Methods used by the Jews to Resist the Nazis
Throughout history, the Jewish people have often been used as scapegoats for the problems of a society. However, one of, if not the worst example of this anti-semitism is the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust took place during World War II and was the cause of the cruel death of more than six million innocent Jewish men, women and children. Nevertheless, in this time of tragedy, many Jews and Jewish sympathizers were brought together to resist the Nazis. The three main examples of this opposition were spiritual and cultural resistance, escape from the Nazis, and rescuers aiding the Jewish people in their escape.
One of the vital ways to resist any oppressor is through spirit. Spiritual resistance was an attempt to maintain humanity and dignity in the face of the Nazi oppression. A great example of this type of resistance was in the form of photography. For very obvious reasons, the Nazis forbid photographing in the ghettos. However, Mendel Grossman, a photographer inside the Lodz Ghetto in Poland, took it upon himself to risk his life to document the horrible situation the Nazis had forced them into. “His camera was hidden in the lining of his coat pockets, and whenever he saw something he wanted to photograph, he opened his coat slightly and took the images”(Document 4) He eventually died on a death march at the age of 32, but a large number of his photographs were retrieved after the Holocaust. By documenting the atrocities the Nazis were committing, he helped to keep the spirits of the oppressed up, as they knew the world would learn of the horrible acts the Nazis were committing against them; they would not simply be lost to history. Another example of spiritual resistance against the Nazis was through inspirational music. Mordecai Gebirtig was a Yiddish poet and songwriter who was a victim of the Holocaust. The song he wrote, “Undzer shtetl brent!” had “become popular in the Krakow ghetto and inspired young people to take up arms against the Nazis”(Document 3). The song helped to inspire people to do something against their oppressors instead of sitting back and doing nothing. Although he was killed in June of 1942 in Krakow, his song lived on and helped inspire many Holocaust victims to stand up and fight. Spiritual inspiration was extremely essential to conquering the Nazis, and many victims took it upon themselves to do what they could to inspire those around them.
Once the death camps in Poland were put into operation, most of the Jews knew what their fate would be if they simply allowed themselves to be taken. They realized that some of...