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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

Resistance in the Camps

The extraordinary harsh circumstances, which existed in the Nazi camps made the possibility of organizing any kind of resistance far more difficult than in other places, such as the ghetto.

The vast majority of the Jews who reached the extermination camps were sent immediately to their death without being able to organize any form of efficient resistance. Although in some instances Jews tried to confront the Nazis spontaneously upon arrival to the camps, organized resistance was only possible for the small percentage of Jews who were selected by the Nazis to help run the camps. These Jews did such jobs as sorting the murdered people's property, camouflaging the acts of murder, and even incinerating the bodies and cleaning the gas chambers. They were well aware of the extermination process and knew that a similar fate awaited them. Therefore, despite the indescribable difficulties, on several occasions they secretly tried to organize armed resistance and escape attempts from the camps.

One might say that the success of revolts in Nazi camps were not necessarily measured by the number of Jewish escapees, nor by the number of Nazis killed, but rather by the fact that attempts were made both to inform the World of the Nazi atrocities and as a symbol of Jewish courage. The best-known uprisings took place in three extermination camps - Treblinka, Sobibor and Auschwitz II (Birkenau).

Total Sources (by media type):

Diaries and Letters 1
Documents 1
Lexicon Entries 5
Photographs 6
Testimonies 3
Total Sources 16