You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.

November 19: Uprising at Janowska

November 19, 2013
78710A mass uprising of Jews at the Janowska slave labor and death camp, on the outskirts of Lvov in occupied Poland, took place on this date in 1943. The camp was a forced labor compound run by the SS to manufacture armaments, as well as a transit camp from which thousands of Jews were sent to the Belzec extermination camp or murdered locally at the Piaski Ravine. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, “As the Germans attempted to destroy the traces of mass murder” in anticipation of being confronted by the Red Army, “they forced the prisoners to open the mass graves and burn the bodies.” It was these prisoners who staged the uprising, killing several guards and expediting a mass escape. Most of the escapees were recaptured and killed, however, and the SS and their local auxiliaries murdered at least 6,000 survivors “from various forced-labor camps in Galicia when the Janowska camp was liquidated” later in November. Pictured at left is the Janowska camp orchestra, which accompanied slave laborers to their work and “unfit” Jews to their deaths. “At the beginning of November (1941), the Nazis asked the chairman of the Lvov Judenrat, Dr. Joseph Parnes, to provide more workers for the camp. He refused and was executed.”—Shoah Resource Center, Yad Vashem