USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research Director Wolf Gruner will present a paper at the fourth international interdisciplinary conference and workshop on The Future of Holocaust Testimonies in Akko, Israel on March 8, 2016.
Dr. Gruner's talk will focus on resistance during the Holocaust. Resistance during the Holocaust is still mostly understood as organized or armed group activity, hence overlooking individual acts of opposition. A closer analysis of these acts at the micro level of the Third Reich society challenges, however, the common image of the Jews as passive victims. With hitherto unused local archival sources from various cities as well as video testimonies, it can be demonstrated that German Jews performed many individual acts of defiance and even expressed open protest in public against Nazi persecution starting in 1933 up to well into the war. Since many of these Jews were arrested and later perished, their courageous attitudes have been mostly forgotten. The results of this research promise to alter our understanding of how the Jewish population responded towards persecution.