The Bialystok Gathering marks the anniversary of the second largest Ghetto rebellion against the Germans during World War II on or near August 16, 1943. Every Ghetto rebellion took place against a background of utter military hopelessness when German power was at it height and when help from Allies and partisan was least likely. The Germans were ready for the Bialystok Ghetto Rebellion with enormous military precision and power. The Jews had a few pistols, one machine gun, and home made Molotov cocktails.
The descendants of Bialystok are a proud and successful clan in Israel and throughout the world. Much focus and interest has been lavished on other communities but there is now a movement afoot to mark the unique history of this once thriving Jewish community. There is also a small but determined group of Jews living in Bialystok who are working to develop Jewish life again in this community. Together the descendants and the current residents are gradually finding each other.
Anna Klein, who is originally from Lodz and now North Carolina, visited the gathering as part of Beit Polska’s efforts to encourage a connection between the emerging communities remaining in various cities of Poland and the former residents.