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Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany

With author Wolf Gruner

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Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
In person & online
General: Free

Join us when historian Wolf Gruner presents his new book Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany. “Resisters” offers unique and gripping perspective on the lives of everyday Jews who resisted Nazi persecution. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

About the book: 

Resisters Book Jacket

Drawing on twelve years of research in dozens of archives in Austria, Germany, Israel, and the United States, this book tells the story of five Jewish people—a merchant, a homemaker, a real estate broker, and two teenagers—who bravely resisted persecution and defended themselves in Nazi Germany. These stories have not been told until now, and each case is one of many, as Gruner shows by resurfacing similar accounts of Jewish refusal to accept persecution and violence in Germany and Austria between 1933 and 1943, upending the notion of passive Jews and expanding the concept of resistance.

Each individual described here represents a category of resistance: written opposition, oral protest, contesting Nazi propaganda, defiance of anti-Jewish laws and measures, and self-defense against physical attacks. Many of these courageous acts resulted in the resisters being prosecuted and put on trial, and often receiving harsh punishments, while some led to acquittal by courts and others to changes in Nazi policies. Taken together, these accounts reframe our understanding of German Jewish attitudes during the Holocaust, while also providing an astonishing examination of the complex Nazi reactions to the many individual acts of Jewish resistance. (From Yale University Press)

About the Author

Wolf Gruner
Wolf Gruner

Wolf Gruner is the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History at the University of Southern California and founding director of the USC Dornsife Center of Advanced Genocide Research. A historian and specialist on topics relating to the Holocaust and German-Jewish History his research encompasses numerous topics including the comparative history of mass violence and its resistance on a global scale. He has written 10 books, coedited four volumes and published almost 80 articles and book chapters on related topics. Recent book publications include The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses (Berghahn Books 2019) and Parias de la Patria: The myth of the liberation of the indigenous people in the Republic of Bolivia (Plural Editores 2015). Additionally, he is a member of the Academic Committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, and co-founder of the Consortium of Higher Education Centers for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies.

(This event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History and online via zoom)