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Today, Palestinians fight to resist the Israeli occupation and repression. After Israel refused to negotiate a two-state settlement after the initial uprising of Palestinian’s in 1987, Palestinians used armed resistance against Israel’s occupying military forces.  Since the Palestinians are in a militarily weaker position, they have no chance in defeating the Israeli armed forces. Therefor, they use alternative resistance such as negotiating political compromises and nonviolent resistance such as protests and demonstrations. To better understand the importance of resistance movements today, such as the Palestinian’s, an examination of circumstances in which past resistance movements formed is important. More specifically, there is a direct connection between the Palestinian resistance today and the Jewish people’s resistance under the Nazi rule.

Adolf Hitler; the man who established Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are names for the period in history during 1933 to 1945, when Germany was under the control of Hitler and his Nazi regime by dictatorship. World War II is still well known for Hitler’s extreme anti-Semitism movements that sought out to eliminate an entire ethnic group, Jews, political opponents, and other “undesirable” people like the disabled. By imprisoning and killing these groups, Hitler believed he could establish a superior race. Although Hitler was on the rise, other people of the world resisted and fought Nazi totalitarian regime of Germany. Underground workers, allied countries, and movements by civilians all were working forces to create a Nazi resistance and sabotage Hitler’s Nazi Germany. They sabotaged in the forms of literature, propaganda, revolts, and by helping Jews escape.

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Fig. 1

There were many underground workers in the form of literature. These works of literature were plays, books, articles, or newspapers. In the United States, a famous anti-Nazi play was called, “Day is darkness”, and was written by George Fess. It was put on in 1939 sponsored by the Federal Theatre Project. This is one way the United States used writing to evoke anger against the Nazi’s through a form of literature. In France, writers created the Clandestine Press. It made anti-Nazi publications and circulated them at great risk. A surrealist poet, Elsa Triolet, wrote of the, “Underground workers and Allied soldiers hidden by patriots, the saboteurs who detailed trains and shot Germans “with no more hatred than a surgeon,” of the wives and fiancées of these men who have to live their lives with anouter sense of calm.” [1].

Another greatly known surrealist leader and poet, Paul Eluard, wrote a good amount of the Clandestine papers and edited a book of poems about concentration camps in France, Greece, Czechoslovokia, Holand, Bulgaria, and Norway [2]. These writings all had

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Fig. 2

a powerful effect on spreading resistance throughout Europe. Although he was later executed by Germans, his colleagues carried on his writings and continued to spread resistance. “The clandestine authors wrote hard, factual articles. They told movingly simple anecdotes. They wrote passionate poems singing out the cold fury of their hatred to the Nazi, vowing vengeance for the dead martyrs, the despoiled villages.”[3]. Business men funded their writings, while the public of France read. Cyclists, butcher boys, bakers, and teachers would distribute copies, while thousands of more copies were sent through the mails. Many other countries continued Nazi resistance by spreading awareness through literature in their own country to open the public’s eye.

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Fig. 3

“For a few brief years, the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom were on the same side, fighting to defeat Nazi Germany.” [4].  These countries used propaganda directed toward an anti-Nazi message.  New posters were created almost every day. “Images in the posters are repeated, including Nazis with grabbing claws instead of hands; Nazis as skeletons; Hitler attacked by the Soviets, Americans and British; and heroic Soviet soldiers and citizens.” [5]. These posters mobilized the countries citizens, using artists and writers work, in the war effort and resistance. Nazi resistance in the form of literature and propaganda continued to spread awareness throughout each country opening the publics eye to the horrifying truths of the Nazi Germany.

 

“It is a myth that the Jews gave in to slaughter without protest or fight.” [6]. Many fought hard for their lives, and for the resistance. “There were Jews in the resistance movements from France to the USSR, from Denmark to Yugoslavia… There were also separate Jewish resistance and partisan groups.” [7]. One way Jews fought back was by revolting. For example, the Warsaw ghetto uprising occurred April 19th and May 16th in 1943. It was an energetic revolt launched by 60,000 of the Jews that were left in the ghetto. They fought with minimal weapons against the machine guns, tanks, and planes. Although the Polish resistance to anti-Nazi’s aided the Warsaw ghetto, it was too little and too late. Ghettos such as Czestochowa, Vilno, Bialystok, Minsk, Lachwa, and many more revolted using different tactics. The Jews fought back by revolting in extermination camps as well. There are five well known extermination camp revolts, including at Treblinka and Auschwitz [8].  Underground railroads were made by the Jews to rescue others from concentration camps and take them to Palestine. Along with the revolts and underground railroads, Jews also assigned women to date Germans to pry information from them [9]. Many people in the Jewish community contributed to the Nazi resistance, but unfortunately their efforts were not enough. “Inventiveness to outsmart the Nazis and death was almost limitless, but unfortunately could not be applied on a large scale.” [10].

