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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

German Jews in the Resistance 1933-1945

I picked this up on a vist to the German Resistance Memorial Center (worth a visit for anyone coming to Berlin btw, free entry, super interesting and huge exhibition). It was slightly dumb to have it in English, because the original was in German, but that's what I happened to pick up, so that's what I read.

Arnold Paucker in German Jews in the Resistance 1933-1945. The Facts and the Problems gives a historigraphy of the role of German Jews in the Resistance, and with that answers charges that the German Jewry like lambs obeyingly slowly walked into doom. I am not such a big fan of historigraphies usually, they are written too dense, they have too many footnotes, because of their breadth they don't provide enough depth, in the end they are not too pleasant to read. The only pleasures you derive out of having gone through one of them, is the overview, the amount of additional information you have obtained. In this case then, the reading itself was not too much fun, but I found it highly interesting how many Jews were fighting against the Nazi Regime in all kinds of ways possible. The Allies employed a lot in their armies, resistance movements all over Europe had Jewish-German brigades, as did most Communist Groups inside of Germany.

The only problem with this kind of leaflet (70 pages) is of course its briefness, most of the stories hinted at would have been highly interesting to explore further. Hopefully, I will have time for that at some point. The general point is clear though, Jews did fight back, quite massively in fact.

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