Free Judenrat and Jewish Leaders in WWII Essay Sample
In Poland and Eastern Europe where German occupied during the Second World War, they established the Jewish councils. Their duty, according to the policies made by the Germans, was to maintain order and implement the German’s policies in the ghettos, a place only restricted for Jewish people. Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of Nazi German, had established the Judenrat, Jewish leaders by a decree on 21st September, 1939, some few weeks after the invasion of German in Poland.
The Judenrat was composed of not more than twenty four Jewish men, elected from the remaining authoritative rabbis and personalities. When the Germans established the Judenraete, they Jewish leaders did not know the basic intensions the Germans had towards them. However, these Jewish leaders thought that their responsibility was to offer help to the needy, who they thought were staying in the ghetto temporary. The Judenraete turned into a municipal authority that provided sanitation, commerce, food, and education for the beleaguered community that was still increasing.
With inadequate resources that were provided to the Judenraete, they did not fully meet the basic needs of the ghetto residents that were starving; thus, their life turned miserable. The oppressors only provided the beginning of their power, which people later realized that the Germans had not come to assist, but maintain the community and destroy it completely. The Germans forced the Jewish implement the Nazi policy to the Jewish. These Jewish administrators had the duty to ensure that all the Nazi regulations and orders were implemented. They were also required to provide necessary community services for the ghettoized Jewish people. The obligatory to implement the Nazi policy, made these Jewish councils remain delicate and controversial subjects.
Therefore, the Jewish council chairmen were to decide whether to refuse or comply with the demands of the Germans, for instance, they were ordered to list the names of the Jews who were to be deported. Joseph Parnes, in Lvov, was killed by the Nazis after refusing to hand over names of Jews who were to be deported to Janowska, a force labor camp. In Warsaw, Adam Czerniakow, the chairman of the Jewish council, committed suicide on the 22nd of July, 1942. This was the day, when deportations of the Jews began, and he decided it is better to die than to assist the Germans capture the Jews for deportation.
Other Jewish officials supported obedience to the Germans demands, believing that their cooperation would guarantee the survival of a few of the population. For instance, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, from Lodz, tried to convince the Nazis to minimize the number of the Jewish who are deported. However, the Nazis declined his request and insisted on ghetto people to report for the deportation as per the regulations. Therefore, Rumkowski decided to adopt the policy of rescuing the Jews through labor, believing that the Germans would take advantage of the Jewish labor and later avert deportation.
This paper explores how the Judenrat ried to save their people by complying with the Germans with the hope of rescuing the Jews. The thesis of the paper is that the Judenrat remains to be the best and morally right in their field work, though they complied with the Germans. This is because they complied with the Germans with the hope of rescuing the Jews. Additionally, the Judenrat was a victim of the circumstance since they had the duty to protect the Jews, in spite of the limitations they had due to the Nazi policy that oppressed the Jews. However, though they could not affect the Nazi policy, they affected the way the policy was implemented. Nevertheless, the Judenraete obeyed the demand of the Germans, hoping to save their people, but their cooperation turned to be an essential tool to the process of destruction.
The paper; therefore, explores why the Judenrat is moral in the way it tried to save the Jews, although the efforts went to vain. The Jewish councils hoped that their compliance with the Germans will bring salvation of their people. However, this idea ultimately helped the Germans. Though, some policies, for instance, taxation resulted to rivalry between the Jewish council and the Jews, generally the Judenraete faced the most challenging decisions when they were ordered to capture Jews for deportations. In their effort to save the Jews, the Judenraete react in different ways in order to convince the Germans to avert deportation of their people. For instance, prominent Jewish leaders reacted differently to the demands of the Germans.
First, Joseph Parnes, a Jewish leader in Lvov, was killed by the Nazis after refusing to hand over names of the Jews who were to be deported to Janowska, a force labor camp. In Warsaw, Adam Czerniakow, the chairman of the Jewish council, committed suicide on the 22nd of July, 1942. This was the day, when deportations of the Jews began, and he decided it is better to die than to assist the Germans capture the Jews for deportation. Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, from Lodz, tried to convince the Nazis to minimize the number of Jewish who are deported. However, the Nazis declined his request and insisted on ghetto people to report for the deportation as per the regulations. Therefore, Rumkowski decided to adopt the policy of rescuing the Jews through labor, believing that Germans would take advantage of the Jewish labor and later avert deportation.
