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TheHolocaust

Contents

1.1 Introduction 3

2.0 Literature review 4

2.1 Jews in Pre-Holocaust era 4

2.1.1 Jews Identity 4

2.1.2 Isolation and class diversification 5

2.1.3 Obfuscation of Information 6

2.2 Resisting the Holocaust 6

2.2.1 Devastating consequences 6

2.2.2 Structures of Organized military force 8

2.3 Actual Resistance against Holocaust 9

2.3.1 Cultural and spiritual resistance 9

2.3.2 Active military resistance 9

2.4 Denial and Distortion 10

2.4.1 Reasons for denials and distortions 11

3.0 Conclusion 11

Works cited 13

1.1Introduction

TheHolocaust is thebureaucratic, systematicandstate-sponsored persecutionsandmass murderof theJews by theNazi regimeandits collaborators.BelievingthattheGerman racewassuperiorandtheJews inferiorandan alienthreat,theNazi regimedecreeda policythat ledto thekillingof oversix million Jews (Plunka32). Thepolicy,referredto as The Final Solution, sawtheNazis andtheir collaboratorskillat leasttwo of everythree European Jews, whoweredeemedto be a prioritydangerto German existenceowingto theincreasedpopulationthroughout Europe (Bergen 57).Othervictimsof Nazism includedthegypsiesandthementallyas wellas thephysicallydisabledpersonsin Germany. Thesekillingswereexecutedunder theEuthanasia Program, which wasaimedat maintainingracialpurityandridingthecountryoff thephysicallyandmentallyhandicapped, whoweredeemeduselessto thegrowthof thecountry.Further,theregimeledto theestablishmentof concentrationcampsto detainrealorimaginedenemiesof theregime,mostlytheJews (Gitlin 76). Theseconcentrationcampsweremeantto monitorthespreadingJewish populationandfacilitatedtheir deportation.However,there weredilapidated livingconditionsin theseconcentrationcamps,leadingto communicablediseases,which increasedthenumberof deaths,especiallyamong theJews whoformedthegreatestfractionof theconcentratedpopulace.Thesituationwasworsened y theincreasedforcedlaborin campsestablishedin German territoriesas wellas theGerman-occupied territories.

Itisestimatedthatoversix million Jews hadbeenkilledby theEinsatzgruppen, which wastheNazi killingpoliceunitthat enforcedtheFinal Solution policy.Afurther,five million Jews diedin theconcentrationcamps,increasingthenumberof deathsto eleven million Jews by theendof theHolocaust. Despite thechilling effectsof theHolocaust, there wasrelativelylessresistanceamong theJews andtheinternationalcommunity(Engelking-Boni, &amp Gunnar 53). To date,there are increaseddenialsof theexistenceof theHolocaust whileothers believethatthenumberof deathswasexaggeratedto promptsympathyamong theJews (Gitlin 79). Thisarticleexemplifiesreasonswhythere wasa relativelylessresistanceagainst theholocaustamong theJews andexplainsreasonswhythere isincreasedresistancetowards theexistenceof theHolocaust.

2.0Literature review2.1Jews in Pre-Holocaust era2.1.1Jews Identity

Inthe18th Century, a movementreferredto as theHaskalah encouragedtheJews to integrateinto theEuropean society,to becomemorelike themiddle-classEuropeans (Bergen 62). Accordingto Gitlin 92011 p93), theindustrialization allowedtheJews to assimilateinto thesocietybutat differentlevels, becomingmorelike their Christian counterparts.Theybecamelessreligious,with their Jewish cultureremainingjusta partof thereligionratherthan partof their life,which weakenedtheir Jewish identity.Theysawnoconflictin beingnationalists n thenreligious,forinstance,German andJewish, to a level that theyevenjoinedtheChristians during theFirst World War. Despite their identity,Christians in European countriessawthem as a singleunifiedforceacross Europe, which accordingto Nazism, poseda significantthreatto theexistenceof otherraces.Assuch,manyEuropean countries,directlyorindirectlysupportedtheideaof reducingtheinfluenceandpopulationof theJews throughout Jews, hencethereducedinternationalresistanceagainst Holocaust (Engelking-Boni &amp Gunnar 93). Axispowerswhichwereagainst Holocaust would not risktheir meagerresourcesto assistthedespised minorities.Countrieswhich hadsufficientresourcesto supporttheJews only offerederraticassistance,which wassubjectto Nazi terrorandinfiltration. None of theAllied powersgavecredenceto Jewish resistancegroups.Theyfocusedon fightingGermany andliberatingcampprisonerswasconsidereda wasteof timeandresourceswhiletheSoviets werereluctantto helptheJews sincetheyconsideredthem pro-soviets (Hayes &amp John 45).

