Essay on The Case Of Warsaw Ghetto During The Holocaust

Essay on The Case Of Warsaw Ghetto During The Holocaust

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Resistance can be defined by, “refusal to accept something new or different; an effort made to stop or to fight against someone or something” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Using that definition, resistance can basically be anything that isn’t conforming, but many people still think that resistance can only mean physical combat. Despite all of the possible definitions, resistance can only truly be defined by the person performing the resistance. If that person thinks that what they are doing is going against something that is being forced upon them, no one can contradict that. In the case of Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust, most people believe that the Jews were being passive, or did not resist at all until the armed resistance in 1943. That notion is false because in actuality there were several other forms going on simultaneously that were of equal importance. These other forms involved the same amount of risk as armed resistance and saved a lot more lives. People need to adopt a broader view of resistance and accept that it is more than just two sides participating in armed physical violence.
In the Warsaw Ghetto, one of the largest and continuous forms of resistance was smuggling. When the Jewish people were forced out of their houses and taken away from what they called home, they were put into an isolated place cut off from the surrounding world. The only things they received were the items the Nazis gave them, which did not amount to anything. One of the Nazis intent for the Ghetto was to kill the people by starvation, before deporting the survivors to other death camps. The Ghetto was starved, over crowded, and filled with rapidly spreading disease. The main concern on the people’s minds was survival, mai...


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...Germans and other officers partially tolerated the smuggling since many of them were getting a cut of the profit. Later on in the war, restrictions tightened on smuggling and it was fought a lot more. This did not deter the smugglers though, they continued on despite the even greater risk. (Battrick 212) One witness stated that he was five to six smugglers killed by Nazi’s in a single night. (Battrick 213) To the people in the Ghetto, the smugglers were seen as “active combats.” (Battrick, 200) They were looked up to and seen as heroes in the community for saving the Ghetto population and their great sacrifice. Alexander Donat said, “Every crust of bread bought was paid for by Jewish blood” (Battrick, 206) The smugglers were resisting because they refused to conform with the Nazi plan of starvation. They fought for their lives and the lives of thousands in the Ghetto.

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