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Chanukah In The Warsaw Ghetto

"December 26, 1940
Hanukkah in the ghetto. Never before in Jewish Warsaw were there as many Hanukkah celebrations as in this year of the wall. But because of the sword that hovers over our heads, they are not conducted among festive crowds, publicly displaying their joy. 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 wall, 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 drawn, and that was sufficient.
How much joy, how much of a feeling of national kinship there was in these Hanukkah parties! After sixteen months of Nazi occupation we came to life again"
Chaim Kaplan, Scroll of Agony, pg. 234-235

 

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