2.1.2IsolationandClassDiversification

Priorto theHolocaust, theJews wereisolatedandnot allowedto integratewith thelargerEuropean society.Accordingto Rappaport (2012 p. 73), assimilationof theJews into theEuropean societystartedin 19th century,hencewerenot entirelyabsorbed.In mostcountries,theJews livedin ruralimpoverishedsettlementsandlivedseparate livesfrom theChristians (Gitlin 45). Theyweretoleratedratherthan beingacceptedembracedan isolationthat ensuredthatdeniedthem chancesof formingnationalnetworksas Christians that would havehelpedin theresistance.In extremecases,suchas Lithuania, theJews would not evenlearnthenationallanguage,furthercuttingthem off from internationalnetworksthat would helpin theresistance.Priorto theHolocaust, Jews in variousEuropean countrieswereexemptedfrom militaryservice,therefore,didnot haveanymilitaryknowledge(Hayes &amp John 67). Assuch,would not forma formidablemilitaryorganizationagainst theHolocaust. Thefewthat hadmilitaryexperiencesfrom theFirst World War werepurposelytargeted by theNazis, leavingtheJewish populacewith nomilitaryorganization,oranystructureto formanymilitaryorganization.Further,theJews representedjustabout allclassesof theEuropean societyby mid20th century.Thecross-class representationsof theJews ensuredthatthesemi-illiterate ruralfarmersinteractedwith themiddle-classas wellas theaffluentclass.Theclassdiversitymadeitalmostimpossibleto organizetheJew communityinto an organizedmilitaryforcehencethefeworganizedmilitaryforceagainst theHolocaust (Bergen 63).

2.1.3Obfuscationof Information

Accordingto Plunka(2012, P. 71), theNazi regimewasveryeffectivein isolatingthepopulace,especiallytheJews, obfuscatingwhatwashappening.Thoughthepolicyto killtheJews wasin effect,itwasjusttheelite squadthat knewthedetailsof whatwasreallyhappening.Orderswerevocal,usingcodenames to disguiseactionsof thesquad,which isolatedtheJews, whoonlyknewwhatwasactuallyhappeningwhenitwastoolateto react(Engelking-Boni &amp Gunnar 102). Forinstance,Jews from theBudapest ghetto thoughtthattheywerebeingtakento employmentcampsonlyto be massacaredandburiedin massgraves,hencehadnosufficienttimeto respond.Theisolationprovedeffectivein obfuscatinginformationfrom theinternationalworld,anditwasonlyafter thewarthat theallied powerstrulyrealizedwhattheJews weregoingthrough in theconcentrationcamps.Evenwith thecredibleevidencefrom allied powerswholiberatedthecampsandtheJews whohadsurvivedtheHolocaust, ittookgreateffortsby historiansto convincetheskepticsthatHolocaust indeedhappened.Initially,theallied powersrefutedexistenceof Holocaust thinkingthattheevidencewasmerewar-time propagandahencethere wasnowaytheywould respondto theHolocaust (Gitlin 89)

3.0Analysis3.1ResistingtheHolocaust3.1.1Devastatingconsequences

ResistingtheNazi regime wasalmostpracticallyimpossible,theyhadlittleaccessto weapons,wereunableto movefreelyandformJewish unionsandmajorityof theJews wereunwillingto fighttheNazis (Plunka76). An openmilitaryaggressionagainst theNazis wasavoidedsince inmostcasesitresultedin moredeaths.Until itwasclearthattheNazis wantedto wipeallJews from Europe, manyJews heldon to thehopethattheNazis would changeandassimilatethem justas theyhaddonewith otherreligiousgroups.Theywereof theviewthattheir liveswould besparediftheyremainedloyalandcompliantto theNazis. Thesenseof falsehopewasencouragedby theNazis to keeptheJews obedientandorderly,deceivingthem thattheseparationfrom their familieswasonlytemporary,andthatheJewish peoplewerevitalandvaluedpartof German populace.FightingtheNazis wasnot an easydecisionsince itmeantabandoningallhopesof a bettertomorrowas wellas acceptingimmediatepersonalrisks(Bergen 87). Thehugerisksthat would emanatefrom opposingtheNazis sawthem placetheir faithin German humanity.Theabsenceof detailedinformationabout othercampsmadetheJews not to believethattheconditionswereworthfightingfor.Again,theybelievedthattheNazis would not possiblykillall theJews, hencehopedthattheywould besparediftheyremainedloyalsubjectsto theNazis. ThefalsehopegavetheNazi chancesof killingmoreJews without facingreprisalsfrom otherJews (Hayes &amp John 45).

