World War II
World War II
Nor did the nations at war with Germany open their doors wide to the hundreds of thousands of innocent people sentenced to death. Neither did the rulers of these nations make a single public statement in the name of their people, offering refuge in any one place in the world, even for time, to those facing death. Not one of these nations took note of the terrible difference between the accident of death of free people in an embattled nation and the planned death of imprisoned and unarmed masses. For different is the death to which every citizen in a country is exposed during a night of bombs and shattered houses, a death endured by a small number of people within a whole nation and different is the death at the end of a terror transport, the death endured by every member of a people that is non-combatant. And yet, all the Jews thus murdered were seen by the nations as simply victims of war.
Tens of thousands of citizens of the nations that were at war with Germany, but who were not serving in the armies of his enemies, were also sent to their death by the ruler of Germany. Murderous armed German forces raged throughout the region of Russia which they had conquered and throughout the lands which they had subjected and among non-German people whom they had enslaved and brought many to work for the Germans in Germany and in Austria. Whenever there were violent protests against the tyrant’s troops by members of nations that were the enemies of Germany and whenever a German overseer was killed by those enslaved, the ruler of Germany wreaked a hundredfold vengeance. His troops burnt down entire localities and murdered everyone there, men, women and children as an act of retaliation. Even so, the Germans never set out to annihilate everyone whenever they met with opposition. Only the Jews of Europe did they set out to annihilate totally. And, as far as his power could reach, the German ruler did annihilate all but a small remnant. Thus there died four million Jews.
When Jews considered resisting the Germans, almost all of them thought: ’If we avoid fanning the rage of the murderers and do not resist, they may perhaps be willing to let the women and children live; if we resist, weak as we are, they will murder everyone without exception, not only those of us who fight them’. It did not occur to them that the German murderers were so far removed from humane feelings that they would murder children and old people, pregnant women and infants without any provocation. And so the Jews offered no resistance.
However, when the Jews in Warsaw, locked in that town, heard that the Germans were taking tens of thousands of their brethren from that city and from the assembly areas and murdering them, having them shot or killed in gas chambers, not excepting the women and children, then the Jews of Warsaw stopped thinking that they could save those who could least defend themselves by offering no resistance. They saw how unlike human beings those Germans were. And they decided to die fighting and to kill as many murderers as they were able to, even with worthless weapons.
In the eighth month of the fourth year of the war, on the 19th of the month, the Jews of Warsaw began their battle against the mighty, murderous German army encamped in Warsaw with all its fearful weaponry. The Jews had succeeded in obtaining small weapons that could be easily hidden, weapons left in Poland from earlier battles between the Poles, the Russians and the Germans. The Jews decided to fight with these weapons. They only served to kill if the murderers came close, whereas the heavy guns of the Germans could kill Jews from a great distance.
The Jews began the battle by attacking two German tanks. They threw small bombs, setting the tanks alight. When the Germans withdrew from the part of the town that they had encircled, the Jews fortified the houses in the part of Warsaw where they were kept and began to shoot from these houses and from the cellars at the division of German murderers. For this was no ordinary army, out to conquer and take prisoners. Its task was to murder. The Germans attacked the houses with tanks and flame throwers. But whenever the Germans came out of their tanks in order to go into the houses and drag the Jews out, the Jews shot at them and not a few of the murderers fell. And the Jewish women in the houses also took up arms and shot with small weapons whenever the Germans came near. All the Jews knew that there was no hope of success in the battle, but they were able to prolong the fight for the houses and the cellars in which they were besieged day and night. Many thousand Jews fought, but there were also many who were old or weak and there were many children in that Jewish sector of Warsaw. And they suffered hunger and thirst. But even when the German broke into the cellars with their greatly superior weapons, the Jews did not surrender; some were even able to hide their weapons and use them, even after they were taken away. The Germans threw explosives into the cellars and into the fortified houses, and those inside died. The battle between the Jews of Warsaw and the Germans lasted from the 19th day of the eighth month until the 15th day of the ninth month. Then the German burnt the entire Jewish sector and almost all the Jews who still remained died, men, women and children. A small number of Jews had been able to escape during the battle along tunnels that led from the closed sector to the outside. At the end of the battle, the Germans used explosives to blow up the Synagogue.
