On this day 72 years ago, April 19th 1943, Polish Jews demonstrated to the world the reason why the right to keep and bear arms is a requirement for individual liberty and basic human rights.
Commentators on the Holocaust don't spend a lot of time on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. I think this is a shame. Perhaps the reason they don't is because from a military perspective the Jewish resistance lost the battle. This is a shame because Warsaw is one of the proudest moments in Jewish history since Masada.
The "Final Solution" to the problem of the Jews in Poland was the death camps. Prior to sending them there the Germans sent around 800,000 of them into a Jewish quarter of Warsaw known as the Jewish Ghetto. Since this area of Warsaw was Jewish prior to the occupation many Jews living there had prewar homes in the neighborhood.
As part of turning the Jewish quarter into a pre concentration camp holding pen, the Germans confiscated, food supplies, radios, firearms and everything else they deemed dangerous for the Jews to have. Not everyone complied.
Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, means Jewish Fighting Organization in Polish. The Z.O.B., led by 23-year-old Mordecai Anielewicz started with a few guns, and a small amount of ammunition. Some guns were hidden from German confiscators, some smuggled into the ghetto by the Polish resistance and some purchased from the Polish Army. Some of the weapons were home made. Sometimes these weapons worked sometimes not. Sometimes they had ammunition but usually not enough.
On April 19th the order came to clear the Ghetto. This was the eve of Passover and most of the Jews were not prepared for military action. The Z.O.B. had been encouraging Jews to resist any efforts to be put on the trains.
Caught unprepared, only four ZOB fighting groups were able to mobilize in reaction. The first armed resistance occurred when a 17-year-old girl named Emily Landau flung a grenade into a cluster of SS men from a rooftop on Gesia Street, killing or wounding a dozen of them. From Historynet.comIt is worth your time to read the entire account.
Depending on your source of information, between 400 and 1,000 Jews fought the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto. Instead of taking 3 days to clean out the Ghetto, it took the Nazis 28 days. Incidentally it only took 38 days for the Germans to conquer the nation of Poland. 1,000 men and women with almost no guns or other military supplies were able to fight off the best Army in Europe for nearly a month. When they lost, it was because of superior numbers, better supplies and air support and artillery.
We shouldn't say the lost. They died. They were not defeated.
Little was known in the US about the Warsaw Jews, at the time. I think the reason has to do with the fact that it was a big war and there was a lot going on. I doubt anyone in the Allies or the USA had much of a chance to do anything for them. What if they had?
What if instead of a hodge podge of homemade and second hand weapons they were equipped with the same guns that American civilians could buy at that time? What if they had a stash of ammo on par with what a hobbyist has in the US?
I recognize that at the time anyone in the US could have owned a Browning 50 cal machine gun. For arguments sake lets confine the math to just two guns: The Grande Rifle, and the Colt 1911. Lets confine our other figures to what a firearms hobbyist might have on hand. Lets also assume that no one saw the war coming so there weren't any "gun nuts" stocking up on guns and ammo.
OK so we know that a maximum of 800,000 Jews were sent to the Ghetto. Lets say that only half that number actually lived there. Further lets assume that only half that number owned one (or more)of the fine American firearms I've already mentioned. 200,000 potential gun owners owing (again for arguments sake) an average of 2 guns apiece. That works out to 400,000 guns. Assuming half that number are hand guns. We end up with 200,000 handguns, and 200,000 rifles.
What about ammo? Guns are useless without it.
Only about one third to one half of the folks who shoot reload so lets assume that everyone only has a years supply of loaded ammo on hand. I'm going to call that 200 rounds per rifle. 1000 rounds per hand gun.
We can't forget the reloaders all together. Lets say they have either loaded or the capacity to load 1000 rifle and 5000 pistol. Lets also assume the retailers have 1/8 of a years supply of ammo on hand.
You can do the math yourself but the supply of rifle ammo would be over 100,000,000 rounds and the pistol supply would be over 500,000,000 rounds. Again this is at America hobbyist levels of ownership and supply, not what a country that suspects that it might be invaded would try to accumulate.
Lets rerun the Warsaw scenario with that level of armament. The Nazis never had 500,000 men in the country of Poland at one time. 200,000 Jews armed with 1 rifle and 1 pistol each with only 10 boxes of ammo for each gun plus a small ammo cache for resupply. I think the outcome would've been fewer people loaded on the trains from the get go.
Liberals can do the same kind of math I just did. That's part of the reason they are so big on restricting supply of guns and ammo. Liberals want to control the army and enforce their will on the people. Guns and ammo in the hands of citizens tend to keep armies in check. I understand why liberals want this outcome. I don't understand why Jews are so eager to help them achieve it. History shows what happens when citizens have the ability to fight back. I think we should help civilians own guns and ammo. The results are more positive than when they don't.