Jewish Resistance



Jewish partisans of the Vilnius Ghetto in Lithuania. Despite uprisings, about 95% of the 265,000-strong Jewish population of Lithuania was murdered by the German units and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators.


“200 Gestapo Men Killed by Jews During Battle in Polish Extermination Camp€.” JTA Archive. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 8 Feb 1944. Web. 10 Nov. 2012. <>. “More than 200 Gestapo agents and Ukrainian guards in the ‘Jewish extermination camp’ of Sobibor, in occupied Poland, were killed during a revolt of the Jewish internees organized with the aid of the underground movement, the Polish Government-in-Exile reported today.”

Ainsztein, Reuben. Jewish Resistance in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe: With a Historical Survey of the Jew as Fighter and Soldier in the Diaspora. 2nd ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975. Print. The author “presents a radically new account of the Jews in history, showing them to have been neither born victims nor born martyrs … to have included their share of fighters possessed of a spirit of active resistance.”

“Armed Jewish Resistance: Partisans.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 May 2011. <>. “In eastern Europe, Jewish units fought the Germans in city ghettos and behind the front lines in the forests.”

Arnovitz, Benton, and Etal. “Jewish Resistance — a Working Bibliography.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2003. Web. 12 Jan. 2012. <>. A 49 page bibliography including general works, articles, and articles about each country’s activities,

Barnavi, Elizabeth. “Resistance in the Holocaust.” My Jewish Learning. Web. 28 June 2013. <>. “The definition of Jewish resistance to the Nazis during the Holocaust still evokes bitter polemics. Generally, resistance is understood to mean a form of armed struggle, organized by a clandestine movement created for that purpose. However, in the case of a dispersed nation threatened by an industry seeking its total extermination, such a military conception is inadequate.”

“Baum, Herbert (1912-1942).” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 1998.  Print. Gale U.S. History in Context. Baum was a German Jewish resistance leader in Berlin.

Bloch, Nadine. “Wooden Legs, Paper Clips and Ice Fronts – Resistance to the Third Reich.” Waging Nonviolence. 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <>. “Seventy years ago on April 19, 1943, two remarkable events occurred — the armed Jewish revolt in the Warsaw ghetto began, and the U.S.-U.K. Bermuda Conference on Jewish refugees from the Nazi regime opened. The former is a testament to people determined to do whatever they could to fight oppression. The latter goes down in history as a cruel and cowardly waste of time. Both, however, stand as a reminder of the diverse forms that resistance against the Nazis took, many of which have been lost to history for the sake of glorifying military might.”

Brzezinski, Matthew. “Isaac Zuckerman Unbound.” Tablet Magazine. Nextbook Inc., 19 Sept. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>. “This is an excerpt from Isaac’s Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland by Matthew Brzezinski. In this section, Zivia Lubetkin, one of the leaders of the Jewish underground in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, and Isaac Zuckerman, the 24-year-old co-founder, along with Mark Edelman, of the Jewish Fighting Organization, first learn of the 1941 Vilna massacre, and consider the chances—and significance—of the violence coming to Warsaw.”

Chandler, Adam. “Boruch Spiegel (1919-2013).” Tablet Magazine. 21 May 2013. Web. 30 June 2013. <>. “It’s a pretty simple human aspiration to die on one’s own terms, cruelly elusive given its simplicity. 70 years later, it’s being reported that the ranks of the remaining fighters has narrowed further with the death of Boruch Spiegel, who passed away at age 93 earlier this month. Here’s part of his story.”

Cohen, Raya. “‘Against the Current’: Hashomer Hatzair in the Warsaw Ghetto.” Jewish Social Studies 7.1 (2000): 63-80. JSTOR. Web. 23 Apr. 2011. Hashomer Hatzair was a Zionist youth group in Warsaw in April 1942 “when word spread of the destructive tidal wave engulfing Jews.”

Cox, John M. Circles of Resistance: Jewish, Leftist, and Youth Dissidence in Nazi Germany. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. Print. This book “analyzes resistance networks of young German Jews and other young dissidents during the Nazi dictatorship. Young German-Jewish radicals created an intellectually and politically vibrant subculture in Berlin.”

