Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
Why didn't the Jews in the ghetto fight back?
Rosa Katz spent her teenage years in the ghetto of Lodz, Poland, where blocks of people paid with their lives for even one person's attempt at resistance
Listen to audio
Interviewer: Was there any indication of resistance in the ghetto?
"No, no, oh sure, in the beginning, you know just before the ghetto was closed, there were several incidents like that.
Probably some soldiers were beaten up because [they were] trying to rob somebody, you know, they were — they took out whole blocks of people too and just killed them.
Even if there were, I am sure a lot of people wanted to fight back, but what the Germans did — they were, and with all the horrors — they were smart.
They put such a fear into people, you know, like in this country, when somebody commits a crime he's responsible for his own action.
In those days, in the ghetto, if somebody committed a crime against a German — I wouldn't say a crime — tried to defend himself, and fought back, he wasn't kept responsible just himself — not only his family, but the whole block!
Blocks of people paid their lives with it, so how could anybody take a responsibility like that?"
Katz Interview, Tape 3, Side 1
Transcript page 52 (PDF, 591 KB)