The Warsaw Ghetto was nothing more than a concentration camp in the middle of a city. The Ghetto was cut off from the rest of Warsaw by razor wire and walls.
Jews by the tens of thousands were jammed into the Ghetto. The conditions were inhuman. Food was rationed to about 300 calories a day.
When it became obvious that the Warsaw Ghetto Jews were only waiting to be carted off and exterminated, they fought back. During a couple weeks in late April 1943, they fought a hopeless uprising with homemade grenades, rocks and too few rifles.
When it was over in May, 15-thousand were killed, the ghetto leveled and the survivors still went to death camps. They were "victimized and murdered by the Nazi regime," explained Peter Black. Black is a senior historian at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Black spoke at a "Days of Remembrance" event Thursday evening at the University of Utah. He told students that it might be hard to think about such horrors as the Warsaw Ghetto, but we have to remember and learn to never permit it again. Black said, "It is important to do honor to the victims of the holocaust -- without forgetting other victims of the Nazi regime -- but it is also important to think about how one, as a citizen of the world today, can respond."
If we think we're so much better than Germans of the 1930's and 40's, Black points out that Germany was a sophisticated, technologically advanced country. And it's people were highly educated. "An event like this could happen again," he said.
In fact, he points out that genocides have continued since World War 2. They've taken place in far flung places such as Rwanda, Cambodia and Serbia.