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Behind the Aegis

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The Warsaw Ghetto: Uprising

April 19, 1943, the eve of Passover, seventy-three years ago, today, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up against the Nazi regime. Though it wouldn't last a month, and most were killed, the rest deported to be killed later, it was a crucial moment in Jewish history. After learning that the Ghetto was to be "liquidated" on orders from SS chief Heinrich Himmler, the Jewish populace did what they could to liberate themselves.

Approximately 7000 Jews were killed in the month long fighting, another 7000 were immediately transferred to Treblinka for immediate death.

The Germans deported almost all of the remaining Jews, approximately 42,000, to the Lublin/Majdanek concentration camp, and to the Poniatowa, Trawniki, Budzyn, and Krasnik forced-labor camps. With the exception of a few thousand forced laborers at Budzyn and Krasnik, German SS and police units later murdered almost all of the Warsaw Jews deported to Lublin/Majdanek, Poniatowa, and Trawniki in November 1943 in ďOperation Harvest FestivalĒ (Unternehmen Erntefest(see below)). (source)

Aktion "Erntefest" (Operation "Harvest Festival"

Translated from German, "Erntefest" means "Harvest Festival." The word "Erntefest" was the code name for the German operation to kill all Jews remaining in the Lublin District of the Generalgouvernement (a territory in the interior of occupied Poland) in the fall of 1943. The timing of the operation was apparently in response to several efforts by surviving Jews to resist the Nazis (for example, the uprisings at the Sobibor and Treblinka killing centers, and armed resistance in the Warsaw, Bialystok, and Vilna ghettos). The SS feared additional Jewish-led revolts in the Generalgouvernement. To prevent further resistance the SS decided to kill most of the remaining Jews, who were employed in forced-labor projects and were concentrated in the Trawniki, Poniatowa, and Majdanek camps.

"Erntefest" began at dawn on November 3, 1943. The Trawniki and Poniatowa labor camps were surrounded by SS and police units. Jews were then taken out of the camps in groups and shot in nearby pits dug for this purpose. At Majdanek, Jews were first separated from the other prisoners. They were then taken in groups to nearby trenches and shot. Jews from other labor camps in the Lublin area were also taken to Majdanek and shot. Music was played through loudspeakers at both Majdanek and Trawniki to drown out the noise of the mass shooting. The killing operation was completed in a single day at Majdanek and Trawniki. At Poniatowa the shootings took two days. Approximately 42,000 Jews were killed during "Erntefest."
Holocaust Encyclopedia

Remembering Archivist and Warsaw Ghetto Survivor Rose Klepfisz

The archivist Rose Klepfisz died in her apartment in the Bronx on March 23rd at the age of 102. She is survived by her daughter, Irena Klepfisz, a writer and professor at Barnard College, as well as by relatives in Australia and admirers in Bundist circles and in the field of Jewish Studies around the world. She is predeceased by her husband Michal Klepfisz, who died fighting in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Rose Klepfisz was born on July 22nd 1914 in Warsaw as Shoshana Perczykow. At the insistence of her older sisters, she attended Polish public schools rather than private Jewish schools. The perfect Polish that she learned in school would greatly aid her during WWII. The death of her father, a clockmaker, when she was 12 forced her to leave school prematurely as her family needed the money her sewing could bring. A lifelong lover of literature she continued her studies by taking night classes at a local library. During her teenage years, she was an active member of the Zionist movement Hashomer Hatzairís youth group and learned to plant tobacco in preparation for a new life in British-Mandate Palestine.

Her politics would change, however, after she met her husband Michal Klepfisz during a skiing trip. Michal spotted her from a distance and chased her down a hill. The two dated for four years before marrying in July of 1937. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Paris and soon moved into the home of Michalís parents, the Bundist activists and teachers Miriam and Jakob Klepfisz. The Klepfiszes were more well-off than Roseís family and she enjoyed the relative luxuries that their home provided such as a bathtub. In the years before WWII Michal worked as a chemical engineer and was rising in the ranks of the Bund, helping to run the movementís sports club Morgenstern.

Rose Klepfisz was already pregnant when she was confined to the Warsaw Ghetto alongside nearly half a million of her fellow Jews. She gave birth to her daughter Irena on April 17th, 1941, her husbandís 28th birthday. The young family continued living with Michalís parents and older sister until they were all lined up in a courtyard during a selection. At the last possible moment, Michal recognized a Jewish policeman he knew and managed to create a diversion, sneaking himself, his wife and his daughter out of harmís way. The couple soon learned that Michalís parents had been brought to the umschlagplatz, from which they were put on a transport to Treblinka and murdered.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Apr 19, 2016, 05:10 PM (11 replies)

It has been two years...two long years, but I did it. Today is my 2 year Smokefree Anniversary!

I smoked for almost 30 years. By the time I quit, I was smoking at least two packs a day, sometimes, 2.5 packs. It was not easy for me at all, but eventually, more time passed and the cravings became less extreme. Sure, there are some days I want to punch someone in the throat just to have a couple of puffs, but usually it passes quickly. I also still have dreams where I am smoking, but they are more rare now; usually, when I am really stressed.

I have noticed a number of things since I quit, the first was I can now laugh, a good belly laugh, without breaking out into a coughing fit. I don't cough throughout the day, except when my damn allergies kick in full gear. My sense of smell is extremely heightened, which can be good sometimes and other times...ewwww . I could always smell quite well, even as a smoker, but when I quit, I could really smell things! I don't get winded when I am working or playing. My clothes don't smell!! My breath doesn't curdle wallpaper, except when I eat certain foods, which I can now taste! I also don't use as much salt as I used to use. Then there is the money I have saved...I have been putting what I would have spent on cigarettes into a savings account and used it to buy holiday gifts; made for some very expensive gifts!

I am not going to preach. I am not going to chastise. I am not going to lord my quitting over others. I will simply say, if I can do it, anyone can! If you are ready to quit, do it YOUR way! Make it YOUR experience! Celebrate your wins, and move past any setbacks. You can do it! I DID!


ETA: Thanks for all the "Kudos!", it is really appreciated. I am really glad others who have quit are also sharing.

ETA: Again, THANKS for all the positive comments! What a thread! Also, thank you to all the other former/ex-smokers for coming forward as an example to me and to others. If you are trying to quit, just read this thread. So many "quitters" have been that way for YEARS and YEARS! You can do it too! Look at all the people just waiting to cheer you on!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Apr 4, 2016, 02:46 AM (148 replies)
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