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The Farewell Letters of the Manouchian Group

Jews of the French Resistance in Their Final Hours Translated by Mitchell Abidor From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” THE MEMBERS of the Manouchian Group, twenty-three mostly foreign-born men and women fighting in the Communist Resistance in France, were captured in the fall of 1943. […]

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January 4: Resistance in the Częstochowa Ghetto

Yitzhak Feiner and Mendel Fiszlewicz, two young members of the Jewish Fighting Organization, formed only weeks earlier in the Częstochowa Ghetto in Poland, used pistols to resist a Nazi round-up on this date in 1943. “Suddenly we heard one or two shots, the screams of Germans,” reports Dorka Sternberg-Bram, an eyewitness who later helped to […]

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Enough of “They Fought Back”!

by Bennett Muraskin WHY SO MUCH FUSS over the extent of armed Jewish resistance to the Nazis in the pages of Jewish Currents? Resistance took many forms. A few Jews turned to armed resistance as an absolute last resort in the face of a genocidal enemy. But the fact is that armed resistance was impossible […]

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Auschwitz, In Focus and Out

by Ralph Seliger Reviewed in this essay: Son of Saul, a film by László Nemes. Sony Pictures Classics, 2015, 107 minutes. VIEWERS OF THE OPENING SCENE of Son of Saul, Hungary’s contender for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category, see blurry images that make many think there’s a technical problem. But once […]

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The Sheep Were Legend, the Wolves Were Real

A Fighter in the Minsk Ghetto Recounts the Resistance by Hirsh Smoliar Translated from the Yiddish by Hershl Hartman From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” Originally published in 1959. I CAN REMEMBER it clearly: It was that wonderfully good person and great writer, Der Nister […]

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December 5: Frits Philips, a Righteous Dutchman

Frits Philips, who headed the Dutch electronics company Philips and saved thousands of Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands by requisitioning their labor, died at 100 on this date in 2005. While most of his family fled the Nazis to the United States, Philips stayed and kept the company alive. He had a […]

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Saving Children in Buchenwald

Saved by the German Leftwing Underground, as Recounted by a Jewish Survivor by John Ranz From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” Originally published in 1993. THERE IS A LARGELY UNWRITTEN STORY, known to Buchenwald survivors like me, that needs to be told. It is the […]

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November 29: Bribery for Survival

Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandl, who organized, (with Gisl Fleischmann) what he called his “Working Group” of Jewish leaders who tried to use bribery to delay the transport of Slovakian and Hungarian Jews to concentration camps, died in Mt. Kisco, New York on this date in 1957. Weissmandl was a scholar at Oxford University when he […]

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The Little Doctor: A Resistance Hero in Poland

by Leonard Tushnet From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” Originally published in 1961. JEWISH DOCTORS, distinguished in every branch of medicine, have not had a reputation as military leaders or organizers. Yet almost all the doctors in the Polish resistance movement were Jewish — and […]

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Remembering the Jews Who Fought Back

by Lawrence Bush The introductory essay from the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” IT SEEMS INCOMPREHENSIBLE, however often you contemplate it, and no matter how jaundiced your view of the human mob: That an advanced country could be so consumed by racism as to target every […]

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