THEMES: CONCEPTS: How Nazi policy towards the Jews evolved ***** Jewish responses to Nazi persecution Phase 1 : Resistance, disbelief (it’s just temporary), ignore it, fight Resistance Resistance started with the youth Resistance started on small (ghettos food smuggling), Righteous among the nations (non Jews who helped), inside resistance, people maintaining humanity/dignity (much smaller scale) relationships with others, woods and the partisans Also resistance in camps, gunpowder in Auschwitz No one realized it was total elimination (Final Solution) in the beginning, there was still hope Ilya Mishkin (Minsk Ghetto) supported the resistance (armed resistance) and helped smuggle out 7,500-10,000 Jews to the forests o Ghettos established in 1941 and he was there since 1939 as leader o He was arrested and executed for collaborating with the underground Chaim Rumkowski (Lodz Ghetto) developed a policy of “rescue through labor,” running the ghetto with an iron fist o Brutal leader, appeared to be a betrayer of the Jews o Led the last ghetto to be destroyed o Produced goods that Nazi’s need Partisans- independent gorilla fighting organizations that existed throughout the forests of Eastern Europe (Soviet Union supported this) Abba Kovner- resistance fighter and poet Zionist youth leader from hashomer Hatzair Played key role in founding of the United Partisan Organization Commander of resistance during liquidation of Vilna ghetto Directed escape of the Vilna underground into the forests Commanded Jewish partisan unit in the Rudninkai Forest After the war, helped organize underground organizations helping survivors escape Europe to Palestine Helped establish Nekama, a (failed) revenge operation against German people and the SS Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 19- May 16, 1943) First mass revolt in Nazi-occupied Europe Uprising breaks out in response to rumors that Germans planned to liquidate ghetto Involved more than 2000 SS soldiers and police units under tank cover Jws hid in bunkers, fighters fought from attics Although Nazis subdued the ghetto within the first week, second stage of fighting lasted weeks Phase 3: The Coded Dispatch -- about the Final Solution
Why didn’t the Jews resist more? Why didn’t they fight? People were too broken and desperate to fight They didn’t have a national organization People were in denial of their fate The real question is, isn’t it remarkable that anyone could resist? Chaim Kaplan is about the victim’s response Jews made sure life kept going They also did bad things in the ghettos Nazi policy towards a variety of other groups Degenerates- (mentally ill, developmentally delayed, physically disabled), Asocials- (unwanted elements of German society, gay men, prostitutes, alcoholics, etc.), Sinti and Roma- (Gypsies), Soviet POWs- (prisoners of war), Homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses- (small religious group who studied the Bible) Nazi “Euthanasia” Program
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