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Symcha Ratajzer-Rotem Honorary Citizen of Warsaw

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fot. Ze zbiorów Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego

Symcha Ratajzer-Rotem, (born in 1924)
Honorary Citizen of Warsaw from April 2008.

A fighter in the Jewish Combat Organisation (ŻOB), one of the few who managed to survive the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After the fall of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto he was the main messenger of the Jewish Combat Organisation on the Aryan side. In the time of the uprising he fought in the military group of Henoch Gutman. On the 29th of April 1943, by order of the commander of the uprising, he left the ghetto through the sewers to contact Yitzhak Zuckerman. On the 8th of May he entered back into the ghetto through the sewers, looking for survivors – in the blazing ghetto he found 30 fighters. He led and gathered the survivors, together with the Polish sewermen, in the sewer below Prosta Street, and from there he transported the group to a forest near Warsaw. He himself was hiding in Warsaw and acted as messenger for the ŻOB. He participated in the Warsaw Uprising, and fought in the Old Town in a unit of the National Army., After the fall of the Old Town he led the Warsaw insurgents through the sewers to Żoliborz. After the war, in November 1946 he left for Palestine. He is currently residing in Jerusalem.