Center Founding Director Wolf Gruner Authors New Book About Individual Jewish Resistance to Nazi Persecution

Fri, 05/19/2023 - 4:00pm

The USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of the book Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany. Authored by Center Founding Director Wolf Gruner, the book will be published by Yale University Press on August 29, 2023.

In his book, which is written for a wide audience, Professor Gruner delves deeply into five astonishing stories of German Jewish men and women of different ages - a merchant, a homemaker, a real estate broker, and two teenagers - who resisted Nazi persecution in different ways.

Drawing on over 12 years of research in a multitude of archives, including the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive's Holocaust survivor testimonies, Professor Gruner shows that for each individual story he tells, there are hundreds of similar cases of individual Jewish opposition. The five main resistance strategies of Jewish women and men of all walks of life consisted of disobeying anti-Jewish laws, contesting anti-Jewish propaganda, publicly protesting persecution, criticizing the regime in writing, and physically defending themselves. Once and for all, these accounts challenge and change the still-lingering image of the Jews as passive victims in Nazi Germany.

After the publication in late August, Professor Gruner will start presenting his book, for example in the fall at the 45th Annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival, and at the Holocaust Education Week in Halifax, Canada. We will share more details about his speaking schedule as they become available. 

Read more about the book here