Simha “Kazik” Rotem is the author of the book that inspired the mini-series “Uprising”.  The book is  “Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter”; and is an autobiography of his experiences during the Ghetto Uprising.  Mr. Rotem survived the Ghetto uprising, and went on to fight alongside the Polish Resistance, “A.K.”. 


In the New York Times of Sunday, November 4, 2001, Bernard Weinraub presents a review of “Uprising”.  In that review, in the second to the last paragraph, Mr. Rotem is quoted.  These words spoken by Mr. Rotem will suggest to some readers that he has misgivings with proclamations about holding off the “German Army.”


“We were fighting against the Germans, that’s true, but not the German Army, because from the strictly military point of view we had nothing.”


Some elements of the regular German Army were there, but the bulk of the force was SS.  The training given to SS was different than that of Army; unlike the Army, the primary mission of the SS was murder, not combat.  According to Yisrael Gutman, a historian who participated in the Ghetto Uprising, as found in his book "The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943", the following numbers are based upon Stroop’s report:


  1. SS units totaling 821 soldiers and 9 officers
  2. Police units for a daily average of 228 patrolmen and 6 officers, plus a few support units
  3. Regular army and foreign troops totaling 371 soldiers and 4 officers.

Altogether, by Stroop's account, the daily size of the force operating in the ghetto averaged 2,054 soldiers and 36 officers.


Edited by Alexander Danel