Read Resistance: How Jews and Christians Fought Against the Nazis and Became Heroes of the Holocaust by Nechama Tec Online

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Nechama Tec's Defiance, an account of a Jewish partisan unit that fought the Nazis in the Polish forests during World War II, was turned into a major feature film. Yet despite the attention this film brought to the topic of Jewish resistance, Tec, who speaks widely about the Holocaust and the experience of Jews in wartime Poland, still ran into the same question again andNechama Tec's Defiance, an account of a Jewish partisan unit that fought the Nazis in the Polish forests during World War II, was turned into a major feature film. Yet despite the attention this film brought to the topic of Jewish resistance, Tec, who speaks widely about the Holocaust and the experience of Jews in wartime Poland, still ran into the same question again and again: Why didn't Jews fight back? To Tec, this question suggested that Jews were somehow complicit in their own extermination. Despite works by Tec and others, the stereotype of Jewish passivity in the Holocaust persists. In Resistance, Tec draws on first-hand accounts, interviews, and other sources to reveal the full range of tactics employed to resist the Nazi regime in Poland. She compares Jewish and non-Jewish groups, showing that they faced vastly different conditions. The Jewish resistance had its own particular aims, especially the recovery of dignity and the salvation of lives. Tec explores the conditions necessary for resistance, including favorable topography, a supply of arms, and effective leadership, and dedicates the majority of the book to the stories of those who stood up and fought back in any way that they could. Emphasizing the centrality of cooperation to the Jewish and Polish resistance movements of World War II, Tec argues that resistance is more than not submitting--that it requires taking action, and demands cooperation with others. Whereas resilience is individual in orientation, Tec writes, resistance assumes others. Within this context, Tec explores life in the ghettoes, the organizations that arose within them, and the famous uprising in Warsaw that began on January 18, 1943. She tells of those who escaped to hide and fight as partisans in the forests, and considers the crucial role played by women who acted as couriers, carrying messages and supplies between the ghetto and the outside world. Tec also discusses resistance in concentration camps, vividly recounting the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp uprising on October 7, 1944. The refusal of the rebel leaders to give information under unspeakable torture, Tec displays, was just one more of the many forms resistance took. Resistance is a rich book that forever shatters the myth of Jewish passivity in the face of annihilation....

Title : Resistance: How Jews and Christians Fought Against the Nazis and Became Heroes of the Holocaust
Author :
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ISBN : 9780199735419
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Resistance: How Jews and Christians Fought Against the Nazis and Became Heroes of the Holocaust Reviews

  • Chris
    2018-12-24 11:57

    Disclaimer: Netgalley allowed me to read this via a free pdf copy. Thanks!Resist: withstand the action or effect of Hollywood loves resistance stories, determined men and women fighting for survival against overwhelming odds. Of course, in Hollywood all resistance, at some level, will involve guns and, most likely, a leader in the form of man who resists all to save his family or to keep to some principle. For instance, we have a wonderful movie about Lincoln. But I have to wonder where the big budget movie treatment of Harriet Tubman is. Nechama Tec also seems to be obsessed with the idea of resistance, in her case resistance to the Nazis. Her book Defiance dealt with the Bielski brothers and their heroic family partisan camp during the Second World War. This aptly titled book deals with all types of resistance during the Holocaust, both by Jews and by Christians. While the book’s sub-title seems to indict a search for what made people resist and Tec does examine to a degree the conditions that are need for resistance, the focus is primary on the stories of resistance. The book’s geographical focus is primary Poland. The type of resistance, however, that makes up the discussion is far more than the rebellions in the Ghettos and the camps. The book is divided into sections – the Forests, Ghettoes, Camps, and more importantly Couriers. There are two other sections that profile various resisters. The important thing that Tec does is use a far less narrow definition of resistance than most writers and Hollywood do. Turn on a Hollywood movie about resistance and it will usually involve guns and/or a gentile saving Jews. While Tec does detail resistance fighters such as various partisans and the fighting that occurred in the Ghettos, she also focuses on more everyday and far less flashy methods of resistance – a mother adapting to get food to feed her family or by simply giving birth , for instance. If Tec’s Defiance was too close to hagiography, this book illustrates that resistance occurred at all levels, ages, genders, and religions. The resisters do not come across as saints, but as people. And it is this illustration that makes the book important. With stories of fighting back, the reader is always placed in the position of questioner - would the reader have done what these people did. What Tec does is provide a two-fold answer to this question, and the more annoying other question –why didn’t people, primary the Jews, fight back. (TO be honest, I’m surprised that Tec doesn’t smack people who ask this question). She illustrates that resistance, the idea of rebelling, is down by those whose bravery is obvious and by those whose actions might go unnoticed. She also showcases the fact that resistance was far more common than people think, perhaps more common than being the sheep that some people seem to think the targeted groups were. Keeping a diary or journals that detailed what happened was just as important and necessary an act as shooting a guard. Staying quiet in some cases was just as brave as speaking out. Additionally, while the second and last sections focus on men, there are women throughout. Tec not only looks at women in the ghettoes but also in the forests and camps. Her analysis of women as partisans is more detailed than in Defiance (and perhaps the commonplace experience as opposed to the exception). The part of the book I liked the best was the section on couriers. In most books dealing with resistance in the ghettos, the couriers get named and mentioned – usually briefly though with acknowledgement that being a courier was extremely dangerous. The couriers whose missions were absolutely necessary for several of these plans to work, get short shrift, perhaps unintentionally implying to that the couriers were somehow less than the others. The only exception of this seems to be in the discussion of the various networks in Occupied France. By giving the couriers their own section, Tec highlights their contributions as well as the danger, and gives more information about the risks than most other books. The couriers are usually the lesser known “active” resisters and it is nice to see them get the spotlight for a bit here. If Tec wrote this to answer, to put to bed, that insensitive question asked above, she has more than succeeded. This book is a great companion to Defiance, but also a must reader about the Holocaust.

  • Steve
    2019-01-19 14:01

    Excellent account of bravery of the Jews and Christians in Poland and other areas that were occupied by the Nazis during World War II. Many were deported to various concentration camps and many formed bands of resistance fighters to fight against the Nazis. Many of the Jews were executed by firing squad, put in gas chambers, or were burned in the crematoriums.

  • John
    2018-12-23 16:10

    Will be most appreciated by serious history scholars or history nerds. Very well written.