In this course, students will learn about the strategies Jewish partisans used to resist the Nazis during World War II, as well as how these partisans lived and survived behind enemy lines.
“Why didn’t the Jews fight back?” This is the question many students ask. It is a common misconception that Jews went quietly into the ghettoes, concentration camps and death camps, but that is not the truth. There was sabotage, such as putting weapons together wrong, as well as espionage and even spiritual resistance.
The act of praying and teaching children Hebrew was resistance against the Nazis. Some Jews escaped and joined partisan groups, and these groups were an organized body of fighters that attacked and harassed German soldiers and committed countless acts of sabotage and resistance. They survived in the woods, swamps and mountains. They survived brutal winters, malnutrition and illness and, despite all of their incredible hardships, they refused to go quietly.
This class will be a combination of direct instruction, discussion and video clips. Students will hear the stories of Jewish partisans through recorded interviews and learn about their individual experiences. We will also take a 3D virtual tour of a zemylanka (dugout) that shows students how partisans sought shelter.
At the end of the class, students will choose a Jewish partisan to research (materials will be provided) and will share with the class the accomplishments and story of their partisan.
Day 1: Resistance Basics – Living and Surviving in the Partisans
This class will provide students with an understanding of what partisans were, how Jews were able to escape and join partisans, types of resistance and what partisans were able to accomplish, and how antisemitism existed within the partisans. We will also focus on how partisans lived and survived, including a virtual 3D tour of a bunker similar to those they built and lived in. We will cover shelter, clothing, weather conditions, medicine and how partisans acquired weapons.
Day 2: Tactics of Resistance and Women in the Partisans
This class will look at the ways in which partisans resisted during World War II, including sabotage, disobeying laws, documenting their experiences and armed combat. We will also look at women in the partisans, the struggles they faced and what they were able to accomplish.
Day 3: Biographies
Students will present the biography they chose from the website JewishPartisans.org. If time allows, we will watch interviews of the partisans that students researched. The length of this last class will be based on how many students are enrolled and how many presentations there are. This class may run short of the 50-minute period based on student enrollment.
No previous knowledge is required. Free for members.+ More... - Less...
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