How did Jews respond?

Bielski women.jpg
A post-war portrait of two female Bielski partisans who carried weapons during the war.
© 2012 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Did the Jews of Europe resist the Nazis?

In Nazi Germany the anti-Semitic policy evolved over many years and in many stages. Jews saw themselves as loyal Germans and many thought that Hitler and the Nazis would moderate their extreme attitudes. Even though Jews could leave Germany and Austria, it was incredibly difficult to find refuge in other countries.

After war broke out and the Nazis conquered other countries they acted against the local Jewish populations with speed, force and brutality, often supported by local collaborators. Jews in these countries, by then had very little opportunity to escape the Nazi regimes. 

A possible place of refuge was to the ancient Jewish homeland in Palestine. However, though some 150,000 German and Austrian Jews did settle there, it was not open to mass Jewish migration to the extent that it would be a place of refuge for most of European Jewry.

The Jewish population in Germany was 0.9 per-cent of the total population.  How could such a tiny minority successfully oppose or fight back against the size and depth of the Nazi machine? 

However, between 1933 and 1945 Jews did resist. Large numbers resisted the Nazis in different ways.