Germany in WW2

Why did many victims of the Holocaust not resist?

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2011-09-13 23:01:39

There are many reasons:

Jews were generally well mannered, law abiding citizens.

The first and foremost being that unlike some events in history,

there is not one defining moment that what was happening, or going

to happen, really became clear. Over the course of many years,

small steps were taken, and each one involved deceit. Many under

the guise of doing things good for the Jewish society/people.

After being socially outcast, demorialized and literally beaten

upon, in all ways, over the course of several years, while the Nazi

regeme itself was gaining more and more power itself and over

others, they were a rather downtrodden group. So when the

government says, prepare to be relocated, for your own safety (so

we can protect you from those buring your houses down for example),

you may tend to believe it. At least want to. The relocation

centers were extermination camps...but they weren't called

that...sometimes because of how hard it is to deal with, they still


Any resisitance at any point was met with severe action -

certain death - public ridicule and execution - for the one doing

it...and most likely his family and friends. And maybe just for

good measure...any instance of it required say 50 others to be

executed openly as punishment for the group...that has the effect

of not just dispelling people trying...but even making some turn

them in out of fear.

And consider the US experience similar: The Balck activists gave

the while bigots even more of a reason to hate...fear of theose

lawless acts...buring of cities, etc. To them it just proved that

the people were "animals". The great Martin Luther King (like

Ghandi), showed a non violent approach helped disable the

adversaries arguments. (However, the Jews were dealing with Nazi's

at their height of power and had no MLK stepping up).

Remember, were talking about resisting...that is organizig and

fighting...the well armed and trained Nazi powers in their already

well occupied and controlled lands...something that would seem

futile, even impossible...even when tried by well trained and

supplied military forces - some even defending their own homelands

with the support of everyone and thing there...was generally


Just like people today try and make sense of this nonsencial

situation....and compassionate people cannot come to terms with

what happened....while it was happening...while the unbelievable

was happening...it was yet harder to understand. People simply did

not know - nor could they possibly be expected to believe - what

lay ahead - even for themselves. The government hid (and denied any

inference of) it's actions...

Once people are starved, and gone through years of hardship,

their will to fight is broken...the promise of a potato in the

"soup" that evening is enough to get submission...it takes energy

to mobilize.

Answer 2 ?

I want to congratulate the author of what is above, which

explains in detail the process used by the Nazis to submit human


There was a time when some Jewish (Ben Gurion) claimed that the

victims of the Shoah "deserved" their faith for not having

resisted. The idea had its popularity among the Jews in the years

of creation of Israel.

I feel annoyed by that question, by implying they could have a

responsability, it can sound like a denial of the fact that the

people who died in the death camps were the victims.

An answer could be another question : What would you do if men

with guns threaten your life and your families' ?

To resist is easier to say than to do. Especially for a Jew in

Europe in the 40's. Some had resisted in Eastern Europe (Warsaw

Ghetto, in Czecoslovicia, in Hungary ...), but those resistances

were wipped up.

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