19 April 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – the biggest Jewish military revolt during WW2, and the first urban insurgency in occupied Europe. On that day, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews organizes two unique events: the sixth edition of the Daffodils social-educational campaign and the Remembering Together concert. At 12 noon, Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, invites to a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary in the square in front of the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw.
In the summer of 1942, the Germans began the so-called Great Deportation Aktion of the Ghetto, established in 1940. Nearly 300,000 Jews were deported to the extermination camp in Treblinka. On 19 April 1943, two thousand Germans entered the Ghetto order to carry out its final liquidation. They were met with the resistance of several hundred poorly armed insurgents. In the course of a month that followed, they engaged in combat amongst the rubble of the systematically destroyed Ghetto. As residents of Warsaw, we should remember about them.
The Daffodils campaign
On 19 April, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews will launch the 6th edition of the Daffodils social-educational campaign. This year, a record number of over 1,500 volunteers will distribute paper daffodil badges – the symbol of remembrance of the Uprising – in the streets of Warsaw. Why daffodils? They are related to the figure of Marek Edelman, the last commander of the Jewish Combat Organization which organized the Uprising together with the Jewish Military Union. Edelman was one of the few survivors. After the war had ended, each year on the anniversary of the Uprising, he used to lay a bouquet of yellow flowers at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. POLIN Museum continues this tradition by distributing thousands of yellow flowers and leaflets informing on the Uprising on 19 April. By wearing a daffodil badge we demonstrate that we are all united in the memory of those who perished in a combat for dignity. “We cannot change the past, but we can preserve the memory of the residents of Warsaw who fought for freedom, dignity and life during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The memory is all that we have left of these people. That is why we have to join the Daffodils campaign each year on 19 April. We met wonderful people in the course of the campaign – volunteers who all think and feel alike. It is a community of people of goodwill, so hard to come across these days. Undoubtedly, we can call them our second family. The growing community of volunteers who remember and do not let people forget is the highest asset of the Daffodils campaign,” say Ania and Janek Goliasz, volunteers of the campaign. This year, Maja Komorowska, Katarzyna Nosowska, Zofia Wichłacz, Radzimir Dębski (JIMEK) and Dawid Ogrodnik also joined in to promote the campaign.
This year the Daffodils social-educational campaign is organized under the National Auspices of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda on the 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence, and the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Education. Similarly to previous years, schools, libraries and other institutions from all over Poland will join the campaign, organizing various activities related to the commemoration of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This year, over 1,000 institutions, as well as Jewish Community of Warsaw, are planning to join in, but more can still do so by filling in the form available at www.polin.pl/pl/zonkile-szkoly-biblioteki no later than 17 April. Teachers and representatives of the cooperating institutions will be provided with special didactic materials.