Resistance: How Jews and Christians Fought Back against the Nazis  -     By: Nechama Tec
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Resistance: How Jews and Christians Fought Back against the Nazis

Oxford University Press / 2013 / Hardcover

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In Resistance: Jews and Christians Who Defied Nazi Terror, Nechama Tec draws on first-hand accounts, interviews, and other sources to reveal the full range of tactics employed to resist the Nazi regime in Poland.

She compares Jewish and non-Jewish groups, showing that they faced vastly different conditions. The Jewish resistance had its own particular aims, especially the recovery of dignity and the salvation of lives. Tec explores the conditions necessary for resistance, including favorable topography, a supply of arms, and effective leadership, and dedicates the majority of the book to the stories of those who stood up and fought back in any way that they could.

Emphasizing the centrality of cooperation to the Jewish and Polish resistance movements of World War II, Tec argues that resistance is more than not submitting--that it requires taking action, and demands cooperation with others. Whereas resilience is individual in orientation, Tec writes, resistance assumes others. Within this context, Tec explores life in the ghettoes, the organizations that arose within them, and the famous uprising in Warsaw that began on January 18, 1943. She tells of those who escaped to hide and fight as partisans in the forests, and considers the crucial role played by women who acted as couriers, carrying messages and supplies between the ghetto and the outside world.

Tec also discusses resistance in concentration camps, vividly recounting the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp uprising on October 7, 1944. The refusal of the rebel leaders to give information under unspeakable torture, Tec displays, was just one more of the many forms resistance took.

Resistance is a rich book that forever shatters the myth of Jewish passivity in the face of annihilation.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0199735417
ISBN-13: 9780199735419
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Nechama Tec's Defiance, an account of a Jewish partisan unit that fought the Nazis in the Polish forests during World War II, was turned into a major feature film. Yet despite the attention this film brought to the topic of Jewish resistance, Tec, who speaks widely about the Holocaust and the experience of Jews in wartime Poland, still ran into the same question again and again: Why didn't Jews fight back? To Tec, this question suggested that Jews were somehow complicit in their own extermination. Despite works by Tec and others, the stereotype of Jewish passivity in the Holocaust persists.

In Resistance, Tec draws on first-hand accounts, interviews, and other sources to reveal the full range of tactics employed to resist the Nazi regime in Poland. She compares Jewish and non-Jewish groups, showing that they faced vastly different conditions. The Jewish resistance had its own particular aims, especially the recovery of dignity and the salvation of lives. Tec explores the conditions necessary for resistance, including favorable topography, a supply of arms, and effective leadership, and dedicates the majority of the book to the stories of those who stood up and fought back in any way that they could. Emphasizing the centrality of cooperation to the Jewish and Polish resistance movements of World War II, Tec argues that resistance is more than not submitting--that it requires taking action, and demands cooperation with others. Whereas resilience is individual in orientation, Tec writes, resistance assumes others. Within this context, Tec explores life in the ghettoes, the organizations that arose within them, and the famous uprising in Warsaw that began on January 18, 1943. She tells of those who escaped to hide and fight as partisans in the forests, and considers the crucial role played by women who acted as couriers, carrying messages and supplies between the ghetto and the outside world. Tec also discusses resistance in concentration camps, vividly recounting the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp uprising on October 7, 1944. The refusal of the rebel leaders to give information under unspeakable torture, Tec displays, was just one more of the many forms resistance took.

Resistance is a rich book that forever shatters the myth of Jewish passivity in the face of annihilation.

Author Bio


Nechama Tec is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, Stamford, and author of the bestselling Defiance and other works on the Holocaust, including Dry Tears, In the Lion's Den, and When Light Pierced the Darkness.

Editorial Reviews


"Rufeisen's story is extraordinary, especially as recreated by Tec." --Publisher's Weekly on In The Lion's Den


"Resilience and Courage is a milestone work in the canon of Holocaust studies. Quite simply: it is the first comprehensive study of the role and function of gender during the Holocaust years. This is a work studded with insight and imbued with compassion." --Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History


"A fascinating and conscientiously researched account."--The New York Review of Books on In the Lion's Den


"Defiance is an accomplished and startling work of Holocaust documentation... [Tec] has assembled [the partisans'] vivid firsthand testimony into a comprehensive study of a long-neglected aspect of the Holocaust." --Newsweek


"Dry Tears moves me beyond words....[It] conveys an immediate sense of what [living under the Holocaust] was like, and does so strongly, even nobly, without a trace of self-pity.... My admiration has no bounds." --Robert K. Merton, Columbia University


"Tec... has a good eye for historical detail. She illuminates the Russian partisan movement and its connection to the Jewish resistance fighters. She captures well the emotional complexity of Mr. Rufeisen's position." --The New York Times Book Review on In the Lion's Den


"To read When Light Pierced the Darkness is to encounter the Holocaust anew from a unique and bewildering angle." --Newsweek


"Nechama Tec's Resilience and Courage is a remarkable achievement, based on a deep knowledge of the subject, profound sociological analysis, and convincing narrative style. Tec concentrates on the oppressed rather that the oppressors, and has shown that the gender division among them was primarily a result of the policy of the perpetrators and not the manifestation of conflicts within the society of the victims." --Israel Gutman, Professor Emeritus of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem


"Not only is Tec's book the first thorough treatment of the subject, but it is also charged with poignancy that only a survivor can summon." --Philadelphia Inquirer on When Light Pierced the Darkness


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