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Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021: Holocaust survivors who built /changed Europe – Marek Edelman

“Hate is easy, love requires effort.”

Marek Edelman, who passed away in 2009, was the last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Born in 1919 or 1922, during the Holocaust he was one of the founders of the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB) in the Warsaw Ghetto, and was the ZOB’s last commander. Edelman survived the Holocaust and also fought in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. He chose to continue living in Poland after the war, but didn’t speak about his experience for decades. He pursued a career as a cardiologist and was a pioneer in the field of heart surgery. Edelman wrote books documenting the history of Poland’s resistance to the Nazi occupation of WWII. Every year, on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in spring, he placed yellow daffodils at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw. It is a tradition which continues in Poland today. Edelman was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest decoration, as well as the French Legion of Honour.