Activity: How did Jews respond to the Nazis?

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Huguette Wahl.jpeg

Huguette Wahl, a French Jewish resistor, pictured during a camping trip during September 1943, a few weeks before she was killed in Auschwitz.

Image © 2013 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this activity:

  • All students will be able to list a number of acts of resistance by Jews. 
  • Most students should be able to explain a range of acts of resistance by Jews.
  • Some students may be able to explain and evaluate the various ways in which Jews resisted the Nazis and their accomplices.


In order to carry out this activity you will need to use the following sections of The Holocaust Explained: 

Impact on Jewish communities

Jews in occupied countries

Ghettos: an overview

Lodz ghetto: a case study



British Jewish responses

How did Jews respond?

How did Jews respond to the Nazis?

Many people ask: 'Why did the Jews of Europe not resist the antisemitic and inhumane policies of Nazi Germany and her collaborators?'

However, having read this whole section of The Holocaust Explained you will have seen that large numbers of brave Jews resisted the Nazis in many different ways.

This Reflective Learning Activity will help you understand how Jewish individuals and groups resisted the Nazi regime.


Stage 1: Set up a table to collect your evidence

On either a Word document or an A3 sheet of paper, produce a table to record your information.

Alternatively, you could produce a mind map to collect and organise your research.

Stage 2: Research - collecting your information

As you read the text and access the various resources on the suggested pages of The Holocaust Explained record your findings.

Stage 3: (option a) Communicating what you have learned

You could produce a PowerPoint slide show to communicate your findings.

You should have an introduction slide complete with the question, and an appropriate image taken from The Holocaust Explained.

You could have a series of slides to show each aspect of resistance of survival. You could use the headings ‘unarmed resistance’ and ‘armed resistance’. Then again, you may wish to have split your presentation into sections such as: ‘Jews in Germany’, ‘Jews in occupied countries’, ‘resistance in ghettos’, ‘resistance in camps’, ‘partisan groups’ etc... 

In your slides you need to give details and explanations of specific examples of Jewish resistance and methods of survival. You should try to explain what they did and how successful they were.

You might want to add appropriate images taken from The Holocaust Explained

Stage 3: (option b) Communicating what you have learned

You could produce a leaflet or magazine article that explains the various way in which Jews responded to the Nazis and their collaborators. Follow the suggestions above for ideas.

Make sure that you include an introduction, sections for each of the different examples and also a conclusion that sums up your findings.