Chanukah in the Ghetto

Diary of the Doomed

“Never before in Jewish Warsaw were there as many Hanukkah celebrations as in this year of the wall…

“Polish Jews are stubborn: the enemy makes laws but they don’t obey them. That is the secret of our survival. We behaved in this manner even in the days when we were not imprisoned within the ghetto walls, when the cursed Nazis filled our streets and watched our every move.

“Since the ghetto was created we have had some respite from overt and covert spies, and so Hanukkah parties were held in nearly every courtyard, even in rooms which face the street; the blinds were drawn, and that was sufficient.”

– December 26, 1940. From the diary of Chaim Aron Kaplan, who perished with his wife at Treblinka two years later.

My pals, thank God we are free to kindle our Hanukkah lights without fear! Please don’t let the opportunity slip by. Let them shine!

Image courtesy of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Get the best of Accidental Talmudist in your inbox: sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Share to

You Might Also Like

Sign Me Up

Sign me up!

Our newsletter goes out about twice a month, with links to our most popular posts and episodes.