PAGE 56
HOME | GUIDE | BACK | NEXT
Nazism and the Holocaust

Rescue Attempts and Resistance


Jewish children hidden...



Jews from Denmark...



April 1943: A Jewish resistance group...



Jewish partisans...



German soldiers setting fire...



Jan Lipke...



The hanging of 17-year-old...


THE METHODICAL KILLING of millions of people in the Holocaust takes place within the short period of two and a half years. The process is designed to make escape and resistance almost impossible. Deportations to the death camps are carried out under an elaborate system of concealment and deception. Jews called up to report to assembly points in their countries of residence are told about "resettlement" in the East and "work camps."

In the extermination camps themselves, new arrivals are kept in ignorance of their fate until the last possible moment. Outside the camps, the mobile killing units use another method: to take their victims by surprise and kill them on the spot.

Nevertheless, acts of resistance and rescue efforts take place everywhere. Where a more gradual approach and bureaucratic means are used to register and deport Jews, the common modes of resistance and rescue are hiding, the use of false identity papers and the disruption of the administrative process. For these activities, close cooperation between Jews and non-Jews is necessary. An estimated 100,000 lives are saved by hiding Jewish families and children alone. When general resistance movements begin operating in Nazi-occupied Europe in 1943, many activities are aimed at hiding Jews and disrupting deportations.

In Eastern Europe the conditions for rescue and resistance are very different. The Nazis act much faster and with brutal force, seizing Jewish communities and separating them from the non-Jewish population almost immediately. As a consequence, a purely Jewish resistance in the ghettos and camps springs up with little or no help from the outside. It consists of armed attack and revolts against the SS, the organization of mass escapes from camps and partisan warfare. About 20,000 Jews join Soviet partisan groups.



Jewish partisans in Belorussia...



Ruins of the gas chamber...


home next back