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The People of the Book: Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust

The Jewish people are known as the People of the Book. When faced with extermination during World War Two, many Jews turned to their books — both sacred and secular — to resist the Nazis and derive strength. Other Jews turned to guns and grenades to fight their oppressors. In this course, we will study the varied approaches to Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Who were the intellectual, spiritual, and military resisters, and why did they choose these methods of resistance? Topics covered include the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the legal responsa of Rabbi Ephraim Oshry in Kovno, the fiery sermons of Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira in Warsaw, the Paper Brigade’s book smuggling efforts in Vilna, and the Oyneg Shabes collaborative team of historians and leaders documenting life in Warsaw.

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