DeSilva, Cara. In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin. Northvale, NJ: J. Aronson, 1996. Print. “The sheets of paper are as brittle as fallen leaves; the faltering handwriting changes from page to page; the words, a faded brown, are almost indecipherable. The pages are filled with recipes. Each is a memory, a fantasy, a hope for the future. Written by undernourished and starving women in the Czechoslovakian ghetto/concentration camp of Terezín (also known as Theresienstadt), the recipes give instructions for making beloved dishes in the rich, robust Czech tradition.”

Gutman, Israel. Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. Print. This is the full story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising told by a survivor of the battle.

Gutman, Yisrael, and Ina Friedman. The Jews of Warsaw: 1939-1943 : Ghetto, Underground, Revolt. Bloomington: Indiana Univ., 1989. Print. The author “looks beyond the ghetto uprising to consider the broader character of Jewish public life of what had been Europe’s greatest Jewish urban center.”

“Jewish Guerilla Unit Led by Jewish General Under Jewish Flag in Occupied Poland.” JTA – Jewish News Archive. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 28 Dec. 1943. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <>. “The London press reports today that a Jewish General named Gutt, who was formerly an officer in the Polish army, is now leading a well-equipped Jewish guerilla unit of 3,000 men which is fighting in the rear of the German army in occupied Poland.”

“Jewish Guerrillas Appear in Poland, Attack Nazi Train and Release Enslaved Poles.” JTA – Jewish News Archive. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 28 Feb. 1943. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <>. “Jewish guerrilla fighters in Nazi-occupied Poland held up a train carrying Poles to slave labor in Germany, killed three Nazi guards and liberated 60 Poles, it was reported by Polish Government circles here today on the basis of information received through neutral countries.”

“Jewish Resistance – A Working Bibliography.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Justice Resistance – A Working Bibliography. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2003. Web. 29 May 2011. <>. A very large working bibliography, Jewish Resistance, is included in a pdf here.

“Jewish Resistance in Poland; Women Trample Nazi Soldiers; Men Kill Gendarmes.” JTA – Jewish News Archive. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 8 Jan. 1943. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <>. “Reliable reports of Jewish resistance to Nazis in the smaller townships in occupied Poland where the Nazi garrisons are usually limited to a small number of reserves reached Soviet authorities here today. One report tells how Jewish women in the small town of Lublinetz attacked German soldiers who plundered their property, forcing them to flee the town panic stricken.”

“Jewish Resistance.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 04 May 2011. <>. “Although Jews were the Nazis’ primary victims, they too resisted Nazi oppression in a variety of ways, both collectively and as individuals.”

Krakowski, Shmuel. The War of the Doomed: Jewish Armed Resistance in Poland, 1942-1944. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1984. Print. “This book … presents a deep and informative study of one of the turbulent problems in the history of the Jewish people: the reaction of the Jews to the murder of their people on foreign soil.”

Kuttler, Hillel. “55 Jewish Partisans Honored for ‘extraordinary Measures’ in Resisting Nazis.” JTA – Jewish & Israel News. Jewish Telegraph Association, 9 Nov. 2011. Web. 17 Jan. 2012. <>. “During the two years preceding their liberation by the Red Army in 1944, the then teenagers fought the Nazis in separate brigades in the vast Nalibotskaya Pushcha forest. For their daring, Small, now living in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Bakst, of Dallas, along with 53 other Jewish partisans from across the United States, were honored.”

Lazare, Lucien. Rescue as Resistance: How Jewish Organizations Fought the Holocaust in France. New York: Columbia UP, 1996. Print. The author “makes a powerful case that Jews themselves had a vital role to play in rescue operations, particularly of Jewish children.”

Lazare, Lucien. “Resistance, Jewish Organizations in France: 1940-1944.” Jewish Women’s Archive. Jewish Women A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia,  Web. 14 May 2013. <>. “In terms of numbers, the proportion of Jewish women active in Jewish underground organizations in occupied France is impressive. A lexicon of French-Jewish underground organizations published in Paris in 2003 contains a brief biography of every single member of the organizations, with emphasis on her or his actions in the underground. Of some six hundred members, two hundred and forty—approximately forty percent—were women.”

