On Friday night, hundreds of Polish and Diaspora Jews gathered together to celebrate a Passover seder in the former Warsaw Ghetto, 76 years to the day after the Jews imprisoned there began a bloody last stand against the Nazis.
Known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the fierce battle started on April 19, 1943, and saw the Jews hold control of the ghetto for nearly a month until SS-led German forces systematically burned it to the ground, block by block. It was the largest single violent act of defiance by Jews during the Holocaust.
The seder was held at Warsaw’s Hilton hotel, which overlooks the former ghetto boundary, and was conducted in parallel Polish and Hebrew versions by Poland’s head Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi, Shalom Ber Stambler, and his 13-year-old son Yossi Stambler.
Many of the roughly 300 visitors who flew in from abroad had relatives who at one point lived in the ghetto. They joined 100 local Jews in the retelling of the exodus story, and, towards the end of the seder, united in song.
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