Were the Jews able to fight back?

The most famous physical resistance is the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that took place on April 19, 1943. Jews managed to fight the Nazis for several weeks using weapons that were smuggled into the ghetto. While the Jews knew that they would be unsuccessful at defeating the Nazis, they were able to show their resistance and fight to their deaths. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising inspired Jews at other ghettos and concentration camps to plan their own uprisings. 

In the ghettos, smuggling operations brought in food and medicine needed to survive. Schools, soup kitchens, orphanages, and hospitals were created. Jews kept diaries and records that documented their experiences to provide proof of their lives and oppression. In the concentration camps, prisoners tried to help one another survive. Many Jews secretly celebrated the Jewish holidays.

Captured Jews Marrched to Umschlagplatz for Deportation

Photo: Jews captured during the suppression of the Warsaw ghetto uprising are marched to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. April 19 - May 16, 1943, Warsaw, Nazi-occupied Poland.

Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park.