Some Ghetto Thoughts on
Rescue and Revenge

(June 10, 1942)


...At a gathering of a few people there was a discussion concerning what should be done if there were a chance now of sending out one person into the wide world. Everyone agreed that, at all costs, the world must be awakened to the process of extermination being carried out against the Jews. There was no need to take into consideration that this might worsen our situation; we have nothing at all to lose. The extermination scheme will be carried out according to plan, systematically, in accordance with the scheme set out in advance. Only a miracle can save us: a sudden end to the war, otherwise we are lost. Should one demand revenge? Some [of the people] held that we should. One should gather together the few tens of thousands of Germans in America, lock them up in a concentration camp behind barbed wire, without food or water, and let them perish of hunger and needs, as is done here in Poland. Others thought that the demand for retaliation would incite the Germans even more and bring about the total extermination of the Jews....

A second question that was discussed on this occasion was whether one should send abroad a list of the names of valuable persons in order to get foreign passports for them and save them in this way. Some pointed out that the elite should stay with the people and go down together with them. Others, again, made their stand on examples from Jewish history and tradition, which demand that even one single soul in Israel must be saved....

 

Ringelblum, I, p. 372.


Source: Yad Vashem