Today, a man named Marek Edelman died at age 90 in Warsaw. Edelman was a tireless campaigner against hate, and for freedom and human dignity, opposing Communism in Poland, and working with the Solidarity movement in its campaign for a democratic homeland.

Had he done none of this though, Marek Edelman would still deserve remembering, for he was the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943. Though he grew old campaigning against hate, as a young man he was fully aware of the need to take up arms against it. When the notion of Nazi genocide against the Jews was viewed with skepticism by many of observers, and many people went onto the trains to Auschwitz when prodded by the bayonets of the SS, Edelman and his friends resisted the Holocaust by force of arms.

Though 55,000 Jews died in the German offensive to liquidate the Ghetto once and for all, Edelman escaped, and continued his work with the Polish resistance. Then when the Second World War ended, he become a physician, specializing in cardiology and embarked on a second career against racism and for human rights. Despite the antisemitism of the Communist regime in Poland, peaking with a series of 1968 purges that drove many Jews out of their homeland, Edelman never left.

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Comment by Jim Werbaneth on October 5, 2009 at 5:47pm
He was definitely a hero to fellow Jews, and a true Polish patriot.
Comment by Lisa Scheer on October 3, 2009 at 7:07am
My bad, as I did not know who he was, and I thought I knew everything.... May he finally RIP.
Comment by Chris Gammon on October 2, 2009 at 9:16pm
It's nice to know he lived long enough to see the end of both National Socialism and Communism in Poland.

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