The article ‘Teens against Hitler ', by Lauren Tarshis, Describes the hardships and courageous acts of Ben Kamm, a Jewish ‘Partisan’ or fighter against Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust, and all Jews who faced the challenges during that tragic time. The Jewish only wanted a normal life, but German leader, Adolf Hitler, wanted to make sure all Jew would perish. So, they began piling Jews into concentration camps to kill them, Hitler would work them to death, starve them, and even murder them in gas chambers. Then, The ‘Partisans’ began to fight against Hitler and his army. This act of courage, despite the challenges and risks they faced, help many Jews survive the most horrific event in history, The Holocaust.
When Irene Safran was only twenty-one years old, her carefree life ended in the face of the Holocaust. Born to two Jewish parents as one of ten children-- four girls and six boys in all-- in Munkachevo, Czechoslovakia around the year 1923, her world changed in early April 1944 when she and her family were transferred to a Jewish ghetto. For the next year, Irene's life was a series of deaths, losses, and humiliations no human should ever have to suffer, culminating, years later, with a triumphant ending. Her story is proof that the human spirit can triumph over all manner of adversity and evil.
The Holocaust will forever be known as one of the largest genocides ever recorded in history. 11 million perished, and 6 million of the departed were Jewish. The concentration camps where the prisoners were held were considered to be the closest one could get to a living hell. There is no surprise that the men, women, and children there were afraid. One was considered blessed to have a family member alongside oneself. Elie Wiesel was considered to be one of those men, for he had his father working side by side with him. In the memoir Night, by Elie Wiesel, a young boy and his father were condemned to a concentration camp located in Poland. In the concentration camps, having family members along can be a great blessing, but also a burden.
The Holocaust, yet another unpleasant time in history tainted with the blood and suffering of man. Human beings tortured, executed and starved for hatred and radical ideas. Yet with many tragedies there are survivors, those who refused to die on another man’s command. These victims showed enormous willpower, they overcame human degradation and tragedies that not only pushed their beliefs in god, but their trust in fellow people. It was people like Elie Wiesel author of “Night”, Eva Galler,Sima Gleichgevicht-Wasser, and Solomon Radasky that survived, whose’ mental and physical capabilities were pushed to limits that are difficult to conceive. Each individual experiences were different, but their survival tales not so far-reaching to where the fundamental themes of fear, family, religion and self-preservation played a part in surviving. Although some of these themes weren’t always so useful for survival.
In June of 1943 the Bilecki family members who lived near the ghetto heard a knock on their door, opened it and saw not only some of their Jewish friends and neighbors but also some strange faces - 23 in all. They had come to seek refuge from the Nazis.
In The Story of Blima: A Holocaust Survivor, author Shirley Russak Wachtel presents scenes depicting the worst that human beings are capable of, and the best. She skillfully contrasts her mother’s suffering at the hands of the Nazis with the loving treatment that Blima receives from three strong women. In the course of the story, Blima receives loving support from her mother; from the labor guard, Gizella; and from her sister-in-law, Ruschia.
Vladek is depicted as a hero who shows countless acts of selflessness and generosity and a villain who is, “opinionated, tight-fisted, and self-involved”. (Brown 6) Art Spiegelman’s book Maus, tells the story of how Vladek and Anja Spiegelman survived the Holocaust. Spiegelman illustrates Vladek as a man who single-handily saved his family from starvation and Auschwitz in World War I. During Spiegelman’s interviews, we get an idea of Vladek’s darker side since the war ended. Mala to speak of her astonishment and disgust in Vladek’s character. Which leaves us to question how truthfully these stories are being told. In the end, Vladek’s unsuccessful heroism is a constant reminder of his failure; survival with Anja was always easier, after her death, Vladek pushes everyone away with his “guilt and manipulation” (Brown 7)
The average person’s understanding of the Holocaust is the persecution and mass murder of Jews by the Nazi’s, most are unaware that the people behind the atrocities of the Holocaust came from all over Europe and a wide variety of backgrounds. Art Spiegelman’s Maus: a Survivor’s Tale, Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men: Reserve Battalion 101 and the Final Solution, and Jan Gross’s Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedbwabne, Poland, all provides a different perspective on how ordinary people felt about their experiences in the Holocaust both perpetrators and victims.
