Read Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by Israel Gutman Online


One of the few survivors of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, Holocaust scholar Gutman draws on diaries, personal letters, and underground press reports in this compelling, authoritative account of a landmark event in Jewish history. Here, too, is a portrait of the vibrant culture that shaped the young fighters, whose inspired defiance would have far-reaching implications fOne of the few survivors of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, Holocaust scholar Gutman draws on diaries, personal letters, and underground press reports in this compelling, authoritative account of a landmark event in Jewish history. Here, too, is a portrait of the vibrant culture that shaped the young fighters, whose inspired defiance would have far-reaching implications for the Jewish people and the State of Israel....

Title : Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
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ISBN : 9780395901304
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Reviews

  • Tim
    2019-05-07 22:46

    My favourite parts of this overview of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto were the journal entries from those people who participated. These were harrowing and gave a vivid sense of what these courageous people were going through. Otherwise I found this book a little too detached as if the author in tackling such an emotional subject made a conscious decision to write the account with as much detachment as possible. In this sense it’s history recounted in a conservative conventional fashion. I couldn’t help thinking of Laurent Binet’s brilliant HHhH – a book in which the author gives reign to his personal emotions while writing about the Holocaust and acknowledges the lacunae in his account – a tactic which made his book so gripping. Sometimes it’s not enough to deliver up as many facts as possible; we need our indignation to be expressed in a text Here we learn there was a fair amount of political bickering among the various Jewish factions, that the Polish underground provided very little support, that vast sections of the Jewish population were against fighting because they were able to delude themselves that things would get better, a fundamental need of the human spirit. Only when the truth could no longer be ignored was a large consensus in favour of fighting back reached. I often found myself wanting more detail. I wanted to know how they planned and built the underground network of tunnels and bunkers, I wanted to know how they got their weapons and from whom, I wanted to know more about their tactics for fighting the Nazis. The uprising itself is dealt with in only one chapter, albeit a long one. What this book did do is inspire me to buy a couple of accounts of the uprising by people who experienced it first-hand.

