Warsaw Jews Request Arms
from Polish Underground
(March 13, 1943)
...The coming days are likely to see the end of the Jews
Are we ready? From a material point of view it is very
bad. Of the 49 weapons that have been allocated to us only 36 can be used,
for lack of ammunition. Our position as regards arms has worsened after the
many operations of the past few weeks, during which much ammunition was
used. At the present moment there are no more than 10 bullets for each
weapon. This is a catastrophic situation.
Please inform the authorities in our name that if
large-scale help does not arrive immediately, we shall look on it as
indifference on the part of the representatives and the authorities to the
fate of the Jews of Warsaw. The allocation of weapons without ammunition is
a cynical mockery of our fate, and confirms the assumption that the poison
of anti-Semitism continues to pervade the leading circles in Poland,
despite the cruel and tragic experiences of the past three years. It is not
our intention to persuade anybody concerning our willingness and ability to
fight. Since January 18 the Jews of Warsaw have been in a state of
continuous struggle with the invader and his servants. Anyone who denies
this or casts doubt upon it, is nothing but a deliberate anti-Semite.
We do not expect only "understanding" from the
authorities and the delegatura,* but also that they should consider
the murder of millions of Jews, who are Polish citizens, to be the main
problem of our current life. We regret most deeply that it is not possible
for us to make direct contact with the Allied governments, with the Polish
Government and the Jewish organizations abroad in order to inform them
about our situation and the attitude towards us on the part of the Polish
authorities and public.
We request that you take the necessary steps immediately
with the Army Authorities and Government Representatives. We request that
you read them this letter and demand immediately at least 100 grenades, 50
revolvers, 10 rifles and several thousand bullets of various diameters. I
am prepared to submit within two days accurate plans of our positions, with
maps, so that there need be no doubt whatsoever concerning the necessity of
the supply of arms.
Commander, Jewish Fighting Organization
B. Mark, Powstanie w getcie warszawskim
("The Warsaw Ghetto Revolt"), Warsaw, 1963, pp. 221-223.
* The reference is to the Polish Underground leadership,
which operated under the Polish Government-in-Exile in London.
** This is an error and should read Malakhi, underground
name of Mordecai Anielewicz.