TheJews wereafraidof fightingtheNazis owingto thedevastatingeffectsof beingcaught.Asa generalrule,theJews immigratedto Germany andlivedin ghettos with membersof their families.S such,theable-bodiedmenwhowould havefoughttheNazis hadwivesandotherfamilymemberswhomtheyfeltresponsibleto.Theywereconcernedabout theriskstheywould puton their familiesanddependants in casetheywerecaughtresistingtheNazis, henceremainedroyalandnon-resistant. Theable-bodiedmensuitedfortheresistancewerealsosuitedforworkhencetheyopted to workthan resist, to keeptheir familymembersfrom starving.Theresultwasthatthosethat werewillingto fightwere4 exclusivelytheyouthin their teen, since theyhadnodependants. Again,theywould not escapefrom thecampssince there werepoliciesthat heldthatifanyJew escapedfrom thecamp,thewholeJewish populationwould bepunished.Thepolicyof institutingmasspunishmentsforthewrongsof an individualensuredthattheJews remainedcomplacent,owingto thefearthattheir familiesandwould bepunishedin casetheyresistedtheNazis (Engelking-Boni &amp Gunnar 113)

2.2.2Structuresof Organized militaryforce

Weaponsare an importantelementin establishinganorganizedandeffective,violentresistancehencetheJews hadto haveaccessto weaponsto stage a meaningfulresistanceagainst theNazis. However,theNazi regimeprohibitedtheJews from processingarmsusingdeaththreats.ThefewweaponsthattheJews purchasedfrom peasantsandsmuggledthem in thecampswereinferiorandwould not be helpfulin staging a meaningfulresistanceagainst thewellequippedNazi forces(Rappaport 111). Again,an effectivemilitaryactionrequireseffectiveleadershipthat isrespectedby allpeopleof thecommunity.Effectiveleadershiporganizessourcesof resourcesandweaponsthat should be usedduring therevoltattractandmotivateparticipantsof theresistanceandin manycases,leadtheresistance.Unfortunately,there werenoeffectiveleadersamong theJews whowould organizetheJews into a formidableresistanceagainst theNazis. However,timeprogressionandtheconcentrationof Jews in campsin their massesbreda classof leadersthat helpedorganizerevoltsandresistancebutwithin their camps.Theincreasedrestrictionof theJews freedomof movementensuredthattheJews didnot uniteto forma nationalresistanceforce(Bergen 113)

Inaddition,there wereveryfewJews whowishedto risktheir livesin fightinga losingbattle.InadequacyandinferiorityJewish weaponscoupledwith thelackof militarytrainingdemoralized theJews from organizinga resistanceforce.SomeJews in theconcentrationcampswereunwillingto fightwhenthebasicconditionsweremetwhileothers refusedto jointheresistanceto guaranteetheir survivalandwitnesstheNazi atrocities(Hayes &amp John 77).

2.3ActualResistance against Holocaust2.3.1Culturalandspiritualresistance

Despitetheincreasedchallengesof forminga formidableforceto resisttheNazis atrocities,itwould be erroneousto assumethattheJews werecomplacentandthattheydidnot resisttheHolocaust in anyway(Rappaport 42).On thecontrary,there wereincreasedculturalandspiritualresistancethat weretheonlypossiblemeansof resistanceamongst theJews. Culturalandspiritualresistanceweremorecommonin theghettos, with their extentvaryingwith eachghetto.Theactivitiesof theseresistancesweresecretiveandheldat theinitiativeof secretive,undergroundorganizationssince anyformof resistanceweremetwith optimumbrutality(Gitlin 77). Theseincludeeveninggatherings,attendingJewish concerts andmarkinganniversariesof famousJewish artisans, poetsandauthors,whoproducedtheir worksin theghettos. Otherformsof resistanceincludedcreatingsecretschools,printinganddistributingJewish articlesandnewspapersthat aimedat maintainingthereligiousandculturesof theJewish populace.Further,thestruggledto maintaintheir normalcy, not showingsignsof emotionsto theNazis, maintaintheir religiousidentitiessuchas fastingevenwhentheywerestarving.Thefewwhowereemployedin variousmanufacturingcompaniessabotagedtheir workby makingdefectiveproductsororganizinggo-slows. Thoughthere is nowayof measuringimpactsof sabotageon theeconomy,itis believedthatithadquitesomedevastatingimpacts(Hayes &amp John 66).

