“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” -- Elie Wiesel
The Resistance efforts during World War II spread far and wide across Europe and other countries. The Jewish Resistance is interesting in and of itself because Jews were the main group of people that Hitler wanted to exterminate all across Europe. We can only scratch a tiny surface on this website of the actual history, but we want to give readers an idea about the ghettos and the Resistance efforts. The hope is that readers use this site as a springboard to pursue their own study and research about the Jewish Resistance and the entire Resistance efforts of World War II. There are so many heroes in the Jewish Resistance, known and unknown. This website and the movie serve as a tribute in their memory.
Originally the Jewish ghettos were created in the 16th century because Jews were considered to be foreigners with their non-Christian beliefs. They were isolated "communities" even with their own justice system, often riddled with poverty and closed to the outside world like prisons. They developed from Jewish quarters, isolated from the outside, and ended in the 19th century, only to be recreated by the Nazis to persecute, terrorize, strip the Jewish people of their dignity and ultimately commit mass murder.
The Nazis created over 1,000 ghettos all over Europe and the Soviet Union to where they would deport Jews and then send them to death camps (Operation Reinhard.) The ghettos served as the depots for the Nazis to decide who should die and who would be an able worker as part of the Final Solution. The Nazis created Jewish Councils to carry out their orders and facilitate deportation. Jewish police also existed and served the Nazis for this purpose. Council members and police were always in danger of losing their lives if the Nazis felt they were not serving them satisfactorily. Imagine being forced to police your own people and risk your own life while basic necessities like food and medicine were knowingly smuggled into the ghettos. Inside these ghetto walls, normal life activities like religious worship, cultural events, social gatherings and education were all prohibited because they were viewed by the Nazis as a "security threat."
Everything necessary for a normal existence had to be smuggled into the ghettos. The only way to have a remote chance to survive was to smuggle the basics like food and medicine, but also weapons and intelligence to arm the Jewish people and give them some power to fight the Nazis. The Jewish Resistance could never had succeeded on any level without weapons, intelligence and organized efforts by very special people, brave, selfless soldiers.
The same shameful acts of the Nazis are still committed today all over the world, found in human trafficking, slavery and forced marriage. The only way to fight these atrocities in our socalled "modern" world and stamp out their perpetrators is to create and maintain a strong Resistance. We can try to negotiate through peaceful methods, tolerance and education, but history has shown us that brut force is the only way to make a statement and stop evil in its tracks.
We celebrate the "soldiers" of the Resistance for their courage, perseverance and consideration for future generations like ours. They fought for their own freedom, but they fought for our freedom too. And this is why we are making the movie "Swastika" in order to remember and offer the same consideration to future generations.
Please visit our Resources page (a work in progress) to learn more from the experts.
Participate in the making of this important film!