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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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OSE Fieldworker: Madeleine Dreyfus

Extract

By: Patrick Henry

The struggle of the Jews in France against Vichy and the Nazis took various forms. Although the Jewish population in 1940 was less than 1 % of the general population (roughly 330,000, two-thirds of whom were of foreign origin), Jews constituted 6 % of the Resistance. They joined early, participated everywhere, and took part in the liberation of Paris. Foreign Jews, less trusting of the government and, generally speaking, the first to resist Vichy actively, tended to join purely Jewish resistance movements, whereas French Jews, many of whom viewed themselves as more French than Jewish, joined various segments of the French Resistance including the maquis (underground). Resistance in North Africa was also heavily composed of Jews and Jews contributed huge sums of money to various Resistance operations. In addition to the Resistance, the noncommunist Jewish maquis and Jewish rural fighters referred to as “partisan groups” that existed throughout the country, the Armée Juive (Jewish Army) played a major role in the armed Jewish Resistance in France. Formed in Toulouse in January 1942, it trained Jewish youths to perform military action. At the height of its operations, the Armée Juive had roughly 2,000 members.

In France, as elsewhere, resistance also took the form of rescue, which was clearly the most successful form of French Jewish Resistance. In the North (Occupied Zone), during the first two years of the Occupation, Jewish groups such as Le Comité de la rue Amelot (Amelot...

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