2.3.2Activemilitaryresistance

Otherthan spiritualandculturalresistance,theJews, especiallythoselivingin concentrationcampsorganizedarmedresistance.Theseresistancesbrokeout in theghetto, butsometimesextendedbeyond thebordersof theghetto to engagepartisansoutside theghettos. Thesearmedresistanceswerelargelyspontaneous,organizedwithin theghetto orby ghettos’ escapees, with themajorityof thefightersbeingtheyouth(Plunka134). Thelargestandthemostfamousuprisingby theJews opposingtheNazis wasin theWarsaw Ghetto on theApril of 1943, ledby theZ.O.B. Thisorganizedmilitaryexpeditioncomprisedof morethan seven hundred youngJewish fighterswhofacedmorethan two thousand Nazi fighters(Rappaport 66). Theuprisingtooktwenty- seven daysandwaslargelyhand-to-handcombatowingto thelessernumberof weaponsamong theJewish fighters.Despite weaponinferiority,theJews wereableto represstheNazis andmanagedto getawaywhenthefightescalated.Asa result,theNazis decidedto burntheJews housessystematicallyhouseby thehouseafter theywereunableto findthecombatants.However,thearmedresistancewaslargelyconfinedin Warsaw, owingto thevariouschallengesdiscussedabove (Plunka156)

2.4DenialandDistortion

Despitethechilling effectsof theHolocaust, there stillexistincreaseddenialsover theexistenceof theHolocaust. ThedenialwasstillevidentwhiletheHolocaust wasin progress,owingto theincreasedobfuscation of informationby theNazis officials.To date,there are increaseddebates,with opponentsarguingthatthere wasnoholocaustandthatall theevidencewasconjuredby Jewish peopleto marshalpublicsympathy.TheHolocaust denialsareaimedat negatingtheestablishedfactsthattheNazis hadmadepoliciesto exterminatetheEuropean Jewry (Gitlin 83). One of theKey assertionsis thatthemurderof approximatelysix million Jews during theSecond World War didnot happen,thatthere werenoestablishedNazi policiesthat championed thekillingof Jews. Further,thecriticsarguethatthepoisongaschambersin Auschwitz-Birkenau deathcampneverexisted.Otherdistortionsincludetheassertionthatthefigureof six million deathswasan exaggerationandthatthedeathsin concentrationcampsresultedfrom diseasesandstarvation,butnot from thepolicies(Lipstadt 66).

2.4.1Reasonsfordenialsanddistortions

TheHolocaust denialsanddistortionsexistamidst thefactthattheHolocaust is thebest-documented genocide in History, with awidearrayof evidencesdocumenting allaspectsof thegenocide. Thedistortionspropagandaaimedat reducingtheperceivedpublicsympathytowards theJews since thecriticsarguethattheHolocaust is a giantmythconcoctedby theJews fortheir ownmeans.Theyareaimedat underminingthelegitimacy of thestateof Israel since majoritybelievethatitwascreatedto compensatetheJews since theywereperceivedto be persecuted.Thesedistortionsaimat plantingseedsof doubtabout theJews andHolocaust, therebydiscreditingtheir history(Lipstadt 45)

However,there theHolocaust wasextensivelydocumentedandanydenialordistortionof thefactsis an assaulton thetruthandunderstanding.Theactualrecollectionof historyis crucialto understandingour societyandgoals,helpingus to formappropriategoalsforthefuture.Denyinganddistortingfactsabout thehistorythreatensour understandingof strategiesto safeguard against suchatrocities.Assuch,criticsshould formulatestrategiesto safeguardthesocietyagainst suchatrocities,ratherthan to engagein a meaninglessdisputeconcerningwell-documented facts(Lipstadt 77).

3.0Conclusion

Fromtheaforestated, theHolocaust wasa massgenocide against theEuropean Jewry by theNazis andtheir collaborators.TheHolocaust ledto thekillingof morethan six million Jews, with extrafive million Jews dyingin concentrationcamps.Despite thehorrifying impactsof theHolocaust, there waslittleresistancefrom theinternationalcommunity,owingto theincreasedobfuscation of thetruthfrom theinternationalcommunity.Thefewcountriesthat hadknowledgeof theHolocaust wereeitherunwillingorunableto supporttheJewish resistance.Further,there waslittleresistanceamong theJews owingto variousreasonssuchas lackof militarytrainingandinferiorityof their weapons.TheHolocaust has facedincreaseddenialanddistortion,butare allrefutedby thewell-documented evidencesupportingits existence.

Works cited

Bergen,Doris L. TheHolocaust: A Concise History.Lanham, Md: Rowman &amp Littlefield Publishers, 2009. Print.

Engelking-Boni,Barbara, and Gunnar S. Paulsson. Holocaustand Memory: The Experience of the Holocaust and Its Consequences : anInvestigation Based on Personal Narratives.New York: Continuum, 2004. Print.

Gitlin,Marty. TheHolocaust.Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co, 2011. Print.

Hayes,Peter, and John K. Roth. TheOxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies.Oxford [England: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

Lipstadt,Deborah E. Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth andMemory. New York: Simonand Schuster. 2012. print

Morgan,Michael L. BeyondAuschwitz: Post-holocaust Jewish Thought in America.Oxford [England: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print.

Plunka,Gene A. StagingHolocaust Resistance.New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.

Rappaport,Doreen. BeyondCourage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust., 2012. Print.