Soon after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, scores of Jews were penned into ghettos in cities such as Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. From these centers deportations frequently took place with its inhabitants sent to death and labor camps throughout Eastern Europe.
In the summer of 1942, 300,000 Jews were sent from the Warsaw ghetto to the death camp at Treblinka. The official word was that these people were merely being relocated, however, the truth filtered back to the remaining ghetto residents.
Residents began to organize into defensive bands, arming themselves with weapons smuggled into the ghetto, and actively resisting their Nazi jailers. In January, 1943, Jewish fighters fired upon German troops as they tried to round up and deport more of its remaining inhabitants.
On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising officially began. As German troops marched in to liquidate the last residents, over 750 armed fighters fought back.
As the uprising began, Emily Landau, a 17 year old girl, went up to a rooftop and threw a grenade at SS soldiers, killing or wounding scores of them. German soldiers assaulted the building with submachine guns and were fired on by resistance fighters who killed several Germans. Landau was bending over to retrieve a pistol dropped by one of the SS soldiers when she was struck by a bullet and killed.