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All Our Brothers and Sisters

Jews Saving Jews during the Holocaust

Edited By Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Alan Schneider

The book focuses on the heroism of Jews throughout Europe who risked their lives to save their coreligionists under Nazi rule. The contributors discuss and analyze the actions of Jews who rescued other Jews from the hands of the Nazis. These actions took place, to different degrees, in Germany, in Axis states and all across Nazi-occupied Europe, from the early stages of persecution until the war’s end, in the framework of collaborative efforts and individual initiatives. The Jews who rescued other Jews during the Holocaust came like their non-Jewish counterparts from different backgrounds: men and women, old and young, religious and secular, wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated. The rescue missions took place in ghettos, areas without ghettos, jails, camps, hospitals, children’s homes, schools, monasteries, in hiding. This book focuses on these rescue missions and the people behind them, reminding us of their courage and willingness to act, even when it put their own lives in danger.

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Jewish Double Agents in Belgium: CDJ (Jewish Defense Committee) Employees within the Jewish Council

Extract

By: Dorien Styven

The CDJ (Comité de défense des Juifs – Jewish Defense Committee) was a highly successful Belgian hiding network which actively recruited staff members of the Association of Jews in Belgium (AJB), commonly known as the Jewish Council. The role of these double agents remains little known and controversial. This article analyses the ties between the illegal CDJ and the official AJB, at the time of creation of the CDJ as well as during its resistance activities in 1942–1944. It illustrates the dangers of having double agents in place, as well as the controversy within the CDJ about their work. It also points out how former AJB members after the war misused the presence of double agents to hide their own role in the Jewish Council. This article is based on the archives and testimonies of CDJ founders and members, original CDJ reports, the organization files of the AJB and secondary literature including the groundbreaking four volume L’étoile et le fusil on the persecution of Jews in Belgium by the late Maxime Steinberg.

The CDJ was initiated in September 1942 by the Onafhankelijkheidsfront (OF), the armed branch of the Communist Party of Belgium (CPB).1 From August 1942 onwards, the Jews in Belgium were confronted with large raids. Families wanted to go into hiding, but their resources were limited. Many arrived recently as immigrants or refugees, and didn’t have the ←57 | 58→necessary social contacts or financial means to hide. The CDJ...

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