I am not an interpreter, or a psychologist, or a philosopher. I am a gatherer of memories.
In The Triumph of Memory, a documentary film about non-Jewish survivors of Nazi concentration and death camps, historian Vera Laska tells why she and other young people joined the resistance in her native Czechoslovakia. "We were really idealistic," she explains, "and we believed that truth must prevail. We believed in democracy. We simply hated the Nazis and everything they stood for." Laska claims she was only "a small cog in the wheel of the Czech resistance." Until she was captured by the Gestapo, however, Laska and her friends helped Jews and rescued Allied pilots. They forged papers and carried messages for the underground. They did whatever they could to help defeat the Nazis.
Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses is a fine book that Laska edited and introduced in 1983. She concludes it with an epilogue in which she writes:
I see not much use philosophizing, interpreting or engaging in metaphysical speculations over the Holocaust. Such exercises limit the scope of communication to a select few. (That is also the reason why I switched from studying philosophy to the study of history.) What is needed is the propagation of the stark truth, for facts are the clearest and most comprehensible carriers of the message, understood by all.
Among the facts that she most wants to be "understood by all" are those that make clear how "women from many walks of life laid their lives on the line for freedom."