Resistance & Rescue

  • During any study of the Holocaust, inevitably the question of fighting back comes up.  Against all odds some did.  Know that not all Jews went like lambs to the slaughter, as is so often thought. Know that at great risk to their own lives, many non Jews resisted as well.  Again, I state this was against all odds as the majority, in and outside of Europe,   did not.  Resistance manifested itself in many ways, spiritual resistance,  sabotage,  resistance with arms and non violent rescue missions.


    Much like the rest of the world, the Jewish victims, reacted to their circumstances in a variety of ways, Resisters, Rescuers and Bystanders, provides a clear lesson for the educator and provides instructional objectives and activities which a master teacher might use as a guide for mid to upper grade levels.  This is a great overview.


    Gain an understanding of the concept of spiritual resistance by scrolling down on the  USHMM’s page on Jewish Resistance.  


    PBS has published a movie and teachers guide called Daring to Resist.  It is intended to help students think about the nature of resistance and encourages students to explore ways that young people can make a difference in their personal lives and in their community.  I am interested in this a lot because the main characters are young women.


    Revealing a missing piece of Holocaust History, this site dedicated to the Jewish Partisans provides a glimpse into the lives of some real Heroes.


    I learned about Tuvia Bielski just shortly before leaving on the Holocaust Educational Seminar in Europe, July 2004.  I read Nechama Tech’s book “Defiance”.  I thought it was fascinating.  More recently another man, Peter Duffy, has written a book and I somehow suspect there is a movie in the making.  I offer you a comparative review of two books about the Bielski brothers. .  Maybe you will pick one to read so you will know what it took for the brothers to establish a community in the forest so they could perform rescue and resistance missions and survive.


    Learn about the Uprising at Sobibor Death Camp  


    A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust has a fabulous section on the Resisters. There is information specific to individuals, groups and lots of women.