Many people worked to form a resistance against Hitler’s Nazism. Although the forms of sabotage, like literature, propaganda, revolts, and helping other Jews, did not make a difference to directly stop Hitler, they indirectly worked by spreading awareness throughout individual countries. They also worked to save other Jews. Ultimately, Nazi resistance was successful.

Many Jewish resisters who survived the camps and Hitler’s rule, fled to Palestine. By 1948, these European Jews created the Israeli state who displaced Arabs and occupied their lands. This is how the Palestinian resistance correlates to the Jewish resistance. The Jews, a population that was so oppressed under Nazi rule, repeated the same actions of oppression imposed on them onto the population of Palestinian’s, who had no role in the repression of Jews to begin with. The victims, the Jewish resisters, became the killers.

Footnotes: 

[1] Edna Woodman, “People and Ideas: The Clandestine Press: Hidden, potent, anti-Nazi publications, printed and circulated at great risk by courageous men and women, old and young, editors, and typesetters… Underground heroes of Resistant France.”, (Vogue, April 1, 1945), http://search.proquest.com/docview/879231091/fulltext?accountid=14902.

[2]  Edna Woodman, “People and Ideas: The Clandestine Press: Hidden, potent, anti-Nazi publications, printed and circulated at great risk by courageous men and women, old and young, editors, and typesetters… Underground heroes of Resistant France.”, (Vogue, April 1, 1945), http://search.proquest.com/docview/879231091/fulltext?accountid=14902.

[3]  Edna Woodman, “People and Ideas: The Clandestine Press: Hidden, potent, anti-Nazi publications, printed and circulated at great risk by courageous men and women, old and young, editors, and typesetters… Underground heroes of Resistant France.”, (Vogue, April 1, 1945), http://search.proquest.com/docview/879231091/fulltext?accountid=14902.

[4]  “Anti-Nazi Propaganda, Soviet Style,” Chicago Jewish Star 21, 503 (August 12, 2011):

  1. http://search.proquest.com/docview/885015931/fulltext?accountid=14902.

[5]  “Anti-Nazi Propaganda, Soviet Style,” Chicago Jewish Star 21, 503 (August 12, 2011):

  1. http://search.proquest.com/docview/885015931/fulltext?accountid=14902.

[6] Vera Laska, Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983), page 10

[7] Vera Laska, Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983), page 9

[8] Vera Laska, Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983), page 10

[9] Vera Laska, Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983), page 8

[10] Vera Laska, Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983), page 10

Bibliography

Secondary:

Anonymous. “Anti-Nazi Propaganda, Soviet Style.” Chicago Jewish Star 21, 503 (August 12, 2011):

  1. http://search.proquest.com/docview/885015931/fulltext?accountid=14902.

Gewirtz, Sharon. “Anglo-Jewish Responses to Nazi Germany 1933-39: The Anti-Nazi Boycott and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.” Journal of Contemporary History 26, 2. Sage Publications, Ltd.:

255-76. http://www.jstor.org/stable/260791.

Laska, Vera. Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983.
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Stoppelman, Joseph and Jong, L.. “Reviewed Work: The Lion Rampant: The Story of Holland’s Resistance to the Nazis.” Books Abroad Vol. 19, No. 1 (Winter, 1945):

36-37. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40084956.

Suhl, Yuri. They Fought Back: The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Nazi Europe. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1967.

Whiting, Charles. Hitler’s Werewolves: The Story of the Nazi Resistance Movement 1944-1945. New York: Stein and Day, 1972.

 

Primary:

 

The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Sage Publications, Inc Vol. 245, 144-148, May, 1946. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1024814.

Woolman Chase, Edna. “People and Ideas: The Clandestine Press: Hidden, potent, anti-Nazi publications, printed and circulated at great risk by courageous men and women, old and young, editors, and typesetters… Underground heroes of Resistant France.” New York: Vogue 105, no.7, April 1,

1945. http://search.proquest.com/docview/879231091/fulltext?accountid=14902.

 

Illustrations:

 

Figure 1. The Federal Theatre Project presents “Day is darkness” in 3 acts The famous anti-Nazi play by George Fess : Directed by Adolph Freeman,

1939, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98516933/.

Figure 2. People and Ideas: The Clandestine Press: Hidden, potent, anti-Nazi publications, printed and circulated at great risk by courageous men and women, old and young, writers, editors, and typesetters… Underground heroes of Resistant France,

1945, http://search.proquest.com/docview/879231091?accountid=14902.

Figure 3. Fight German animals! We can and must destroy Hitler’s arm,

1941,http://www.allworldwars.com/Russian%20WWII%20Propaganda%20Posters.html.