The War of the Doomed: Jewish Armed Resistance in Poland, 1942-1944

The War of the Doomed: Jewish Armed Resistance in Poland, 1942-1944

The War of the Doomed: Jewish Armed Resistance in Poland, 1942-1944

The War of the Doomed: Jewish Armed Resistance in Poland, 1942-1944

Excerpt

This book attempts to describe the history and basic aspects of the armed resistance movement within the Jewish population during the Second World War in central Poland, which under the Nazi occupation comprised an administrative district known as the General Gouvernement (GG). The main purpose of this book is to determine the basic facts and clarify the extent of the Jewish armed resistance movement in the General Gouvernement and to analyze its character, its uniqueness, and its results.

The armed struggle of the Jews under the Nazi occupation was waged in the midst of total annihilation. The Jewish people, destined for extermination, were confined to hundreds of ghettos and camps, isolated both from each other and from the outside world. Furthermore, the Jewish partisans operated under special circumstances in a foreign and often hostile environment, where they were outlawed not only because of the struggle they were waging, but primarily because of their very physical existence as Jews.

Jewish armed resistance was conducted in three totally different arenas--the ghettos, the camps, and the partisan movement. Each of these fronts had its own character, its own logic, and its own military consequences. The first two--the ghettos and the camps--were areas of struggle for Jews alone. Only Jews were confined to the ghettos, and it follows that they alone could establish organizations there for the purpose of armed resistance. The camps in the General Gouvernement also included non-Jewish prisoners, but because of their special circumstances, only the Jews took the risk of armed activity in these places.

Specific qualities also characterized the Jewish partisan movement. An immense difference marked the conditions under which the Jewish and non-Jewish partisan units operated. In addition, the . . .

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