Nederlands Holocaust in Europe Perpetrators and victims

Resistance and helpers

The general idea that the persecution of Jews in Europe did not incite resistance among Jews is not true. Especially in Eastern Europe, individual Jews and groups of Jews resisted with and without armed force. Jews revolted in dozens of ghettos and even in several concentration and extermination camps. The Warsaw ghetto uprising between January and May 1943 is the most known revolt. In order to crush the resistance the nazis blew up houses row by row. Approximately 7,000 Jewish fighters were killed during the uprising and 6,000 were burned alive or gassed in the bunkers that the Nazis built. In Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners succeeded in blowing up a crematorium. Between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews managed to join the partisan movement in the part of the Soviet Union that was occupied by nazi Germany. Thousands of Jews were helped and hidden by individual non-Jewish citizens throughout Europe. In occupied Denmark, just before the nazis wanted to deport the Jews, the relatively small Jewish community (between 7,000 and 8,000 people) was brought to Sweden, which was safe and neutral. In Poland and parts of the Soviet Union that were occupied by the nazis helping or hiding Jews was punishable by death. In the Netherlands this was not the case.


19-14575 19-96712 19_0003 J_Ghetto_Uprising_Warsaw2 J_Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_10
  1. The Warsaw ghetto uprising between January and May 1943 was violently suppressed. NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  2. Jewish children in hiding in Haarlemmermeerpolder, near Amsterdam. NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  3. Illegal pamphlet calling for the February strike (1941), a resistance action in Amsterdam against the German occupation, after a razzia in which more than 400 Jewish men were rounded up. NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  4. After the revolt (1943) the Warsaw Ghetto was set on fire and destroyed. NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  5. After the revolt (1943) the Warsaw Ghetto was set on fire and destroyed. NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
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resistance and helpers
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