The Great Synagogue of Warsaw, which was destroyed by German forces during World War II, made a brief reappearance as an apparition of light during commemorations for the Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Light was projected Thursday night onto the modern glass building in the place where the synagogue used to stand, reports the AP. For two hours, a grand building fronted by classical Greek-style columns was returned virtually to a city where most traces of a large prewar Jewish community have vanished. Archival recordings of the synagogue's cantor, Gerszon Sirota, revived the sounds of Jewish Warsaw. Sirota died in the ghetto. The light-and-sound show was the work of Polish multimedia artist Gabi von Seltmann, whose grandfather was a Polish school director killed at Auschwitz.
The Warsaw Ghetto uprising broke out April 19, 1943, when about 750 young Jewish fighters armed with just pistols and fuel bottles attacked a much larger and heavily armed German force that was "liquidating" the ghetto, meaning sending its inhabitants to the Treblinka death camp. In their last testaments, the fighters said they knew they were doomed but wanted to die at a time and place of their own choosing. They held out nearly a month, longer than some German-invaded countries did. The Germans razed the Warsaw Ghetto and killed most of the fighters, except for a few dozen who managed to escape through sewage canals to the "Aryan" side of the city. They blew up the Great Synagogue in a symbolic victory gesture.
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