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1943: Death and Resistance
 pg. 425 
Standing before the annual general assembly, Ottó Komoly, president of the Zionist Federation, addresses the group in Budapest, Hungary. Komoly's most important role began in 1943, when he became one of the leaders of the effort to rescue Jews still alive in Poland and smuggle them to relative safety in Hungary. Although the German occupation brought those efforts to an end, Komoly's rescue work continued. He strove to save the Jews of Budapest from the Nazis and from fanatical members of Hungary's Fascist Arrow Cross Party.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth
This handmade metal box was carried by William Gruenstein throughout the Holocaust. The box was made by Josef Koplewicz while he and Gruenstein were enslaved in a Polish labor camp. After receiving the box, Gruenstein carved on the lid the names of Nazi concentration camps where he had been imprisoned. By clinging to this cherished piece of metal, his sole private possession, Gruenstein denied the Nazis' attempt to deprive him of his humanity and individuality.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Samuel Artur Zygelbojm

While some Jews chose suicide to end their suffering, others did it as a means of protest. Samuel Zygelbojm committed suicide to protest the world's indifference to Jews.

Zygelbojm served on the Warsaw Ghetto's first Jewish Council. He urged resistance when the Nazi authorities demanded that Warsaw's Jews move into a ghetto ill-suited to their huge numbers. Hunted by the Gestapo, Zygelbojm fled to Belgium and eventually joined the Polish government-in-exile in London. He labored feverishly to secure Allied military support for the ghetto resistance, but to no avail. When he learned of the deaths of the ghetto resisters in 1943, including his wife and son, he killed himself.

In his farewell letter, Zygelbojm described his suicide as an act of protest "against the apathy with which the world regards and resigns itself to the slaughter of the Jewish people."
Photo: Syma Crane / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 February 6, 1943: SS chief Heinrich Himmler receives a report about the quantities of items taken from Jews at Auschwitz and other camps in the Lublin area. Cited items include 155,000 women's coats, 132,000 men's shirts, and more than 6600 pounds of women's hair.
 February 8, 1943: The Red Army overruns a key German garrison at Kursk, Russia; See July 5, 1943.
 February 8-26, 1943: A German Aktion against Soviet partisans at Pripet Marshes, Ukraine, captures eight machine guns, 172 rifles, 14 pistols, 150 hand grenades, and eight land mines. German troops also make off with more than 550 horses, 9578 head of cattle, 844 pigs, 5700 sheep, and 233 tons of grain. 2219 Jews are killed outright; 7378 receive "special treatment" (deportation and extermination). German losses in the action are two dead and 12 wounded.
1943: Death and Resistance
 pg. 425 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.