The biggest and best-known episode of resistance to the Nazis by the Jewish people during the Second World War is the one that took place in the Warsaw city ghetto, led by Mordejai Anilevich.
Anilevich was a member of the Jewish Youth movement and commander of the Jewish Struggle Organisation (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa in Polish), also known as ŻOB, and started the resistance along with other leaders.
The uprising started following the German authorities' decision to deport Jews en masse from the ghetto to the concentration camps. The resistance took place between 19 April and 16 May 1943. From January, the clandestine Jewish groups of the ghetto tried to prevent the remaining population of the ghetto from being deported. The Jews were brave and managed to expel the oppressors and quickly take control of the place. Any Jew accused of collaborating with the SS was executed, including Gestapo officers. The fighters achieved their objective and expelled the Nazis from the ghetto. Following that, the Jews tried to survive and be prepared for combat.
Finally, on Passover eve, the Germans entered the ghetto and started to burn it, house by house, demolishing basements and killing any Jew they saw. Over four days the SS captured and executed many of them, while the remainder stayed in the refuges they had built.
On 8 May, after 20 days of continuous fighting and when the few remaining Jews were living in ruins and refuges, isolated from the Polish population, the Germans decided to take the headquarters of the ZOB, where Mordejai Anilevich and his girlfriend Mira Fuchrer were housed. The two decided to commit suicide rather than fall into the hands of the Nazis, as did many other leaders. The rest hid in the ghetto's sewers, where they died of thirst and hunger. They had no ammunition so they could not commit suicide and therefore they asked their colleagues to do it for them.
On 16 May 1943, the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto was over and Stroop (SS officer) declared the battle over when the last synagogue in Warsaw was knocked down.