Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Minsk Ghetto 1941-1943Jewish Resistance and Soviet Internationalism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Barbara Epstein

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242425

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242425.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see http://california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 18 October 2017

Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.282) (p.283) Conclusion
Source:
The Minsk Ghetto 1941-1943
Author(s):

Barbara Epstein

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520242425.003.0010

The Warsaw ghetto uprising and strategy of internal revolt has been the golden standard of the Holocaust resistance. In much of the literature that delved into the Holocaust period, internal strategies by the ghettos formed the focus and core of these studies, leaving the story of the Minsk ghetto near oblivion. While experts are fully aware of the existence of an alternative strategy, the focus on the internal ghetto revolt was so overwhelmed that the memory of the Holocaust has come to mean internal ghetto revolts. This book has attempted to restore to memory the model of Holocaust resistance exemplified and carried out by the Minsk ghetto underground. The forest/partisan model of resistance was predicated on the view that Jews and non-Jews had a common interest in fighting Nazis, and it involved fostering such alliances. This form of resistance was not possible everywhere, but the fact that it was possible on a large scale in Minsk casts a different light on the Holocaust than do the accounts of the isolated Jews. This effort to bring the Minsk ghetto model of resistance back into memory raises two questions. First, why has the history of Holocaust resistance been so inclined toward the Warsaw ghetto model? Second, what difference does it make to include the alternative represented by the Minsk ghetto? Every political current within the ghetto resistance movements regarded armed struggle as far more important than saving lives. Of the many Byelorussian and Jewish women who worked to save lives, only a few took part in writing their memories and most gave sparse attention to the accounts of forest resistance. This gave the impression that saving human lives was important on a moral level yet, at the political level, it was their contributions to armed struggle that counted. At the beginning of the war, this attitude was understandable but as the war wore on, if it had not been for the view of Zionists, Communists, and others, saving the lives of the Jews trapped in ghettos might have been the higher priority.

Keywords:   Warsaw ghetto, internal revolt, Holocaust resistance, Minsk ghetto, ghetto revolts, partisan model

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.