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1943 July 16, WITTENBERG DAY (Vilna, Lithuania)

Ended with Yitzhak Wittenberg, head of the FPO (the various political organizations in the ghetto created a unified fighting organization, F.P.O. (Fareynigte Partizaner Organizatsye), surrendering in the Vilna Ghetto. A week earlier, Wittenberg had been fingered by two members of the Vilna Communist Committee (outside the ghetto) as their Jewish contact. Wittenberg was taken into custody, probably by Jacob Gens, the head of the Judenrat, and Salek Dessler, the head of the Ghetto police, but succeeded in getting away. The Germans then demanded that he be turned over to them or they would destroy the ghetto. After a long and tragic debate, the FPO decided that he should give himself up. He was dead the next day, dooming the future of the ghetto resistance to failure. Many underground leaders, including Josef Glazman, decided to leave the ghetto and join the partisan in the forests.




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