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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

The Jewish Councils and the Issue of Leadership

The members of the Jewish councils (Judenrat) who were responsible for the Jews in the ghettos were appointed to their positions in various ways: some were appointed by the Germans and others were selected by the Jews upon the Germans' order. The Judenrat had to contend with the tension between their responsibility for following German orders and their duty to ease the hardships of the ghetto inhabitants. As the Jews' situation worsened and the Nazi policy became even more extreme, it became clear that the fundamental contradiction underlying this tension was irresolvable. In some ghettos other groups were formed - some of which operated underground - which objected to the Judenrat's actions, it's policies and role. In some instances, these groups became an alternative for Jewish leadership.

Total Sources (by media type):

Artifact Collection 12
Diaries and Letters 9
Documents 17
Lexicon Entries 15
Maps and Charts 1
Photographs 39
Research 5
Testimonies 6
Total Sources 104