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Ready-Set-Tech: Fighting Back- What were some ways that Jews resisted the Nazis during the Holocaust?

Marion Peluso, P.S. 101, Brooklyn, New York

Grade Level  6 - 8
Subject Social Studies
Background There are various responses to dealing with a threat from an authority. The Jews did resist the Holocaust, despite a common misconception that there was no resistance. Resistance can take many forms, both passive and active. The inaction and complicity of the world community reduced the extent to which the Jews could resist the Holocaust. There were many non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from destruction. Though Jews faced repeated obstructions to their efforts to emigrate from Nazi-occupied countries, steps were taken by some nations to rescue Jews, Denmark being the archetypical example.

Identify different methods of resistance used by Jews during the Holocaust.
Classify the different methods as either passive or active forms of resistance. 

Materials Internet access, Fighting Back worksheet and Resistance During the Holocaust crossword puzzle
  1. Write the statement by Edmund Burkeon the board. Have students discuss in pairs what they think it means. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

  2. Give the class the following situation: You are faced with the school bully, who wants to take away your lunch. He outweighs you by 50 pounds. What do you do? As students brainstorm solutions to the following situation, classify each response on the board as either passive or active.

  3. Tell each group that the government has issued a law that all people who are left-handed shall be put in jail. Anyone harboring a person who is left-handed or who resists this law shall also be put in jail. Give each group about 5 minutes to discuss ways that they would react to this law. (As each group goes over their solutions, consequences and obstacles should also be noted.)

  4. Have each student work with their neighbor to create a role-play with the same situation- there is a discussion between a husband and wife on whether they should hide a child of a neighbor (who is left-handed) in their attic.

  5. Have students look up and read resistance vocabulary words. They will be completing the Resistance During the Holocaust crossword puzzle, which can be downloaded and printed from .

  6. Have students  read about the different ways Jews resisted the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Evaluation Students can take an online quiz. Have students write an article for an underground newspaper that would have been appropriate inside the Warsaw Ghetto.


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