The last of the hard men. (One of them, anyway.)

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AchillesHeel
10/14/09 10:46:17AM
In the Autumn of 1942, the German Schutzstaffel began their "resettlement" of 400,000 Warsaw Jews to the eastern town of Treblinka. In April of 1943, on the eve of Passover, 2000 troops led by 800 Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers, Wehrmacht combat engineers, and a battery of Luftwaffe anti-aircraft artillery entered Warsaw's Jewish ghetto to finish the job.

Marek Edelman, among others, decided it was better to die with a gun in his hand than in a gas chamber. Somewhere between 400 and 1000 Jewish resistance fighters met the Nazis with revolvers, Molotov Cocktails and improvised explosive devices. Edelman's group held out for a month, being driven out of the Brushmakers' District only when the entire place burned down (of the 13,000 Jews killed in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, up to half died of smoke inhalation).

After escaping in a 2-foot high tunnel, half-filled with water, Dr. Edelman, of Lodz, Poland, finally succumbed... On 4 October 2009, at the age of 90. A cardiologist, he apparently smoked like a factory.

(From the October 10th issue of The Economist.)
Svartorm
10/14/09 7:36:28PM
The story of the Warsaw Ghetto is an amazing one. They basicially held off the Germans with the use of about a dozen revolvers. The Germans assumed they had more because they'd always keep the weapons near the entrance, and thats part of why they managed to hold out for so long. Great stuff.
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