The last surviving fighter from the doomed 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising by Jewish partisans against the Nazis died Saturday in Israel aged 94, the country’s president said.
Simcha Rotem, who went by the nom-de-guerre Kazik, served in the Jewish Fighting Organisation that staged the uprising as the Nazis conducted mass deportations of residents to the death camps.
“This evening, we part from… Simcha Rotem, the last of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters,” Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement.
“He joined the uprising and helped save dozens of fighters”.
Hundreds of Jewish fighters began their fight on April 19, 1943, after the Nazis began deporting the surviving residents of the Jewish ghetto they had set up after invading Poland.
The insurgents preferred to die fighting instead of in a gas chamber at the Treblinka death camp where the Nazis had already sent more than 300,000 Warsaw Jews.
Speaking at a 2013 ceremony in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the uprising, Rotem recalled that by April 1943 most of the ghetto’s Jews had died and the 50,000 who remained expected the same fate.
Rotem said he and his comrades launched the uprising to “choose the kind of death” they wanted.
“But to this very day I keep thinking whether we had the right to make the decision to start the uprising and by the same token to shorten the lives of many people by a week, a day or two,” Rotem said.
Thousands of Jews died in Europe’s first urban anti-Nazi revolt, most of them burned alive, and nearly all the rest were then sent to Treblinka.
Rotem survived by masterminding an escape through the drain system with dozens of comrades. Polish sewer workers guided them to the surface.
He went on to participate in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising led by Polish resistance fighters against the Nazis.
Mike Pence should be investigated for his part in Ukraine negotiations and ‘we need some answers’: Ex-prosecutor
On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance agreed with host Joy Reid that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in the Ukraine whistleblower cover-up — and that Congress needs to act to learn the truth for the American people.
"Let me go to you on this very quickly, Joyce, because here's the question for Mike Pence," said Reid. "Mike Pence has been sort of severed from all of the other questions that are relating to potential impeachment for Donald Trump, that the House is wrestling with right now, but if Pence ... went in knowing why the aid was being held up, went in and spoke to the leader of Ukraine knowing what stick the administration had over them, and in that way was drawn in to this idea of using that stick to try to get what they wanted from Ukraine, does he then face the jeopardy of perhaps also being drawn into the questions of impeachment?"
‘We’re not through’: After biggest climate protest in history draws 4 million worldwide, campaigners prepare for week of action
"September 20th was a demonstration of intent, of 4 million people who took time off from work or school to say that they are ready to move on and make the changes we need."
As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world—making it the biggest climate protest ever—they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.
Saudi Arabia reveals extent of damage to attacked oil plants
Saudi Arabia on Friday revealed extensive damage to key oil facilities following weekend aerial strikes that were blamed on Iran, but vowed to quickly restore full production even as regional tensions soar.
Yemen's Tehran-linked Huthi rebels, who on Friday announced a sudden halt to attacks on Saudi Arabia, claimed the strikes on state giant Aramco's facilities in Khurais and the world's largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq.
But Washington has pointed the finger at Tehran, condemning an "act of war" which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production and on Friday prompted US President Donald Trump to sketch out the latest in a series of economic sanctions against Iran.