  • Claudia Moscovici
    2019-05-07 22:44

    It is difficult to imagine a more hellish environment than the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto created by the Nazis in the fall of 1940 and completely destroyed, along with 300,000 of its 400,000 inhabitants, by the summer of 1942. The Ghetto is extraordinary in many respects. The largest Jewish ghetto of Nazi occupied territories, it was one of the largest sites of the torture, predation and mass murder of Jews, 254,000 of whom were eventually sent to the Treblinka death camp. It is also the site of the greatest Jewish resistance against the Nazis. As Israel Gutman, author of Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising states, “The Uprising represents defiance and great sacrifice in a world characterized by destruction and death” (New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994, xi).The destruction came piecemeal, creating unbelievable psychological torture for the Jewish population of Warsaw. On October 16, 1940 the process began. The Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews, constituting about a third of the population of Warsaw, into a tiny area, less than three percent of the city’s living space. People were forced to leave their homes, most of their property, their neighbors and friends and their jobs. Governor-General Hans Frank ordered the building of the wall by mid-November, closing off the Warsaw Ghetto from the outside world. The SS shot on the spot anyone seen trying to escape from the Ghetto.Adam Czerniakow, an engineer by profession, was named the head of the Judenrat (the Jewish Council). He had to contend with lack of sufficient food and shelter, disease and starvation, sending Jewish men to forced labor under horrific conditions, and eventually with the deportation of most of the Jews in the Ghetto, including babies and children, to death camps. On July 1942, he couldn’t take the pressure and the guilt any longer. He committed suicide, leaving behind a note to his wife in which he stated that he could not collaborate with the Nazis in the murder of Jewish children.Following his death, even the orphaned children he tried so hard to protect were sent to death camps. In an incredibly moving passage, Gutman describes the dignity with which they left to die, led by the Director of the orphanage, Dr.Janusz Korczak:“They marched through the ghetto to the Umschlagplatz where they joined thousands of people waiting without shade, water, or shelter in the hot August sun. The children did not cry out. They walked quietly in forty-eight rows of four. One eyewitness recalled, ‘This was no march to the train cars but rather the mute protest against the murderous regime… a process the like of which no human eye had witnessed’” (Resistance, 139-140).For those left behind in the Ghetto following the mass deportation, the moment for resistance had arrived. As long as they had a modicum of hope left, the Jews didn’t revolt against the Nazi oppressors. They had the welfare of spouses, parents and children to think of, whom they believed they could save by cooperating with the Nazis. Most clung to the false hopes fostered by the Nazis through a campaign of misinformation. Furthermore, the conditions in the Ghetto weren’t conducive to resistance. Isolated from any source of income or help, starved, overworked and continually preyed upon by the Nazis, for two years the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto fought for their survival. Even before the mass deportation began, the conditions were so bad that about 100,000 Jews died, mostly from illness and starvation. Only once the deportation to Treblinka took away most of the Jewish population, along with the last shred of hope, did the remaining Jews—mostly young men and women—decide to take action. They fought hopelessly and heroically, against all odds of ever emerging alive out of the uneven battle with the Nazis.Based on previous experience, the Germans didn’t expect to encounter any resistance. On January 18, 1943, they entered the Ghetto after a four-month respite, to resume deportations and send most of the remaining Jews to Treblinka. This time, however, the few thousand Jews left in the Ghetto knew they had nothing to hope for and therefore nothing to lose. Abba Kovner, a partisan fighter and well-known poet, rallied the youth with these inspiring, unforgettable words:“We will not be led like sheep to slaughter. True, we are weak and helpless, but the only response to the murderer is revolt! Brothers! It is better to die fighting like free men than to live at the mercy of the murderers. Arise! Arise with your last breath!” (Resistance, 102)The Jewish fighters, organized by ZOB (Jewish Combat Organization) and ZZW(Jewish Military Union), fought back with all their might. They used the few guns they had at their disposal, homemade bombs–any weapons at their disposal–to ward off the Nazis. In the first attack, a few SS soldiers were killed and more were wounded. The Nazis momentarily withdrew, only to return a few days later, on the eve of Passover (April 19, 1943), with even larger forces and more ammunition, weapons and tanks. Their instructions from Himmler were crystal clear: the total destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Nazis proceeded to hunt down the Jews and burn the Ghetto to the ground. The Jewish resistance fighters, led byMordecai Anielewicz, Yitzhak Zuckerman and Marek Edelman, fought bravely. They built a network of safe areas and tunnels underground and even on the roofs, with ladders. They returned the fire of the attackers, even though the Nazis were far more numerous and better armed. As the Nazis scorched the Ghetto, the bunkers, “which had been planned and equipped to provide refuge for months, became burning cages without air, water, or food” (Resistance, 236). Israel Gutman’s moving historical account of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising offers an answer to the much-raised question—why didn’t the Jews fight their oppressors?—and offers an unforgettable portrayal of heroism in hell.Claudia MoscoviciLiterature Salon

  • Robin Tell-Drake
    2019-05-16 15:55

    This is necessarily a dark thing to read, but it's stuck with me like little else I've ever read. Its primary take-home lesson is not at all limited to its own era, but a simple observation about humans.Gutman meticulously chronicles the progressing fortunes of the Jews in the Ghetto, stage by stage, and the actions of the Nazis have a clear and obviously deliberate pattern. Over and over, they cull half the population of the ghetto, shipping them off to the camps, while the remaining half keep their heads down, hoping not to be taken yet. And each time, they dangle some kind of false hope in front of the Jews: work for certain companies and you'll be spared, work directly for the Nazis as a police officer or administrator and you'll be spared, whatever it was. The promise was always casually jettisoned later, but people clung to the illusion of hope even as their numbers dwindled.Only in the last days, when there were so few of them left that the Nazis made no particular attempt to hide that they were all going to be killed, and when they were so unthinkably overmatched that even had there been some hope in a violent uprising at the start, it was a fool's errand now, did a resistance finally form. Even then, it lashed out first at the turncoat Jewish police, laying not a finger on the Nazis themselves.But then they did start to really fight. And armed with little but molotov cocktails, they drove the Germans out of the ghetto. Twice. The Nazis had to come in with fire and artillery, in the end--as if they were stamping out an actual military force. All this in a city that had surrendered before the story started. Who could read it and not long to see what could have happened, if only the whole population had reacted this way at the outset, when they still had their health and some sixteen times as many able bodies?The pattern seems to flicker beneath a hundred other issues--the erosion of civil rights and electoral sanctity in the US through the last decade, the continuous siphoning of wealth toward the wealthy, right on up to global warming. People don't fight if they can believe they have a chance of remaining comfortable without fighting. The sooner you convince them that they are flatly, unconditionally fucked no matter what, the better it seems their odds would be of actually beating their problems.It's enough to make an optimist want to go undercover as a cynic.

