Marek Edelman: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising hero Israel tried to cancel
Marek Edelman was born in Warsaw to Polish Jewish family.
When the Germans invaded and occupied Poland in 1939, Edelman was deported to the Warsaw Ghetto. Edelman joined the ghetto's Jewish Fighting Organization (Zydowska
Organizacja Bojowa, ZOB) in November 1942. He soon became a one of the leader's of the ghetto’s underground resistance.
In the Warsaw ghetto uprising of April–May 1943, led by Mordechai Anielewicz, Edelman was one of the three sub-commanders and led the revolt in the Brushmakers area, the site of one of the fiercest battles. “The Germans weren’t expecting resistance of any kind, let alone that we would take up arms,” Edelman recalled.
Edelman in 1944. The outnumbered and outgunned ghetto fighters’ strong resistance forced the German troops to withdraw. Over the next three weeks, the fighting was intense. The Jewish fighters killed and wounded scores of Nazis but inevitably sustained far greater losses. On May 8, Anielewicz, was surrounded by German forces and committed suicide, and Edelman took his place as commander. Edelman was among the last of the fighters to hold out at Mila 18, the site of the ZOB’s command bunker. The Germans proceeded to flush out the few remaining fighters by burning down the ghetto. Edelman always insisted, “We were beaten by the flames, not the Germans.”
German soldiers in the during the Ghetto rising After the ghetto rising was over, Polish underground units managed to penetrate the ghetto and evacuated the survivors while suffering heavy casualties in the evacuation.
Marek Edelman as well as many of those Polish Jews that survived the Ghetto rising joined the Polish underground and fought in its ranks against the German occupiers in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. In fact more Jews fought in the 1944 Warsaw uprising with the Polish underground than in the 1943 Ghetto uprising. After the war, Edelman remained in Poland. He studied at Łódź Medical School and became a one of Poland's most noted cardiologists.
Edelman opposed the Soviet occupation of Poland after the war and despite the fact that he was a Socialist, he remained a staunch opposition of Communism in Poland. He later joined the "Solidarność" movement in Poland and became one of its more famous members. In Poland Marek Edelman is honored as a national hero, and a symbol of a struggle against German and Russian totalitarianism. On April 17, 1998, Edelman was awarded Poland's highest decoration, the Order of the White Eagle. He received also the French Legion of Honour. However in Israel, almost no one knows about him. This would seem strange, that a holocaust survivor, a hero of the Ghetto uprising, who spent the war years fighting the Germans in any way he could would be all but airbrushed from the pages of Israeli history. The reason for that was because Edelman not only chose to stay in Poland after the war, but he was also an anti Zionist who criticized Israel ongoing occupation of the Palestinian people. Because of this, Israeli historians and institution like "Yad Vashem" did all they could to erase his name and story from the pages of history. In 1993 an Israeli delegation arrived in Poland to commemorate 50 years for the Ghetto uprising. When they learned that Edelman would be one of the speakers in the ceremony, they thretened to leave. The then Polish president, and former Communist spy, Lech Walesa, acquiesced to the Israeli demands, and dropped Edelman from the speakers list. The then Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, even refused to shake hands with the hero of the Ghetto uprising.
Mural in memory of Marek Edelman in Warsaw: The most important is life, and when there is life, the most important is freedom. And then we give our life for freedom..." In Israel the memory of the Holocaust, and WW2 history as a whole, is distorted and manipulated according to ideological and governmental propaganda needs. Israel's historians and governmental agencies often change, distort and outright rewrite the historical narrative regarding events during WW2 according whatever are the current needs of the Israel government and state. That's why The Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyhu can blame the Palestinians for the holocaust, or "Yad Vashem" which had an NKVD member serving as its chairman for many years, would change the entire history of WW2 in order to please Vladimir Putin. And that's why Marek Edelman, an internationally recognized hero of the Ghetto uprising has been "cancelled" in Israel, he doesn't fit the ideological or propaganda needs of the state. The sad truth is that Israel, Israeli historians and "Yad Vashem" would rather praise and commemorate a literal Nazi like Oscar Schindler than a real Jewish hero like Marek Edelman.