The 19th April 2013 was the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto,when the Jews of ZOB in the Warsaw Ghetto put up armed resistance to Fascist domination,racism and murder.
I have written elsewhere about how i have wanted to a Pacifist but how i find it impossible for a variety of reasons,which i guess are mostly about my own weaknesses.I know pacifists do not condemn others anyway,in their own choices,but one of my difficulties is that i feel uncomfortable not only with the death,especially the violent death of others but that my moral outlook might increase the pressure on others faced with impossible circumstances…….
So i cannot condemn the choices of the fighters of the Warsaw ghetto……who after all,whatever lives they took,would have mostly been men who signed up to fight in the German army and their fascist allies,even if that included people who were not themselves nazis.What is more the members of ZOB were primarily making their own commitment of their own lives.This was not the 1st time in history that Jews had given up their lives for others…..
The other day when i first saw anothers reference to the anniversary,i was struck that it included this picture of young Jewish women,amongst those courageous volunteers.Again i am reminded of the role of women,including Jewish women in our world.
We ought to remember that we are ALL born of women.I worked in a profession largely dominated by women who give their care everyday to strangers as well as their own families,and for whom as long as a divided society exists that tears us ourselves from ourselves,we men can learn lessons about how we give expression to our less dominating,domineering,more tender selves.I am also reminded of Rosa Luxemburg,who indefatigably fought for socialism and against militarism all her life.And she too paid with her life for that courage to stand up for and to stand by working people organising for life to be a better way to live.But the last thought must be with these and other unnamed women in the Warsaw Ghetto.They could not know what support if any their actions would arouse,but at least with hindsight we must know that their actions shone like a candle,and represented a turning point in not just jewish but human destiny.We must never forget them,nor must we let them down.We owe it to them to continue to build for a genuinely socialist,humanitarian,free future for us all in a world no longer for profit,war or power but as a common treasury for all!