By Mike Smith
The term Holocaust was not used as a historical concept until after World War II when the world finally understood that the Nazi party and its collaborators had systemically and brutally attempted to annihilate the Jews of Europe.
Unlike America’s mainstream media, the Jewish News and its predecessor, the Detroit Jewish Chronicle, continually published reports about Nazi atrocities during World War II.
An exhibit, assembled by Detroit Jewish News Foundation Archivist Mike Smith, who drew content from the Detroit Jewish News Foundation’s William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, was shown at the Holocaust Memorial Center late last year. On this “Looking Back” page, we will offer selected exhibit panels showing the history of what we now call the Holocaust as it unfolded in the pages of these publications.
As the Nazis marched through Eastern Europe, they concentrated Jews into ghettos. The largest ghetto was in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. The article in this issue of the Jewish News spoke about the difficulty of reporting the facts from Nazi- occupied territories.
Historians now believe there were about 400,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. The story inside also stated that after several mass deportations and murders, “nary a Jew” was left in the ghetto. We now know there were about 13,000 Jews who remained. Those who remained rose up and fought against the full might of the German Army from April 19 to May 16, 1943. Though they were eventually defeated, the Warsaw ghetto uprising was a huge moral victory for the Jews suffering under Nazi oppression.