It is a tragedy that the terror and destruction of the Holocaust could have been avoided if the warnings were taken seriously. In Night, by Elie Wiesel, Moshe the Beetle tries to inform the community of his experience, but they do not adhere to his warnings. Similarly, my great-grandmother also sailed across the Atlantic, to warn her relatives. She informed them of the possible danger, but they too did not listen. Likewise, Jan Karski also saw the danger and tried to warn the allied leaders of the upcoming threat. In all three stories, warnings were given and then rejected. This essay will discuss responses to the Holocaust, by examining warnings regarding community members, family members, and Righteous Amongst the Nations. From the very beginning of Hitler’s rise to power, his ultimate goal, was evident in Mein Kampf and threats against Jews should always be taken seriously.
Between Dignity and Despair, a book written by Marion A. Kaplan, published in 1998, gives us a portrait of Jewish life in Nazi Germany by the astounding memoirs, diaries, interviews with survivors, and letters of Jewish women and men. The book is written in chronological order of events, from the daily life of German Jewish families prior to when the Holocaust began to the days when rights were completely taken away; from the beginning of forced labor and exile to the repercussion of the war. Kaplan tries to include details from each significant event during the time of the Holocaust. Kaplan
During a horrible time in history, a courageous rescue operation saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children. There were among thousands of Jewish parents throughout Germany, Australia, and Czechoslovakia who were sending their children-some less than one year-to Britain to live with strangers(editors of scope, N.D.). There were many people working in the kindertransport to save the lives of thousands of children. Many of the parents hoped to get their children back but unfortunately, in some cases, they didn't. Throughout these horrible events, we are able to grasp the reality of these terrors the Jews went through, and what the children went through throughout the Kindertransport.
Resistance during the Holocaust, both Jewish and non-Jewish, is a daunting task to cover. Information abounds in relation to this which leads to the problem of putting all of it into one paper. Due to this, I will only cover the specifically Jewish Partisan fighters. The movements are divided into two groups of Eastern and Western Fighters. Partisans fought in almost every European country including but not limited to Belgium, Poland, Russia, France, Italy, Greece, and Lithuania.
Each of these histories reveal a story of suffering that is endured by both Gentile and Jew, but also a story of humanity and salvation. In Five Chimneys: A woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz, Olga Lengyel tells of her family assisting other Jews fleeing the Nazi military. Later, after her own ordeals in Auschwitz, she was saved by citizens in a small Polish village. An essay written by Vera Laska is included in Women and the Holocaust: Different Voices, which is an anthology of essays about women in the Holocaust. In addition to the many stories of survivors and rescuers, I am using several scholarly articles
Bilecki was born in 1928 in Zurawlow, Poland near a Jewish community in Podhajce, Eastern Galicia. A group of children and teenagers escaped from the Ghetto community in Podhajce and made their way to the Bilecki farm in June of 1943. The Bilecki’s decided to make a bunker in the woods for the Jews to stay in so they will be safe from the Nazi regime.They camouflaged this bunker with leaves and branches. After a neighbor became suspicious, the Bilecki’s moved the 23 Jews to another make-shift bunker (“Julian Bilecki, A Holocaust hero”). Bilecki brought a burlap sack of food and clothes regularly to the Jews for a whole year. After the war, the remaining survivors arranged that the family be honored as Righteous Gentiles by Yad Vashem. Julian Bilecki and his family remind me of Liesel and her family who they saved Max, a Jew who was hiding from the Nazis, the Hubermanns may not have saved more than one person, but they still risked their lives just like Bilecki, there were many other Holocaust heroes who risked their lives for a good