  • Josh Morris
    2019-05-17 15:37

    This is not an audio book, despite what GoodReads matched it to. (Apparently no one else reads this...). But an excellent non-fiction work by a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. After seeing the movie "Uprising" I was curious as to the truth of the details. In the course of reading this book, I've found that it was largely accurate.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-15 20:55

    Good read. Very detailed & humbling. I at times was a bit confused with descriptions of the different youth movements and groups. I'm glad I read this.

  • Holden Caufield
    2019-05-13 23:00

    This is the most important book I have ever read on Jews in World War II. For the first time in my education, Jews were not presented as victims waiting to be saved. After reading "Resistance," I realized (what seems should be obvious) that many Jews refused to submit to their oppressors. They participated in clandestine and open acts of protest and war! This book made me aware that most holocaust history at best makes us sympathize with Jews, yet simultaneously debilitates us. "Resistance," on the other hand, presents Jews as strong people capable of inspiritation and leaves you feeling empowered.

  • BoBandy
    2019-04-29 22:43

    I've got mixed feelings about this book. One cannot but help to find the story of the Warsaw resistance inspiring, but this book, while thoroughly researched, could have used a professional ghost writer. The prose is clumsy, and, except in the end where events progress in a rapid fashion (the rebellion itself), facts are inventoried, stacked one on top of the other--i.e., it doesn't flow. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from reading this book, and respect the effort put in by the author to attempt a balanced and well-documented account of this important piece of history.

  • Zachary Zupke
    2019-05-26 18:54

    I must admit, not knowing enough about the various factions at play within Judaism itself, Gutman lost me at times addressing 5 or 6 of them at once and who belonged where, and why they did or did not choose to cooperate. On the whole it was a very enlightening read, but I must say I am not inclined to research further the differences between Zionists, Bundists and Communists right now.

  • Stacy
    2019-05-21 23:02

    Although he was a participant in and survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, scholar Gutman created a scholarly, well researched account of this important event in Jewish history. Resistance includes background on Polish Jewry, photos from the ghetto, and documents such as journals written by ghetto inhabitants, articles by the Polish resistance, and the Stroop report.

  • Betsy
    2019-05-24 14:36

    Unbelievable amount of information and detail in such a small volume. Gutman seems to have complied information from thousands of sources and boiled it down to exactly what one wants and needs to know.

  • Sandra D
    2019-05-14 19:03

    The writing was a bit dry and included way more detail than I really needed, but I stuck with it (skimmed a little, too) and ended up with a fairly well-rounded picture of Jewish life in Warsaw before and during WWII.

  • Murtaza Khomusi
    2019-05-23 16:49

    loved the approach to tne subject, but had some stylistic issues a glossary wouldbe helpful, additional more pictoral maps. definitely for a high-level audience that has previous knowledge of the subject, matter.

  • Anna Louisa
    2019-05-10 14:34

    A must read for anyone who needs to explain the horrors of socialism to the current nay-sayers. Anyone who is telling themselves that this can't happen here is in danger of repeating the past

  • Angie
    2019-05-19 16:46

    Wow. Amazing.