Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the ill-fated 1943 Warsaw ghetto revolt against the Nazis, died Friday at the age of 90. Edelman died of old age at the family home of his friend Paula Sawicka, where he had lived for the past two years.

Edelman was born Jan. 1, 1919 in Homel, which was then in eastern Poland and is now in Belarus. His family soon moved to Warsaw.

When the Nazis invaded Poland on Sept.1, 1939, Edelman was member of Bund, a Jewish socialist organization that later masterminded plans for resistance against the occupying Germans.

The Nazis "wanted to destroy the people and we fought to protect the people in the ghetto, to extend their lives by a day, or two or five," Edelman said.

The ghetto fighters inflicted heavy losses on the Germans, but eventually succumbed. More than 55,000 people were killed or deported to Nazi concentration camps when the uprising failed.

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