Mordecai Anielewicz: A native of Warsaw, Mordecai Anielewicz was a leader of the Zionist ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir movement. By January 1940, he was a full-time underground activist. After June 1941, when word began to spread about the mass killings being carried out by the Nazis, Anielewicz concentrated on the creation of a self-defense organization in the Ghetto. After the mass deportations of 1942, Anielewicz took over and reorganized the ZOB (Jewish Fighting Organization), and in November 1942 he was appointed the commander.
During the first days of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Anielewicz, twenty-three years old, was in command. When the street fighting ended, he and his staff and a large force of fighters retreated to a bunker at 18 Mila Street. The bunker fell on May 8, 1943, and Anielewicz was killed.
Wladyslaw T. Bartoszewski was born in Warsaw and educated at Warsaw University. He is currently a lecturer in Modern European History at Warwick University and Secretary of the Institute for Polish- Jewish Studies at Oxford.
Lucy S. Dawidowicz (d. 1990), Holocaust historian and author, taught at Stanford University (CA) and Yeshiva University, New York, NY. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, her magnum opus, The War Against the Jews, received the Anisfeld-Wolf Award.
Konstanty Gebert is a journalist and Jewish activist living in Warsaw. He was a Solidarity activist.
Hirsh Glik (1922-1944), a young Yiddish poet, was born in Vilna. Imprisoned in a concentration camp in Estonia, he was killed by the Germans.
Yisrael Gutman, author of The Jews of Warsaw and editor of the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, is a faculty member of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.
Margo Gutstein is Librarian of Cataloging Services for the Simon Wiesenthal Center Library/Archives, Los Angeles, CA.
Paul H. Hamburg is Reference Librarian for the Simon Wiesenthal Center Library/Archives, Los Angeles, CA.
Jamie Lee Hoffer is the Graphic Designer for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Shmaryahu Kaczerginski (1908-1954), a Yiddish writer, was a chronicler in verse, prose, and drama of the Vilna Ghetto and Jewish partisans. Kaczerginski joined the partisan forces following the liquidation of the ghetto in September 1943.
Itzhak Katzenelson (1886-1944), poet, playwright, and educator, wrote in Yiddish and Hebrew. In late November 1939 Katzenelson fled from Lodz to Warsaw where he lived and wrote (in Yiddish) until April 20, 1943, following the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. While he was hiding on the "Aryan" side, the Germans discovered his real identity and sent him to the Vittel Camp (France). In April 1944, Katzenelson and his surviving son were deported to their deaths in Auschwitz. Adaire Klein is Coordinator of Library and Archival Services for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Daniel Landes is Director of National Educational Projects for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Reuven Lifshutz (1918-1975) authored a collection of songs and poems while living in the Warsaw Ghetto and, later, in a Displaced Persons camp in Munich, Germany.
Czeslaw Milosz, a Polish-American author, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, Milosz was active in the Resistance and edited, wrote, and translated numerous clandestine works.
Nehemia Polen is Associate Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew College, Boston, MA. His new book on Esh Kodesh, the Warsaw Ghetto writings of Rabbi Kalunimus Kalmish Shapiro, is soon to be published.
Mark Weitzman is National Director of Educational Outreach for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, New York, NY.
Simon Wiesenthal, Holocaust survivor and founder and director of the Documentation Center in Vienna, has dedicated his life to the pursuit and prosecution of Nazi war criminals.
Samuel Zygelbojm: Samuel Zygelbojm, Polish Bundist (Jewish Socialist) leader, was, after a career of union activism, one of the twelve public figures the Germans took as hostages when they occupied Warsaw. After his release he represented the Bund on the first Warsaw Judenrat (Jewish Council established by the Nazis). In December 1939, in danger of being arrested, Zygelbojm was sent out of the country by the Bund to report on conditions in German-occupied Poland. He went first to Belgium in 1940, then to the United States in 1940-1942, and finally to Great Britain, where he was the Bund representative on the Polish National Council from 1942-1943. Zygelbojm attempted to alert authorities to take rescue and retaliatory action on behalf of Polish Jewry. For example, in a BBC broadcast in December 1942, Zygelbojm said, "if Polish Jewry's call for help goes unheeded, Hitler will have achieved one of his war aims-to destroy the Jews of Europe irrespective of the military outcome of the war." Zygelbojm's efforts failed, and he began to despair about the fate of Polish Jews; when word came of the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, he committed suicide on May 12, 1943.