Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust – New exhibition by The Wiener Holocaust Library

by | Aug 2, 2020

The Library is going to open its next exhibition, Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust, to the public on Thursday 6 August 2020. It will be reopening with reduced hours and with new health and safety measures as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.

During the Holocaust, Jewish partisan groups and underground resistance networks launched attacks, sabotage operations and rescue missions. Resistance groups in ghettos organised social, religious, cultural and educational activities and armed uprisings in defiance of their oppressors. In death camps, in the most extreme circumstances, resisters gathered evidence of Nazi atrocities and even mounted armed rebellions.

In this short video exhibition curator, Dr Barbara Warnock, highlights some of the Library’s unique archival collections that will be showcased and that tell the story of the Jewish men and women who, as the Holocaust unfolded around them and at great risk to themselves, resisted the Nazis and their collaborators.

The exhibition shares the stories of incredible endurance and bravery, including that of Tosia Altman in German-occupied Poland, who moved in and out of ghettos distributing information and organising armed revolt; the Jewish slave workers at Auschwitz who worked secretly to smuggle evidence out of the death camp, and the Bielski brothers in the forests of Belorussia whose partisan groups rescued 1200 men, women and children.


  1. Jewish Lithuanian partisans’ group ‘The Avengers’ on their return to Vilna at the time of the liberation of the city by the Red Army, July 1944. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections
  2. Esther Pauline Lloyd, a Jewish woman from Jersey, was deported from the Channel Islands to camps in France and Germany in February 1943. The Wiener Holocaust Library holds a diary that Lloyd kept during her time of imprisonment. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections
  3. Group of Jewish partisan fighters in Soviet territories c.1942-1944. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
  4. Map showing battles during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 1943. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections
  5. Herbert Baum, leader of the Baum Group, c.1935. Baum was probably murdered in prison by the Nazis in June 1942. Courtesy Privatbesitz / Reproduktion Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand.
  6. A report by Richard and Charlotte Holzer, surviving members of the Baum Group, 1957. The Baum Group were a Jewish communist resistance network who carried out arson attacks on Nazi sites. This report was collected by The Wiener Library as part of its project to gather eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
  7. Resistance fighter Tosia Altman, who organised armed resistance in ghettos in German-occupied Poland. Altman died in 1943 from injuries sustained on the run. Courtesy Moreshet Archive.
  8. Bernard Musmand and Simone, both member of the French resistance in France, photographed in Montpelier during the war. Musmand, a Jew from Metz, joined the Maquis, armed partisans, in 1944.
  9. Philipp Manes, a German Jew and prolific writer, was deported to Theresienstadt in July 1942. Manes was key to the cultural life in the ghetto and he documented his experiences in great detail. The Library holds a collection of the journals that he kept during his incarceration. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
  10. Philipp Manes’ diaries also contain contributions by other incarcerated prisoners such as poems, letters, and drawings. Including this portrait of Manes in 1944 drawn by fellow prisoner Arthur Goldschmidt. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.


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