Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust Essay

1452 Words 6 Pages
Examining any issue pertaining to the Holocaust is accompanied with complexity and the possibility of controversy. This is especially true in dealing with the topic of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust. Historians are often divided on this complex issue, debating issues such as how “resistance” is defined and, in accordance with that definition, how much resistance occurred. According to Michael Marrus, “the very term Jewish resistance suggests a point of view.” Many factors, both internal such as differences in opinion on when or what resistance was appropriate, as well as external, such as the lack of arms with which to revolt, contributed to making resistance, particularly armed resistance, extremely difficult. When considering acts …show more content…
Unfortunately, it was very difficult to gauge when this point would come; the Germans were inconsistent in when they carried out the executions, as some were killed immediately and others were kept alive for a time. Understandably, many Jews inaccurately predicted the time before their imminent deaths and therefore missed their chance at resistance.
In addition to the living conditions in the ghettos and camps, many differences in opinion led to hesitance to engage in resistance, particularly armed resistance. There was a great deal of collective responsibility involved with resistance- some believed that to act out was to endanger everyone in the group. Unfortunately, these worries were often founded in truth. In one instance, when a man protested the death of his brother by calling the SS member a murder, he was removed to prison, where he passed away; all of the other members of his group, who had witnessed the incident, were killed as well. By punishing the entire group for the rebellion of one, the SS helped to ensure that others would know the cost of resistance, and therefore be less inclined to resist themselves. Another instance of the idea of collective responsibility was seen in the Vilna ghetto- when fugitives escaped the ghetto, their families, as well all of the Jewish
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