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Jewish Resistance In The War


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#1 jsmith613

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 12:37 PM

I understand the opposition of: youths; Galen; Neimoller and Bonhoeffer but lack knowledge of how Jews opposed and resisted Hitler in Nazi Germany.

Please could someone enlighten me on this topic.

Thanks

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:10 PM

To be honest, I'm halfway through researching this, so this answer is not fully developed.

Of course, most Jews did not resist at all. They just allowed themselves to be moved into the ghetto, taken to Auschwitz, gassed etc. In most places, all this was arranged bya Jewish Council of leading Jews, who decided the order of departure and even in some cases (eg Holland) collected rail fares.
This has led some historians to say that the Jews were passive before the oppressor.
My beef about this is that it is my opinion that, to present the Jews as passive before the Nazis merely hands the victory to the Nazis!

So I have been reading about the different reactions of individual Jews.
I have been trying to collect evidence that the Jews were not merely passive victims of the Nazis.
This is as far as I have got:

1. Some Jews fought back. We don't hear much of them because the Nazis crushed them and hushed it all up. But famous examples include the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the Bielski brothers in the Ukraine (watch the film Defiance).
2. Some Jews joined the partisans (one of the Bielski brothers joined the Russian partisans in the Ukraine, but the were Jews in the French and Dutch resistance).
3. Some Jews hid. They did not wear the yellow star, got false papers and disappeared from view (they were called 'submarines'). Some of them (like Anne Frank's family) hid in false rooms, cellars etc. When you are being told to report to be deported and anybody caught is tortured and killed, this is a brave form of resistance.
4. Many Jews emigrated. Others, at immense personal cost, sent their children abroad on the kindertransports, not knowing if they would ever see them again; this too is a form of bravery and of resistance.
5. One Jew, Reszo Kraztner, raised money, negotiated with the Nazis, and bought the lives of a train-load of Hungarian Jews, whom the Nazis sent to Switzerland instead of to Auschwitz.
6. I have recently been reading Five Chimneys by Olga Lengyel. She suggests that - when the Nazis were trying to reduce you to the sub-human level by treating you like an animal, simply to retain your humanity - to be kind, not to steal another's bread when you are starving etc - is an heroic form of resistance. To this, I would add the Dutch nurses who, given the chance to flee, chose instead to stay with their mental patients who were being shipped off to Auschwitz, and chose to go and be gassed with them. Also the Warsaw schoolteacher who, told that his school was to be taken and gassed next day, and given the opportunity to run away, chose instead to stay with his pupils and next day led them, in file, singing nursery rhymes, to the cattle trucks.
7. In a death camp, when all around you are dying, or turning into brain-dead 'musselmen', just to stay alive is the greatest and fiercest 'resistance' you can manage, and to be honest, more than I could have managed in the circumstances.

#3 jsmith613

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:08 PM

Thanks you so much.
For my purpose (GCSE Student) the amount of information is plenty - thanks so much

#4 poland first to fight

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

1. Some Jews fought back. We don't hear much of them because the Nazis crushed them and hushed it all up. But famous examples include the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the Bielski brothers in the Ukraine (watch the film Defiance).
2. Some Jews joined the partisans (one of the Bielski brothers joined the Russian partisans in the Ukraine, but the were Jews in the French and Dutch resistance).


???
Bielski brothers hid in Soviet occupied territories of Poland, currently Belarus. Certainly not Ukraine!

Personally I wouldn't recommend the film. It shows a very idealized way of things. It doesn't really show you the ways in which they treated local Polish and Belarusian peasants. E.g. stealing food or even murdering them. There is also the case of the massacre in one of Polish villages but due to inconclusive evidence I shall not go into detail. So definitely as a historical source the film is quite simply bad also because of the way in which Poles are being dismissed although being very significant in this part of history.

#5 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:13 PM


1. Some Jews fought back. We don't hear much of them because the Nazis crushed them and hushed it all up. But famous examples include the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the Bielski brothers in the Ukraine (watch the film Defiance).
2. Some Jews joined the partisans (one of the Bielski brothers joined the Russian partisans in the Ukraine, but the were Jews in the French and Dutch resistance).


???
Bielski brothers hid in Soviet occupied territories of Poland, currently Belarus. Certainly not Ukraine!

Personally I wouldn't recommend the film. It shows a very idealized way of things. It doesn't really show you the ways in which they treated local Polish and Belarusian peasants. E.g. stealing food or even murdering them. There is also the case of the massacre in one of Polish villages but due to inconclusive evidence I shall not go into detail. So definitely as a historical source the film is quite simply bad also because of the way in which Poles are being dismissed although being very significant in this part of history.

Thank you - your interventions are always welcome.
I am sure the film is bad history, but it did publicise the resistance of the Bielski brothers, which is a good thing.
And it is an inspiring and exciting film to watch, even if it does glamorise the past!

#6 poland first to fight

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:32 PM

Thank you - your interventions are always welcome.
I am sure the film is bad history, but it did publicise the resistance of the Bielski brothers, which is a good thing.
And it is an inspiring and exciting film to watch, even if it does glamorise the past! 

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I am not really sure who they resisted the most. The major role of Soviet partisans in occupied Polish territories was exterminating prominent people amongst Polish society and preparing the land for arrival of Red Army which in turn brought over NKVD which finished the grand plan of separating a nation from its elites. Meantime, Tuvia Bielski, a former Polish soldier, who took the oath decides to ally himself with the Soviets! There is inconclusive evidence to link Bielski's partisans to any specific act of murder although the similarities between their actions and those of Soviets can be seen (and we know that Soviets did murder Polish civilians-e.g village of Naliboki). They definitely stole food from Poles and Belarusians. For sure, it is hard for me to find this story or film inspiring knowing that they sided with Communists and not the AK. Is there a reason for which they betrayed Poland? Jews fought in AK and even the antisemitic NSZ (although antisemitic NSZ was against murdering of Jews, helped and welcomed them amongst their ranks) so there must be a particular reason why Bielski sided with Soviets.

 

Besides, why does the movie show the local territory to be Belarusian? Most of inhabitants of that region were Poles and certainly all of the inhabitants spoke Polish.






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