Jews During The Nazi Occupation

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Since the start of the Nazi occupation in Europe, Jewish communities and individuals were struggling with survival, and fought for their existence. Many Jews tried to evade or overcome the degrading Nazi decrees, that stripped them of civil and human rights, triggered isolation and denied them a livelihood. The Nazis simply wanted to create a condition in which no human being, particularly Jewish, can live or even exist. For a long time, the Jews’ view on the sanctity of life, a duty to protect one’s life, encouraged them to endure the period of intense pain and suffering. From past experience, the Jews thought that the terrible events of the Nazis would pass, the same as the pogroms. Over a period of centuries, from the Crusades to the…show more content…
Therefore, the external and internal conditions of the ghettos and concentration camps made it extremely challenging for Jewish resistance. Despite these horrific conditions, the creation of a Jewish military organization, fighting in Partisans bands, the death camp revolts, and the ghetto uprisings negate the argument that the Jews of Europe of were passive before the darkest period in modern history, the Jewish genocide. As a whole, the Jews did not accept their death mutely, as sheep to the slaughter. Firstly, the Jews in Europe organized a Jewish military league to resist the Nazi brutality. In Vilna, the first organized Jewish armed resistance arose from the youth movements. After the invasion of the Soviet Union is 1941, two-thirds of the Jewish population of Vilna were deported by the Nazis (“Jewish Combat Organization.”). Those who survived warned the other Jews of the ordeal awaiting them, which paved the way for the “First Manifesto”. This document called out for Jewish resistance and was written by Abba Kovner, a future leader of the ghetto fighters in Vilna. The manifesto was directed at the Jews of Vilna and the youth movements, and explained the fate of the ghetto deportees (that they were all killed), Hitler’s plot to “destroy all the Jews of Europe”, and called for Jewish resistance. This manifesto was significant, as it was the first call for the Jews to arm themselves and resist the Nazis. Not soon after,

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