|THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING.
Between the January aktion and the grand aktion, a period
of 87 days, the Z.O.B organised a decisive consolidation of the resistance.
The Z.O.B organised a new framework, it divided the Ghetto into three major
combat sectors, the "General Ghetto" with nine combat sectors, the "shop"
with eight combat units and the "Brushmakers Area" with five combat units.
Of the 22 combat units each had between 12 to 20 members, with an average
age of 20 to 25, the youngest combat member was 12 the oldest 40, the twelve
year old destroyed a Nazi tank. Each unit was movement based with 5 United
Dror He - Halutz units, 4 Ha Shomer ha Za’ir, 4 Bund, 4 P.P.R , Communists,
1 Gordonia, 1 Akiva, 1 Ha-Ho’ar ha Ziyoni and 1 left Po’alei Zion. Only
mobilised units were seen as combat squards. The Z.O.B command was in the
central Ghetto. The Z.O.B activities from January to April were geared
toward combat and confrontation.
As the Nazis attempted to create Jewish labour camps
and move whole shops, the Z.O.B set fire to the shop’s that were to be
removed. The Z.O.B organised opposition to the Nazis policy arguing that,
"voluntary relocation means nothing more than to complete annihilation
of the Ghetto". The Z.O.B "purged" the Ghetto of collaborators and began
to challenge the Judenrat at each opportunity. Its main activities were
centred around the need to obtain arms, it attempted to get help from many
sources and organised a tax to obtain money to purchase arms. The Z.O.B’s
activities were geared toward the inevitability of combat, battle strategy
and preparing for combat. It should be remembered that the Z.O.B existed
exclusively for combat. Yitzchak Zuckerman says; "If I had to assess our
errors and the things we did right, I would have to say, I am almost positive
that we could have got many more fighters out of the Ghetto. But we were
afraid to leave so much as a crack open for retreat. Our fear was that
we might arouse the notion that a man could save his life even if he did
not fight. It was for that reason alone that we did not prepare any "safe
houses" on the Aryan side or cars or people who could serve as guides through
the sewers... we saw ourselves as a Jewish underground whose fate was a
tragic one, as
an underground that was not part of the overall war of
underground’s the world over and would have to stand cut off and alone;
as a pioneer force not only from the Jews standpoint but also from the
standpoint of the entire embattled world - the first to fight. For our
hour had come without any sign of hope or rescue."