FINAL PREP - SHORT ESSAYS 1) Based on the texts, "Facing...

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SHORT ESSAYS 1) Based on the texts, “Facing Death in Bialystok Ghetto” and “Kovner’s Testimony on Wittenberg” discuss the dilemmas faced by Jews when considering how and whether to engage in armed resistance. What do these two documents illustrate about the goals, obstacles, and dangers of armed resistance? Summary of “Facing Death in Bialystok.” Who: (unpublished historical document) of conversation between Biaystok leader: Mordechai and his subordinates. When: February 1943 Where: Biaystok Ghetto, Poland What: primary source that discusses consequences of armed resistance. Why: same as above. Important Date: July 1942 Hitler orders extermination/deportation to extermination camps. Collection of Orphans: Arguing over whether they should fight or run and fight/hide in Forest. -Eventually on August 16-20 th 1943 (Phase 3: annihilation) they fought, and died. Dilemmas faced by the Bialystok Jews: 1. Go to the woods and fight a. Honor. They want to keep their honor and fight. 2) Go to the woods and hide A) Hershl brings up how the hiding in the woods, which still does not guarantee life. He claims there are young people already living out there, living a “beggars life” and will die a “beggars death.” a) No honor in dying starving and cold out in the woods. Put up no resistance to Germans shows the Jewish “cowardice” and “impotence.” b) Organize collective resistance, at any cost, because death is already certain. NO HOPE. i. The Jews were aware of Jewish slaughters in Poland, etc. ii. Do it for Revenge And Honor. iii. “Armed resistance was not an act of self- preservation.” 3) Stay and fight The “choiceless choice.” The Jews understood they were already dead. “We’re considering two different means of death. Attack means certain death. The other way—what is death two or three days later.” Who: Wittenberg is number one in command in Vilna. Kovner is 2 nd in command in Vilna Ghetto.
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When: July 15 th 1943 Where: Wittenberg, Vilna Ghetto. What: Testimony of 2 nd in Command, Kovner, about his boss, Wittenberg, once Wittenberg is murdered. Why: Trial Testimony to explain what happens. The main ghetto leaders are summoned to the Ghetto Police place, which is part of the resistance. -The Ghetto Police guy turns out to be traitor and attempts to turn over Wittenberg. As he is being led away by the SS, resistance fighters open fire and the Nazis flee. -Resistance fighters get Wittenberg back and hide him, but SS demands Wittenberg back or they’ll kill everyone. -A lot of the Jews revolt against the resistance and demand Wittenberg. -Wittenberg gives himself up. -He dies an honorable death. Dilemma for Wittenberg: Turn himself in and save lives, or fight and kill everyone. What has more honor? Goals
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course EASC 150g taught by Professor Rosen during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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FINAL PREP - SHORT ESSAYS 1) Based on the texts, "Facing...

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