Jewish  Resistance During
     The Holocaust:
     Case  Study of Nesvizh

       Dr. Sheldon Brown

      North Shore 
      Community College


    Since I began teaching psychology at North Shore Community College in 1966 and even before, I have been troubled by the behaviors of people who were victims, perpetrators, bystanders, witnesses and rescuers during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the time between 1933 and 1945 when the avowed policy of the Nazi party of Germany was to systematically annihilate all Jewish children, women and men wherever they lived. They were labeled as the most inferior race and the innocent Jews were victims, but not all victims were Jews. Other victims included Gypsies, Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals, handicapped and more.  Holocaust is a Greek word for complete destruction by fire. Complete destruction in Hebrew is “Shoah” and in the Yiddish language it’s “Churban.”

    At a faculty meeting in the early 1970’s when we were discussing the merits of unionizing, one teacher arose to scold us for acting like weaklings.  He accused us of behaving like Jews who walked as sheep to their slaughter in ghettos and concentration camps.  The comment infuriated me.  Were Jews cowards?  Did they bravely offer resistance during the Holocaust?  Such questions ultimately led to my research and this presentation.

     My research began with the small Polish village where my family was born. The village is called Nesvizh, and today it is located in Belarus.