On the 5th of April, this year, Jewish communities through out the world will celebrate the first night of Passover. This day will also mark the sixty-first anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Both Passover and the Warsaw Ghetto Commemoration were also observed by refugees in the Shanghai Jewish Ghetto fifty-seven years ago.

 The Shanghai Jewish Youth Community Center kept the Jewish holiday spirit alive by conducting their own Seder in April, 1947. An article, shown in figure one, published in the September 1947 'Future', the center’s own monthly news bulletin, talks about the Seder with the distinguished guests.

Passover was also celebrated by the parents of yours truly while living in the Shanghai Ghetto, in spite of the scarcity of food at the time and the severe rationing of matzos donated by the Russian Jewish community every year.

The matzo cover and Haggadahs salvaged from Nazi Germany, shown in figure two and figure three respectively, were used at our Seder table during the war-years. Each Haggadah had an inscription from my grandparents dating back to the early part of the century.

    On the nineteenth of April, 1947, exactly two weeks after the Seder, the Shanghai Jewish Youth Community Center opened its Warsaw Ghetto Commemoration week with a Yizkor evening service. It was also on the nineteenth of April in 1943 when on the eve of Passover the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto began. Nazi plans to round up and deport the remaining Jews in the ghetto were met with courageous resistance by over seven-hundred young people who knew from the start that they didn’t stand a chance, but held off the Germans for several weeks with self-devised explosives. It was the first insurrection in occupied Europe against Nazi rule.

Gerhard Heimann, a young member of the Shanghai Jewish Youth Community Center, and a stout Zionist described the Yizkor service in the same bulletin mentioned above. The article is illustrated in figure four.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Polish Post and the Israel Postal Authority have jointly issued a commemorative stamp and Souvenir Leaf shown in figure five. Illustrated in the background of the Souvenir Leaf is a picture of the memorial sculpture situated in Warsaw, dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. A copy of the memorial can be seen at the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem. Thus, the prediction mentioned in Heimann’s article, “that once the day will come when the monument of the Unknown Jewish Soldier will stand in Erez Israel,” came to fruition.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is almost mentioned every time at the Seder table because, as already mentioned above, it was on the first day of Passover that Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto stood up against the mighty army of Nazi Germany.
It is especially worth mentioning at this point that young adults in their late teens and early twenties, after their own experiences as refugee children of the Shanghai Ghetto, still had the motivation to commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and to plan for such a festive Seder.