one of the founders of the Jewish Combat Organization (JCO), source: Polish Press Agency.
Marek Edelman (born probably on January 1, 1922 in Gomel, died October 2, 2009 in Warsaw). Edelman was one of the founders of the Jewish Combat Organization (JCO) and took part in the Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw. He was the last leader of JCO. On May 10, 1943, together with others, he managed to leave the ghetto through the sewers. After the war, he settled in Łódż and graduated from medical school and specialized in cardiology. In the early 1970s, he became the head of the intensive care unit of the M. Pirogowal hospital in Łódź. In the 1970s, Edelman became involved in the activities of the anti-communist opposition. He was a member of the management board of NSZZ Solidarność Ziemi Łódzkiej. After the declaration of Martial Law in December 1981, he was interned by the communist authorities. In April 1983, Edelman refused to participate in the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw organized by the communist government of General Jaruzelski.
co-founder and one of the Commanders of the Jewish Military Union (JMU), a drawing created on the basis of a picture of Paweł Frenkel to be found in the Yad Vashem collection.
Paweł Frenkel (born 1920 in Warsaw, died June 1943 in Warsaw). Before the war, he belonged to the Betar organization. After the outbreak of WWII he was one of the founders of the Jewish Military Union (JMU) and its military commander. He prepared the JMU for the uprising in the ghetto. On April 19, 1943, after the outbreak of the Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw, he was the commander-in-chief of the JMU during the fighting at Muranowski Square.
Frenkel, with his unit, got out of the ghetto through an underground tunnel. The detachment stopped and stayed in a previously prepared “safe house” on Grzybowska Street. The apartment had a connection to a bunker, located in the basement of the building. From there, the JMU fighters set out for night offensives in the ghetto. In June 1943, the building was surrounded by the German police. Frenkel and his unit defended themselves heroically. When the ammunition ran out, the Jewish insurgents committed suicide by blowing up the bunker.
a member of the Jewish Combat Organization (JCO), source: public domain.
Michał Klepfisz (born April 17, 1913, died April 20, 1943 in Warsaw) – a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology. A Bund activist and member of the Jewish Combat Organization (JCO). He managed to escape from a transport to Treblinka. He liaised between the JCO and the Polish Home Army. From the beginning of 1943, he organized the transfer of weapons to the ghetto. He also transferred documents and the underground press. He developed the contents for and managed the production of incendiary devices and grenades. He died heroically on the second day of the uprising in the ghetto in a clash with the Germans on Świętojerska Street. On February 18, 1944, the Polish Commander-in-Chief, General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, awarded him posthumously with the highest Polish military decoration - the Virtuti Militari cross.
co-founder and one of the Commanders of the Jewish Military Union (JMU), source: public domain.
Leon (Arie) Rodal, Arie Rodal (born 1913 in Kielce, died May 6, 1943 in Warsaw). Before the war, he worked as a journalist, he was an activist of the Zionist Revisionists party and co-founder and one of the commanders of the Jewish Military Union (JMU). He participated and died during the Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw. He fought at Muranowski Square. At the end of April 1943, Rodal and the unit commanded by Frenkel escaped from the ghetto through an underground tunnel. The unit took shelter in the “safe house” on Grzybowska Street. On May 6, 1943, Rodal's unit set off to lead the remaining Jews out of the ghetto, but they fell into a German ambush. Leon Rodal and the other fighters died in the fight against the Germans.
one of the founders and the Commander of the Jewish Combat Organization (JCO), source: public domain.
Mordechaj Anielewicz (born 1919 or 1920 in Wyszków, died May 8, 1943 in Warsaw). In the 1930s he was a member of Betar, then he joined the Scouting organization Ha-Szomer Ha-Cair. From October 1942, he was the commander of the Jewish Combat Organization (JCO). In the ghetto in Warsaw, he organized attacks on traitors and collaborators, among others on Jakub Lejkina, the deputy commander of the Jewish Order/security Service. On January 18, 1943, he directed the armed resistance action against deportation. Together with a group of JCO fighters, he attacked the German escort leading a group of Jews to Umschlagplatz, where the selection of Jews and the loading of trains going to German extermination camps took place. On April 19, 1943, Anielewicz stood at the head of JCO. He took part in the fighting. On May 8, 1943, together with other JCO fighters, he was surrounded by Germans in a bunker on Miła Street 18. He probably committed suicide along with other fighters.