April 19

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Campaign

What is the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Campaign?

POLIN Museum created the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Campaign to commemorate the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Every year on April 19th, hundreds of volunteers hand out paper daffodils to raise awareness of the uprising, and its significance. In 2019 POLIN Museum took the campaign outside of Poland, and into New York and New Jersey, USA. Many JCC’s, schools, and organizations commemorated along with those in Warsaw.

For the 2020 year, the campaign will be growing even larger reaching into the Los Angeles area, and also to the country of Israel. We’re expecting to have people not only in these areas commemorating, but see people globally getting involved with the campaign.

Why the daffodil?

Marek Edelman, a leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising who survived the uprising and remained in Poland, would receive a bouquet of yellow daffodils from an anonymous person on April 19th, the day the uprising broke out in 1943. He would lay them at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in memory of those who fought and died. The paper daffodils, which people wear on this day, are inspired by this custom.

Our Campaign Ambassador for 2019

Our Daffodil Campaign ambassador for 2019 was Marian Turski (b. 1926), who is a Holocaust survivor, historian, journalist, human rights activist, and Chair of the POLIN Museum Council. He is a member of the International Auschwitz Council, and he was awarded Poland’s Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland. In addition he was awarded the country’s Medal for Merit to Culture, as well as France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor, and Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit. 

In January of 2019, Mr. Turski was a keynote speaker at the United Nations for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Marian Turski

Brief history of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

During the first phase of the Great Deportation, between July 22 and September 12, 1942, almost 300,000 Jews were deported from the Warsaw ghetto  to Treblinka. At the end of this phase, two Jewish fighting organizations emerged to prepare for armed resistance against the Germans: the ZOB, Jewish Fighting Organization, which eventually included most Jewish political parties and youth groups, and the Revisionist ZZW, the Jewish Fighting Union. 

Both groups made feverish efforts to acquire arms, eliminate Jewish collaborators, and persuade the 60,000 Jews remaining in the Warsaw ghetto after the Great Deportation to resist the inevitable final liquidation of the ghetto. In other ghettos such as Vilna and Białystok, the Jewish population opposed the fighters and the idea of armed resistance, whereas in the Warsaw ghetto, fighters secured the support of almost the entire Jewish population – the hundreds of bunkers they built would play a key role in the uprising. Knowing there was no hope of defeating the Germans, the Jewish fighters were determined to save Jewish honor and go down fighting.

When the Germans entered the ghetto on April 19, 1943, the ZOB and ZZW met them with a hail of fire and home-made bombs, forcing them to retreat. Himmler fired the hapless SS commander and replaced him with Jurgen Stroop, who decided to crush the uprising by systematically razing the ghetto. The heavy fighting died down after a few days, but it took more than a month for the Germans to track down every bunker. Sporadic fighting continued into May.

About 60,000 Jews perished in the uprising, which has come to symbolize Jewish courage and resistance.

We invite you to learn more about this event, and its details by clicking the link HERE >>

Get involved

Social Media:

Share photos and videos posted on Friends of POLIN, our Facebook page. Make your own paper daffodil using the downloadable PDF below.  

On April 19th, in Warsaw and around the world, people will be commemorating this day in solidarity. Wear the yellow daffodil on this day, take a selfie, and post it with the hashtag #WarsawGhettoUprising. Explain why you are wearing the yellow daffodil, and why it’s important to you. We will be posting live videos from POLIN Museum, and even sharing some of your posts!


Keep the memory of this historical event alive. POLIN Museum’s educational resources are perfect for the classroom, and for presentations to community groups or organizations. 

Join the campaign in your community. Encourage everyone to wear the yellow daffodil on April 19th. If you would like to receive supporting materials for classroom use or for your community, please contact: mseidler@polin.pl

Mary Seidler (Facebook Manager for Friends of POLIN): mseidler@polin.pl