The boy in the photo “Surrender of the Jewish Boy in Warsaw” is one of thousands of Jews held in the Warsaw Ghetto, a neighborhood rife with hunger and death. In 1942, the Nazis began sending local residents to concentration camps — 5,000 at a time.
Resistance groups began to form in the neighborhood. “We saw ourselves as a Jewish underworld whose fate was tragic. Our time has come without any sign of hope or rescue,” said the leader of one of the groups, Mordecai Anielewicz.
In 1943, the year the image was taken by an unknown author, Hitler ‘s troops came to Warsaw to take the rest of the Jews to the camps. The year dates the end of resistance in the neighborhood.
The frightened boy raising his arms, surrendering to the Nazis, has become one of the most iconic and saddest images of the Holocaust, representing the child victims of genocide. At the sight of a Nazi officer’s machine gun, the boy came to symbolize those who suffered from the atrocities committed by the Third Reich.
The photograph was also considered by the American magazine Time one of the 100 most influential images of all time.