Hope and Honor: Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust by Rachel L. Einwohner

Hope and Honor: Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust by Rachel L. Einwohner

A powerful account of Jewish resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe and why such resistance was so remarkable.

Most popular accounts of the Holocaust typically cast Jewish victims as meek and ask, “Why didn’t Jews resist?” But we know now that Jews did resist, staging armed uprisings in ghettos and camps throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. In Hope and Honor, Rachel L. Einwohner illustrates the dangers in attempting resistance under unimaginable conditions and shows how remarkable such resistance was. She draws on oral testimonies, published and unpublished diaries and memoirs, and other written materials produced both by survivors and those who perished to show how Jews living under Nazi occupation in the ghettos of Warsaw, Vilna, and Lódz reached decisions about resistance. Using methods of comparative-historical sociology, Einwohner shows that decisions about resistance rested on Jews’ assessments of the threats facing them, and somewhat ironically, armed resistance took place only once activists reached the critical conclusion that they had no hope for survival. Rather than ask the typical question of why Jews generally didn’t resist, this powerful account of Jewish resistance seeks to explain why they resisted at all when there was no hope for success, and they faced almost
certain death.

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