The Underground Resistance Movements of WWII By: Kristin M.
Why did Underground Resistance Movements Begin? Hitler and the Nazi’s designed what is known as “The Final Solution” in 1942. This plan was designed to murder every Jewish Person. This was a bad plan for the Jews and the Jews weren’t going to sit back and watch it happen. As a result, some Jews resisted and formed resistance movements. Resistance Movements were also formed by the French and Polish. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed to few so many.” ~Prime minister Winston Churchill
Tests formed to be part of French Resistance The Jews and non-Jews alike, believed that they shouldn’t be treated as animals, which was exactly how the Germans treated them. They formed resistance groups to try and resist the Nazis. All men and women who were Jews or non-Jews alike, would risk anything for their beliefs. In order to become a member of the French resistance groups, you had to be strong willed and not driven by pure emotion. In addition, you had to perform tests of character. One test that was given was to kill a fellow member thought to be a traitor. The gun would be empty, but it was just a test to see if they would pull the trigger. If they pulled the trigger, they got to become a member in these movements. “Members came from all classes of society and walks of life with one goal in common, to at any cost, hurt the Nazi’s.”
What were the goals of these movements? The Prisoner’s main goals of these movements were to slow the Nazi’s down so they could escape.
Map of Underground Resistance Movements In Several dozen camps, Jewish prisoners were organizing these resistant groups and were succeeding in initiating in resistance.. Even though the Jews and non-Jews alike knew that up springs wouldn’t stop the Nazi’s, they still tried to resist by forming underground movements all over Europe.
Resisters’ Activities The Underground Resistance Members performed various activities without the Nazi’s having a clue. They succeeded in the following: Bombing Auschwitz Crematoriums Firing Arms at German Soldiers Broadcasted radio about Hitler as a misleader Escaping from the Ghetto’s Continuing to teach religious study Hiding documents Bombing bridges and roads to slow down cattle cars carrying many to their death All of the weapons the prisoners used to complete these activities were smuggled into the ghetto’s.
Auschwitz-Birkeneau Largest death camp Well guarded Attacked by Jewish prisoners (the resistant groups bombed their crematoriums) This death camp was hit the hardest Compared to the Jews resistance movements who's activities were very small in scale, their bombing at Auschwitz was an elaborate one.
Jewish Prisoners Resist Prisoners were being led into the gas chambers A Woman from the Underground Movement drew a pistol and shot two German guards on her way to the chamber More women started to resist who were shortly executed by German reinforcements Resisters began to escape as well 667 prisoners escaped and 297 of them found refugee in neutral countries “Right from the start, communist resistance achieved a remarkable cohesion and efficiency because they have long used to working underground.” ~ Jean-Leon Charles
Smuggled Weapons kill Nazi’s Weapons such as bombs, Molotov cocktails and bullets of a few firearms were smuggled into the ghettos Jews were able to kill 20 German soldiers with their bombs and machine guns when they entered the ghettos to round up prisoners for death camps This showed victory for the 1,000 fighters from the resistance groups (French, Polish and Jews)
Polish Resistance hits at Warsaw Polish resistance supported the Jews in 1942 Polish resistance carried out the wars largest upspring at Warsaw This upspring lasted 63 days Killed over 300 Germans and injured 1,000
Emanuel Ringelblum initiated and directed a collection of diaries and documents chronicling life of Jews during WWII. He buried this collection in milk cartons, hoping that someone would discover them after the war. Rosa Robota helped supply the dynamite and explosives to the resistant movements. Dietrich Bonhoeffer broadcasted on the radio that Hitler was a misleader. Later on, he demonstrated resistance again with the formation of an underground church. Meir Berliner was the first to show the act of resistance. On September 10 th or 11 th 1942, he stabbed a Ukrainian guard, Unterschafuhrer Max Bialis, while in line getting ready to be called for liquidation. Several women were resisters as well including women-housewives, students, princess’s, and prostitutes. They helped with the production of underground newspapers, concealed fugitives, delivered messages, and worked escape lines.
Works Cited 1) "Holocaust." Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust. A History of the Holocaust. 03 Dec. 2004. 2) "Introduction." 11 Mar 2004. Guardians of Freedom. Neiman Educational Learning Center. 30 Nov. 2004. 3) "Jewish Resistance in Ghettos and Camps." 2004. Jewish Resistance in Ghettos and Camps. Jewish Virtual Library. 03 Dec. 2004. 4) Krzysztof, Bozejewicz. "Polish Resistance." Polish Resistance. 03 Dec. 2004. 5) "A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust-Resisters." 2001. Resisters. A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust. 03 Dec. 2004. 6) "THE HOLOCAUST CENTER OF THE UNITED JEWISH FEDERATION." What was it like for Jews during the Holocaust?. THE HOLOCAUST CENTER OF THE UNITED JEWISH FEDERATION. 03 Dec. 2004.