Moshe Merin, a Jewish leader in Sosnowiec, denounced the German’s demand secretly since he believed resisting the demands using armed resistance, the entire ghetto would be killed, or troubled by the Germans. Therefore, he resisted the demands from the Germans by refusing secretly the orders given to capture the Jews for deportation. Jacob Gens, chairman of the Jewish council in Vilna, decided to give up underground leader, Yitzhak Wittenber. This is because the Germans had threatened them that if he refuses to turn Wittenber in the Nazis, they would destroy and kill the ghetto. He, therefore, gave him up to the Nazis so as to save the lives of the Jews. This is a good example that shows how Jewish leaders were moral and could surrender anything to save the life of their people.
Some of the Jewish leaders refused to operate with the Germans for the sake of their people. They refused to give names of their own people to the oppressors so that they can take them to the concentration camps. They knew that deportation resulted to death of their people and; therefore, paid the suffering of their people with their lives. A good example of such a leader was Doctor Joseph Parnes who was the leader of Lvov, Ukraine. He refused to offer his people for deportation and was shot dead by the oppressors. The leader of Nesvizh, Megalif, also decided to give his life instead of enslaving his own people, or participate in the deportation business. Czerniakow, Warsaw Jewish leader, also gave his life by committing suicide rather than carry out deportation and liquidation of the ghettos.
However, other Jewish leaders, for instance, Rumkowski cooperated with the Germans, believing that they will soon avert deposition. This was another moral way performed by the Judenrat in trying to save their people. Therefore, they agreed to offer their people for deportation in order to save the other people left in the ghettos. This is because if the leaders disobeyed the orders from the Germans, the Germans had threatened to destroy the entire ghetto. Therefore, Rumkowski believed that if he obeyed he would at least save some Jews who would re-establish the Jewish community.
This is evident that there was no member of any Jewish Council enthusiastically desired the destruction of the people. They also established orphanages, medical facilities and schools to lessen the burdens of ghetto life. They also built community centers and often held prayer meetings, and tried to lessen Jewish suffering in spite of being forced to abide by with the Germans orders. Such actions illustrate the Judenrat’s moral behavior whereby they are concerned with the life of their people. It also illustrates that they were responsible leaders, who could try to solve the problems of their juniors.
The event portrays how greed and imperialism can result suffering among the oppressed people. Greed is the desire to be in charge of much material wealth that is more than one requires. This especially applies to material wealth, when one desires to have more wealth than others. In regard to this event, the Germans represent the greedy people, whereby they desire to gain more land, not because they do not have enough land, but because they want to gain more profits from the land. With deportation of the Jews, their land would help them gain more profits. Their greed did not allow them realize that it was wrong to deport their fellow beings.
Imperialism, on the other hand, is the strategy of extending authority of a nation by acquiring more territories or through establishing political and economic domination more than other nations. The Germans in this case wanted to acquire more territories and lands that belonged to the Jews natives, since they were interested to grow economically through the use of their resources in their land. The event also portrays the power of courage, whereby Jewish leaders are ready to suffer and fight in order to protect the natives from being deported by the Germans, who were only interested in growing economically. They know that death is worse than deportation, but still continue to fight for native freedom.
With the wealth they acquired from the Jewish land, they were able to come up with technological innovations. New tools and new farming methods expanded the agricultural outputs that made some territories more powerful than others. The advancement in technology improved the manufacturing sector that brought about the beginning of business practices. One of the technological innovations that took place in the 16th century in Europe was the invention of the printing press. This resulted into printing of the Bible in the varieties of languages. Printing of the Bible led to the reformation of the church. The church had acted as the basic cultural pillar in Europe for many centuries. However, printing of the Bible saw the church experience some division. Protestant movements were formed, which introduced different methods of worshiping, and new cultural norms.
During the 16th century, Renaissance artists sought to understand their world better, thus, they studies structural habits and functions of plants and animals extensively. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that deeply any new discoveries were made. Europe also experienced numerous social changes during the 16th century. In the middle of 1500s, the population grew more and more, and the cost of living started to go high. The poor were the most affected by the increased cost of living, because real earnings fell in huge margins.
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Many peasants lose their land to the bourgeoisies. This led to rise of homeless people. Since the homeless did not have any means of livelihood, vagrancy and crime rate was on the rise, especially in urban areas, as the homeless looked for means of earning income. Contrary to this, changing economic conditions led to rise of the middle class and the upper class. These classes of people lived in the urban areas and their main economic activity was trade. They developed new ways of spending leisure time: drinking, gaming, and gambling.
Politically, Europe experienced major dynastic struggles during the mid-1500s. There was increased trend towards building strong nations that led to rivalry between absolute monarchs. Many of the European nations were “born” during this period. Those, who were in power, divided the territories among themselves and their family members. For instance, King Charles V divided his empire among his sons and brothers. Actions of King Charles V led to birth of Spain, Netherlands, and Austria. Moreover, all the European kingdoms such as England, France, Roman and the Ottoman Empires, competed with one another over the Atlantic, which brought a shift of power and wealth towards the west and the acquisition of colonies. Each kingdom sought to gain dominance in the American region and win its lands and markets. The bourgeoisies also started to show interest in politics. Bourgeoisies actively participated in politics as they struggled to protect their land and trade interests.