While the German military strike force in Warsaw was destroying the city’s Jewish sector, the German army in Africa surrendered.
At this point, the strength of Germany’s enemies increased greatly. The massed armies stationed in Africa, in England and in Russia ringed Europe and now started to move. In the first half of the fourth year of the war, in the winter, the Russians began to advance along their entire battle line, from the capital in the North to the mountains of the Caucasus at the Eastern end of the Black Sea. For in winter, the Russian strength was great. And along the entire battle line, more than one thousand miles long, they drove the German armies back, back one hundred miles in places, back two hundred miles on other places. When the Spring thaw set in, the Russian forces halted and waited for a counter attack by the Germans. For the next four months the two enemy armies readied themselves for an almighty battle. Then, in the eleventh month of the fourth year of the war, the Germans hurled themselves with fury and desperation at the Red army. The bloody battle raged for one week, not far from the Russian city of Kursk. And once again, the German army suffered a devastating defeat. The hordes which had sworn allegiance to the man called Hitler, which had laid waste Russian lands and terrorised the inhabitants, fell in untold thousands on the battlefield or were taken captive by the Russians. Their weaponry was destroyed or captured.
While the battle of Kursk still raged, the nations that were allied against Germany forced a landing on the continent of Europe for the first time. In vast numbers, American and British troops came from Africa, having cleared away the Germans there. The Allies crossed the Mediterranean Sea and landed on the shores of the island of Sicily. And, although warriors of the ruler of Germany stood along all the coasts of Europe, ready to drive back into the sea all who sought to come on land, those coast lines were inordinately long. Only a poor strategist would expect to guard all the land by the sea. As with the vast expanses of Russia, so now the vast areas of the lands of Europe, from the North Pole to Italy and from Russia to the Pyrenees, tied down a very great number of German troops. It was not possible to maintain dense hordes everywhere and the area under German control was steadily pressed back by the three Allies, at first from the East, then from the South.
By the end of the fourth year of the war, the Americans and the British had cleared the island of Sicily of German soldiers. At the same time, the Russians had cleared German soldiers from many towns and from much of their land.
At the beginning of the fifth year of the war, the American and British armies set foot on the shores of Italy.
And the people in Europe still groaned and trembled under the German nation, its army and its advancing gangs of murderers, its rule of blood. No one could yet see how the Allied armies, even if they penetrated through Italy to the North, would be able to uproot the immense power of the German. The high mountains of the Alps barred the way to the heart of the continent. And day and night, throughout Europe, the factories making weapons for the German armies still droned on.
And in this war, great battles raged at sea as well as in the air. For, in the days before the war when, in spite of the gruesome deeds that the Germans were committing in the heart of their own country, Britain had been well inclined and had allowed Germany to build a powerful weapon to be used in sea warfare. That weapon was the submarine. Germany’s armaments factories built many submarines. These lay in wait, unseen, below the surface of the water, ready for ships belonging to the nations at war with Germany. Gliding through the water, these submarines tore through the floors of ships with their guns and sank thousands of them, together with the troops, the weapons and the supplies being sent across the seas by the enemies of Germany. Tens of thousands were drowned and the supplies, the weapons, everything disappeared on the bottom of the ocean.
The Russians were not able to build sufficient weapons or sufficient vehicles for their troops. The British did not have sufficient wheat for the troops and the population. If the German submarines could prevent the supply ships from reaching Russia and England, the Russians and the English would be forced to give up their fight against Germany.
American and British engineers worked on possible means of overcoming the submarine weapon. And they invented a method to locate the submarines below the surface of the water and destroy them. However, the Germans built submarines faster than the Allies could build and send their destroyers to the bottom of the ocean. The German fleet of stealthy ships grew and became an ever greater threat to the lifeline between the nations fighting against Germany. The fleet of submarines grew throughout the first, the second and throughout the third year of the war. But, as the war continued, the Americans and the British built far more combat airplanes than the Germans. These fighter planes spied out the surface of the seas and saw the submarines when these came to the surface, just like whales coming up to breathe. Together, the warships and the planes of the Allied nations were able to destroy more submarines than had previously been possible. From the third year on, troops with their weapons, food supplies and army equipment were able to reach Europe far more safely.