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Ordinary Jews : choice and survival during the Holocaust

Author: Evgeny Finkel
Publisher: Princeton, New Jersey ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, [2017] ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, "Ordinary Jews" examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and  Read more...
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Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Evgeny Finkel
ISBN: 9780691172576 0691172579
OCLC Number: 958799653
Description: 279 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Setting the stage : Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust --
What did the Jews know? --
Cooperation and collaboration --
Coping and compliance --
Evasion --
Resistance --
Conclusions --
Appendix 1. Data and archival methods --
Appendix 2. Distribution of strategies --
Appendix 3. Beyond the three ghettos : econometric analysis of uprisings.
Responsibility: Evgeny Finkel.

Abstract:

Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, "Ordinary Jews" examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and resistance. Finkel compares Jews' behavior in three Jewish ghettos--Minsk, Krakow, and Białystok--and shows that Jews' responses to Nazi genocide varied based on their experiences with prewar policies that either promoted or discouraged their integration into non-Jewish society. Finkel demonstrates that while possible survival strategies were the same for everyone, individuals' choices varied across and within communities. In more cohesive and robust Jewish communities, coping - confronting the danger and trying to survive without leaving - was more organized and successful, while collaboration with the Nazis and attempts to escape the ghetto were minimal. In more heterogeneous Jewish communities, collaboration with the Nazis was more pervasive, while coping was disorganized. In localities with a history of peaceful interethnic relations, evasion was more widespread than in places where interethnic relations were hostile. State repression before WWII, to which local communities were subject, determined the viability of anti-Nazi Jewish resistance.

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"A political scientist turns fresh eyes on the problem of how European Jews responded to the Holocaust as it was unfolding... Of much interest to students of modern history but also to those engaged Read more...

 
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