and refugees. [111] (103)

    August 2, REVOLT IN TREBLINKA (Poland) - Led by a small group of prisoners using primitive weapons and pistols, inmates at Treblinka attacked the guards and burned down the barracks. Between 300 and 500 prisoners escaped, although most of them were either captured or turned over by Polish peasants. Though the revolt did not stop all activities, the German government decided to liquidate the camp by October. [111] (103)

    August 16 - 20, BIALYSTOK UPRISING (Poland) - Ephraim Barash, head of the Judenrat had been told the night before that the ghetto with the 40,000 Jews left in it was to be liquidated. The next morning he reported to the main square with his suitcase. Himmler, not wishing a repeat of the Warsaw, uprising, appointed Odilo Globocnik as the commander of the operation. He had at his command 3 battalions and other police and military units as well as artillery. There were only enough weapons for 300 of the 500 Jewish fighters. The Germans called in tanks and even aircraft to put down the revolt. Although the main fighting was over within a few days (having run out of ammunition), it took the Germans almost a month before they could leave the ghetto. Mordecai Tenenbaum-Tamaroff and Daniel Moszkowicz were believed to have committed suicide when their bunker was surrounded. Only 70 of the fighters succeeded in reaching the forests. [111] (103)

    August 18, SONDERKOMMANDO 1005 EXHUMED BODIES AT BABI YAR (Ukraine) -In an attempt to erase evidence of the mass slaughter, units of Sonderkommando 1005 under Commander Paul Blobel undertook the exhumation and cremation of the tens of thousands killed at Babi Yar. The prisoners began their work on August 18 and finished six weeks later on September 29. Later on after midnight, the Babi Yar revolt began after the prisoners discovered they were going to be put to death. Blobel, who was director of exhumation activities, was executed in 1951. [111] (103)

    September 1, VILNA UPRISING (Lithuania) - After the disaster of July and the death of Yitzhak Wittenberg, many of those in the underground decided to flee the city. The German entry into the ghetto was a surprise and there was no time to organize. Forty fighters led by Yechiel Scheinbaum fought until they were all killed. Around 200 more left the ghetto and joined the partisans. A second Aktion on September 23 marked the end of the ghetto. [111] (103)

    October 16, JUDENRAZZIA (ROUNDUP OF JEWS) IN ROME(Italy) - In the largest action of its kind in Italy, over one thousand Jews were rounded up and deported directly to Auschwitz by SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer (Lieutenant-Colonel) Herbert Kappler, the head of the Gestapo on Rome. Out of Italy's approximately 40,000 Jews, 8000 Jews or 20% were annihilated. Over 2000 Jews joined various partisan units. Despite the silence of the pope, the help offered by local clergy and the Italian people in general, played a major role in the low number of deportations. [111] (103)

    October 21, MILA RACINE (France) - A member of the Zionist Youth Movement (MJS) was arrested along with Roland Epstein while trying to lead a group of children and old people to Switzerland. Both were deported and Mila died in Ravensbruck during a bombing raid. [111] (103)

    November, JANOWSKA CAMP (Janow) REVOLT (Lvov) - Although a number of underground groups were formed, they did not unify and many of their leaders were betrayed by informants. Despite this, a number of them tried to fight back when the camp was liquidated. Only a few survived, most being killed by Ukrainian police. [111] (103)

    November 3, OPERATION HARVEST FESTIVAL (Erntefest) (Poland) - Partly in response to Jewish resistance including the revolt on Sobibor. Himmler ordered Jakob Sporrenberg to eliminate all the Jews in the Lublin area where most of them were in forced labor camps. In one day, 10,000 Jews from the Trawniki labor camp and 8,000 Jews, from Maidanek were machine-gunned after digging their own graves. In the Poniatowa camp 15,000 were killed the next day. During the operation, the Germans killed almost 43,000 Jews. [111] (103)

    November 9, DRANCY CONCENTRATION CAMP (France) - German guards led by Commandant Alois Brunner found a tunnel being built under the camp. Prisoners had been working twenty-four hours a day for three months and had only thirty meters left to dig. The underground leader, Col. Robert Blum, as well as others were shot in response. The rest were deported on November 25. Twelve out of the fourteen succeeded in jumping from the train and rejoined the resistance. [111] (103)

    November 14, ITALIAN JEWS KILLED (Ferrara, Italy) - Italian fascists killed 3 Jews in cold blood in broad daylight. They were not arrested or prosecuted in any way. [111] (103)

    November 19, JANOWSKA CAMP (Janow) REVOLT (Lvov, Ukraine) - Although a number of underground groups were formed they did not unify and many of their leaders were betrayed by informants. Despite this, a number of them tried to fight back when the camp was liquidated. Only a few survived; most were killed by the Ukrainian police. [111] (103)

    December 6, MILAN JEWS DEPORTED (Italy) - In one of the last major Italian deportations, 212 Jews from Milan were sent to Auschwitz. In all, out of a population of 35,000 before the war, approximately 8500 Jews were killed. An estimated 2000 Jews fought with the partisans, five of them winning Italy's highest medals for bravery. [111] (103)

    December 10, TARASIKA (Romania) - As Soviet troops began to break through German lines, the Germans (and local Romanians) tried to cover up their actions by killing the surviving inmates of the labor camp and destroying the camp itself. This type of action was repeated over and over again as Soviet troops moved toward Germany. [111] (103)

    December 13, VLADIMIRETS-VOLYN (Ukraine) - As the SS began its extermination of the local population of Vladimiretz-Volyn, they were attacked by 30 armed Jews. A number of the SS officers were killed as well as half of the attacking force. The remainder fled to the forests to join the partisans. The Voroshilov Detachment and (Anton) Brynsky's partisan battalion were made up mostly of Jews who played an important role fighting against Ukrainian Nationalists and Germans, and later helping the Russians as they advanced. [111] (103)