David Wdowinski: A Hero of the Warsaw Ghetto

David Wdowinski (Polish: Dawid Wdowiński) (1895–1970) was a prominent leader of the Jewish Military Organization in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.

Early Life

David Wdowinski was born in the city of Bendin, Poland, in 1895. In his youth, he joined other Jews in self-defense efforts to protect Jewish communities against anti-Semitic violence. Later, he pursued academic studies in psychiatry. During his high school years, he became involved with the Revisionist Zionist movement in Poland.

In 1940, as the Jews were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, Wdowinski became involved in an organization that provided mutual aid to the ghetto's residents, known as ZTOS (Zydowska Organizacja Pomocy Samopomocy). David was one of the founders of the Etzel (Irgun Tzvai Leumi) underground organization. He served as the head of the political representation of the organization, working closely with its headquarters. During this time, he also worked at a hospital on Chisza Street in the ghetto.

When the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began, Wdowinski was at his workplace in the hospital. He was captured by Nazi forces, who sent him through the "Umschlagplatz" (the deportation square) to the Majdanek concentration camp. He was subsequently transferred to and survived in twelve different concentration camps.

After the fall of Nazi Germany, Wdowinski moved to Italy and became involved in political activities among the surviving Jewish refugees. He was sent to the United States on behalf of the "National Committee for the Resurrection of the Nation" (alongside Arieh Jabotinsky, Hillel Kook, and others). In 1961, Wdowinski testified as a witness in the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem.


In anticipation of Holocaust Remembrance Day in 1970, David Wdowinski was invited to speak at a memorial event organized by the Museum of Fighters and Partisans at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv. During his speech, he suddenly collapsed and passed away. David Wdowinski was laid to rest on the Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem.

David Wdowinski's life serves as a testament to the courage and resilience of those who fought against Nazi oppression during one of the darkest periods in human history. His contributions to the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto and his unwavering commitment to the Zionist cause continue to be remembered and honored today.

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