Resistance in the Warsaw ghetto

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Education

For others, education was an important prerequisite for civil life, with classes for children and adults alike. Secret libraries contained books. Music and theatre also featured highly in people’s attempts to block out the squalor and harsh reality of life within the ghetto. A symphony orchestra continued to rehearse and perform.

Think!

  • Why would it have been so important for the Jews within the Warsaw ghetto to preserve the rituals and traditions of their cultural and religious life?

 

Despite the extremely poor conditions there are many examples of resistance within the Warsaw ghetto. For most people, merely staying alive was the ultimate resistance. Stealing food and smuggling food into the ghetto was often the domain of children.

For many others, resistance meant preserving the rituals and traditions of their cultural and religious life. Despite regulations to the contrary, and subsequent risk of death, many Jewish religious and cultural traditions were kept alive within the Warsaw ghetto.

Preservation of life

Large numbers of people involved themselves in the various mutual aid organisations, demonstrating the tradition of charity amongst Jewish communities. Those involved in the preservation of the lives of the weak and needy within their community worked against the Nazi intention of the ghetto as a place for the demise of the Jews of Warsaw. Many were putting themselves in danger in order to fulfil their aim.