While the Holocaust may be a time period many would like to forget due to the tragedy and horrific actions of the Nazis toward the Jews, the events that took place continue to fascinate historians and stimulate these scholars to ask why things happened the way they did. One analyzed issue of the Holocaust involves the topic of Jewish resistance to the Nazis during the Holocaust. A debate lies in the question of how the Jews "fought back" through armed and spiritual resistance. Scholars may view the same events differently and write convincing articles with different points of view. While some scholars may label the Jews as passively going like "sheep to the slaughter," other historians see a courageous spiritual and, when possible, armed resistance to Nazi terror. Accordingly, scholars Raul Hilberg, Martin Cohen, Yehuda Bauer, and Bruno Bettelheim can look at the Jewish resistance during the Holocaust and write antithetical articles with opposing opinions. .
Overview of Authors" Arguments.
To understand the different viewpoints respected scholars may hold, an analysis of each author's essays provides a foundation to assess the varying sides to the issue of Jewish resistance. Martin Cohen, in his essay "Culture and Remembrance: Jewish Ambivalence and Antipathy to the History of Resistance," justifies Jewish behavior during a time of crisis. His essay is based around the idea that "there is a tendency to downplay the role of Jewish resistance" during the Holocaust (Cohen 19). The major issue that upsets Cohen is that the Jews are seen as victims. Viewing the Jews as victims "reinforces the idea that resistance was not a Jewish response" (22). The Jews" two thousand year history of being seen as the victim is depicted to the masses through literature and film, and these forms of media portray the Jews as "passive rather than overwhelmed" in response to Nazi power (22). While armed resistance may not have been the practical means of challenging the Nazis, the Jews responded with non-violent forms to increase their chance of survival.