Anniversaries & holidays


30th anniversary of passing away of Natan Rapoport

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Natan Rapaport - drugi z lewej przy pomniku, fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

4 June marks 30th anniversary of passing away of Natan Rapoport, a sculptor, author of the monument commemorating the struggle, martyrdom and death of the Warsaw Ghetto residents.

Rapoport produced a number of monuments in Israel, and later in the United States, i.a. “The Ball of Fire” (1971) in the Martyrs’ Forrest (Ya’ar ha-kdoshim) near Jerusalem or “Liberation” (1985) in Jersey City, New Jersey. Nonetheless, the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes remains his most important work.

It was created on the initiative of the Central Committee of Jews in Poland, financed from the contributions collected by the Jewish organisations and Jewish community in Poland. The monument was unveiled on 19 April 1948, on the 5th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Rapoport wrote about his own work: “I set myself a double goal – to depict with dignity Jewish martyrdom under the Nazi occupation, especially the heroic struggle of the Ghetto fighters and partisans, while emphasizing its deep historical meaning and its relation to the Jewish martyrdom and Jewish heroism in the past. […] That is why, while sculpting the figures on the monument I tried to avoid all things ephemeral or episodic, and instead to stress the things which are universal, lasting and thoroughly Jewish. Therefore, the figures of fighters represented are both those people who fought in the Ghetto, those who had fought in the days of yore, and those who will fight in the future.”