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The Final Choice: Resistance

Jewish partisans under command of Yechiel Greenspan, Lublin, 1944. CL:Yad Vashem
"Let us not be led like sheep to the slaughter!...Better to fall in the fight for human dignity than to live at the mercy of the murderer."
Abba Kovner, Vilna Ghetto, January, 1942

Abba Kovner (center, standing) with partisan unit. CL: Yad Vashem

Hangings in Minsk, October 1941, in which the Lithuanian battalions participated. CL:SWC

The Nazi policy of brutal reprisals against the whole ghetto community for any individual act of Jewish resistance, combined with a lack of weapons and the continued hope of surviving the war and occupation, initially repressed armed resistance in the ghettos. In addition, fake Nazi promises of resettlement encouraged false hopes of survival. However, once it became clear that the Nazi intent was total annihilation of all Jews, resistance fighters in the ghettos prepared for the fight to survive, to avenge the murdered, or at least to die fighting.

Germans burn village of Radovna (Yugoslavia), in reprisal, after having killed 20 women and children. CL:Fototeca Storica Nazionale. Milan

Jewish partisans in Parczew forest, 1943. CL:Yad Vashem

Panel 24Index to Courage to RememberPanel 26
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