Inside the burning Warsaw ghetto
1st May 1943: After nearly two weeks of fighting the SS force the Jews out of their ghetto hiding places by burning everything down
Conditions inside the Warsaw Ghetto were becoming ever more desperate. The SS were systematically burning the whole area to the ground block by block. Those who attempted to shelter in the bunkers and cellars were eventually forced out if they were not burnt alive. Some were shot immediately, more were put on the trains to Treblinka where they were gassed upon arrival.
We went out to search for food in empty bunkers and cellars. Once we went down to a cellar whose walls emitted waves of heat. My companions and I found ourselves walking on a kind of soft, light ground, like feathers. It was ash with scorched bodies lying in it.
The armed resistance groups had little scope to fight back anymore. It had been an unequal struggle from the beginning but now the Germans were prepared for a fight and well-armed. Only a small minority of Jews would survive the battle, an even smaller number of those involved in the fight would live to tell the tale.