In the previous centuries, many of the European countries relied on agricultural for the economic development. Many people lived in small villages, where they cultivated their land using ancient farming tools, many for subsistence purposes. However, in the 16th century, focus shifted from subsistence farming to commercial farming. This was made possible through the introduction of better farming equipment. Commercialization of agriculture led to the development of trade and industries.
Many industries in Europe rose during the 16th century. For instance, mining of coal started in the early 16th century. This led to opening of coal mining factories across different parts of Europe, where coal was available. Industry, which had already started to develop before the 16th century, experienced rapid growth during the 16th century. Consequently, the development of industries and flourishing of agriculture led to the development of many urban centers, which were used by Europeans for trading activities. Farmers would transport their produce to urban areas to trade them with manufactured commodities. These trading activities enabled Europe to grow richer and richer during the 16th century. The numerous changes that took place in Europe during the 16th century provide evidence that, indeed, Europe was expansive during the 16th century. The events that took place in Europe during the 16th century resulted into numerous developments, which account for economic developments prevailing in Europe today.
The event tries to show how leaders sacrificed for their lives in order to protect their people. For instance, Adam Czerniakow and Joseph Parnes are a good example of Jewish leaders, who struggled to protect the converted natives from being deported by the Germans. They protected them even when they were threatened by the Germans, who wanted to destroy the ghettos. Some of the leaders are reported to have faced the Germans to convince to stop deportation of their people. For instance, Rumkowski, from Lodz, tried to convince the Nazis to minimize the number of Jewish who are deported. However, the Nazis declined his request and insisted on ghetto people to report for the deportation as per the regulations. Therefore, Rumkowski decided to adopt the policy of rescuing the Jews through labor, believing that the Germans would take advantage of the Jewish labor and later avert deportation. Although the natives did not end up taking control of the land, Judenrat continued to protect the natives.
Peaceful conquest is portrayed by the Jewish leaders, when the Portuguese acquired the land and started to deport. In their process of rescuing their people, they use ways that are not aggressive. This was to protect the people in the ghettos from destruction by the Germans, who were very powerful. They use secret ways, such as suicide to escape from the Germans’ demands. Some of the examples are whereby Joseph Parnes, a Jewish leader in Lvov, was killed by the Nazis after refusing to hand over names of Jews, who were to be deported to Janowska, a force labor camp. In Warsaw, Adam Czerniakow, the chairman of Jewish council, committed suicide on 22nd July, 1942. This was the day, when deportations of Jews began, and he decided it is better to die than to assist Germans capture Jews for deportation. Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, from Lodz, tried to convince the Nazis to minimize the number of Jewish, who are deported. However, the Nazis declined his request and insisted on ghetto people to report for the deportation as per the regulations. Therefore, Rumkowski decided to adopt the policy of rescuing the Jews through labor, believing that Germans would take advantage of the Jewish labor and later avert deportation.
Slavery may have been abolished decades ago, but it still exists today. Modern slavery comes in form of human trafficking, which is the act of trading human being to be exploited in forced labor, commercial sex or other forms of human exploitation. Modern slavery today also involves child labor, forcefully coercing employees to work under inhuman conditions. This is done by forcing employees to work for long hours or under exploitative conditions such as low wages, and in unsafe working environments. It also involves holding individuals bondage to pay debts for the expenses incurred in transporting them from their country into a foreign one. It should be noted that there must be demand for humans to be exploited, and a steady supply of trafficked individuals. Therefore, in order to curtail the vices all aspect of modern slavery must be addressed.
Generally, the author’s message to individuals around the world is clear. They have to act in a manner that depicts the fact that they are willing to be part of the international society. This will ensure that they are not alienated from the rest of the world. It will also ensure that they are accorded the respect and appreciation that they very much wish to have. This will also enhance their position in a society and levels of credibility. While working towards this, he cautions fellow authors to ensure that, when they report their findings, they should ensure that they base their analysis on facts only. This will ensure that there are no hurdles along the way.
Therefore, it is important to consider the welfare of other communities even though they are weak. Leaders should also be courageous guide their subjects to fight for their properties. They should be able to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their people. This shows their patriotism similar to Jewish leaders, who fought to protect the natives, who were weak and could not fight for their land. Although some leaders died as a martyr together with other natives, the left natives were able to surrender in order to re-establish the community.