Armed Resistance to the Holocaust - Some Jews did indeed fight back

Truth-Bringer

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Armed Resistance to the Holocaust

By David B. Kopel

Contrary to myth of Jewish passivity, many Jews did fight back during the Holocaust. They shut down the extermination camp at Sobibor, rose up in the Warsaw Ghetto, and fought in the woods and swamps all over Eastern Europe. Indeed, Jews resisted at a higher rate than did any other population under Nazi rule. The experience of the Holocaust shows why Jews, and all people of good will, should support the right of potential genocide victims to possess defensive arms, and refutes the notion that violence is necessarily immoral.

This Article examines the record of violent Jewish resistance to the Holocaust. It suggests that Jewish resistance was extensive, and succeeded in saving many lives. The record also explains that a key impediment to even more effective resistance was the lack of firearms, as well as Jewish unfamiliarity with arms during the pre-war years. The article dispels the myth of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust, and the myth that courageous civilians with firearms are helpless against a powerful, genocidal tyranny.

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