Levine, Allan Gerald. Fugitives of the Forest: The Heroic Story of Jewish Resistance and Survival during the Second World War. Guilford, CT: Lyons, 2009. Print. As WWII ended “some 25,000 Jews … walked out of the forests of Eastern Europe….They had escaped from the Nazi ghettos and slave labor camps and formed secret partisan camps in the surrounding forests…”

Morrus, M. R. “Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust.” Journal of Contemporary History 30.1 (1995): 83-110. JSTOR. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. “Writing on Jewish resistance during the second world war hardly differs … from writing on anti-nazi resistance in general.”

Overy, R. J. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich. London: Penguin, 1996. Print. “This atlas charts the rise and fall of Hitler’s Nazi state, from the first mass meeting of the NSDAP in Munich in 1920, through the relentless territorial aggression and anti-Jewish atrocities of World War II, to the execution of war criminals in Nuremburg in 1946.”

Paolino, Charles. “Nazis Spun Simple Murder into ‘Jewish Conspiracy’ Attacking Third Reich in Kirch’s New Book.” Daily Record. Gannett, 25 May 2013. Web. 26 May 2013. <>. “The idea of an undersized, penurious Jewish teenager bringing the Nazi propaganda machine to a halt sounds like movie plot for a young Peter Sellers. But it’s real, and it’s as compelling as a good novel as Jonathan Kirsch recounts it in ‘The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan.’ . . . There’s much more to this absorbing tale. Among other things, Kirsch explores the question of whether Grynszpan, whose lone act was rejected by Jews of every stripe, deserves the honor that is afforded to the outnumbered and outgunned fighters who struck back at the Nazis.”

Poznanski, Renee. “Reflections on Jewish Resistance and Jewish Resistants in France.” Jewish Social Studies 2.1 (1995): 124-58. JSTOR. Web. 23 Apr. 2011. <>. It’s hard to define “Jewish Resistance in France” during World War II. The issues involved are examined.

“Resistance during the Holocaust.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 12 Jan. 2012. <>. “This [55 page] pamphlet explores examples of armed and unarmed resistance by Jews and other Holocaust victims. Many courageous acts of resistance were carried out in Nazi ghettos and camps and by partisan members of national and political resistance movements across German-occupied Europe. … Although resistance activities in Nazi Germany were largely ineffective and lacked broad support, some political and religious opposition did emerge.”

Ruelle, Karen G., and Deborah D. DeSaix. The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews during the Holocaust. New York: Holiday House, 2009. Print. This children’s book tells how Parisian Jews found refuge in an unlikely place, the Grand Mosque of Paris, during the occupation of France in World War II.

“Spiritual Resistance in the Ghettos.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 May 2011. <>. “The deprivations of ghetto life and the constant fear of Nazi terror made resistance difficult and dangerous but not impossible. In addition to armed resistance, Jews engaged in various forms of unarmed defiance.”

Tec, Nechama. Defiance. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. Print. Based on the true account of resistance against all odds. “What started as a desperate fight for survival” became a mission to save Jews from extermination.

“Treblinka Death Camp Revolt Summary & Testimonies.” Holocaust Research Project, 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <>. “Jewish inmates organized a resistance group in Treblinka in early 1943. When camp operations neared completion, the prisoners feared they would be killed and the camp dismantled. During the late spring and summer of 1943, the resistance leaders decided to revolt.”

Weinrib, Laura M., and Estee Shafir. Weinrib. Nitzotz: The Spark of Resistance in Kovno Ghetto & Dachau-Kaufering Concentration Camp. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 2009. Print. “Nitzotz was the Hebrew-language publication of Irgun Brith Zion, a middle-of-the-road Zionist youth organization founded in 1940 under Soviet rule.”

“World War 2: Warsaw Uprising 1944.” World War 2: Warsaw Uprising 1944. Project InPosterum, 2011. Web. 27 June 2013. <>. “The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 — a heroic and tragic 63-day struggle to liberate World War 2 Warsaw from Nazi/German occupation. Undertaken by the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK), the Polish resistance movement, at the time Allied troops were breaking through the Normandy defenses and the Red Army was standing at the line of the Vistula River. Warsaw could have been one of the first European capitals liberated; however, various military and political miscalculations, as well as global politics — played among Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) — turned the dice against it.”

Wright, Simon. “Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust.” Helium. Helium Inc., 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <>. “When Hitler’s final solution was being implemented, there was resistance [from the Jews].”