On a Mission against All Odds: Samuel Zygelbojm in London April 1942 - May 1943
This research paper, based on archival materials (letters, reports), surveys the rescue activities and the suicide on May 12, 1943 of Samuel Zygelbojm, the Bund representative to the Polish National Council in London. The dissension between Zygelbojm and other Jewish bodies active in London (e.g., Ignacy Schwarzbart) is presented against the background of the alarming reports the former received from Leon Feiner describing the annihilation of Polish Jews. Zygelbojm mounted a campaign to mobilize British public opinion and attempted to pressure the Polish government-in-exile to take practical steps. The article notes the crisis of confidence between Zygelbojm and the Polish National Council, provoked especially by its passivity towards antisemitic attacks in the Polish right-wing press even during the deportation of the Jews and the unwillingness of the Polish underground to aid in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. He took his own life in the hope that his act would snap the world out its apathy to the destruction of Polish Jewry.