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2012/01/18: 2011-2012 Institute Fellow Wolf Gruner, "Open Protests and Other Forms of Jewish Defiance"

Language: English

January 18, 2012: Resistance during the Holocaust is still mostly seen in terms of organized or armed group activities, yet this perspective overlooks individual acts of opposition. Up to now, the availability of sources for analyzing the behavior of German Jews has been limited. Historians used reports originated by the Nazi state and/or written post-war testimonies. In those sources individual acts of opposition barely emerge. However, a closer analysis of the micro level of Nazi society challenges the common image of German Jews as passive victims. With hitherto unused local archival sources, such as police precinct logbooks, trial material, and video testimonies, one can demonstrate that many Jews performed acts of defiance and even protested in public, starting in 1933 and lasting well into the war.

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