R e f l e c t i o n s   o n   J u d e n r a t

Dated: November 19, 2003



  • How History should judge the Judenrat?

Anybody interested in this subject is welcome to participate.







Without a State of their own, the Jewish people of Europe during the World War II had to be lead by the Jewish Councils (called Judenrat, plural Judenraete or Judenrate) that were to guide them during the most trying times of their existence under the Nazi regime. (See, for instance, the
Cracow Decree of November 28, 1939, for the establisment of Judenraete.)

The lack of apparent moral standing of the Judenrat leadership has been studied by scholars from a number of angles. Less publicity was given however to the Holocaust survivors' views on this sensitive and wrecking issue that is part of the troubled Jewish history. To see one, of the many blistering attacks by prominent Jews on Judenrat's lack of leadership and moral courage, see the April 23, 1941 Statement by Chaim Kaplan on The Warsaw Judenrat.

For those that are interested to see how the proponents of the so-called Holocaust Revisionism movement see all this, take a look at Lenni Brenner's "Zionism in Holocaust Poland." For those interested to see how a make-believe "scientific" article on Judenrat looks like, take a look at Martin Rose's hoax-in-disguise study "The Judenrate and the Final Solution." (The reference made by Martin Rose, for instance, on the Odessa's pogram as being Romania's biggest pogrom is pure nonsense as Odessa never ever was part of Romania in the first place, and the Romanian leader Antonescu had absolutely nothing to do with the administration of that pogrom although he clearly was a pro-Nazi leader.)

Without question, Judenrat was an important component of the Holocaust that most certainly deserves serious research and honest exposure. We own this to History and most importantly to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The survivors of the Holocaust are the only witnesses that have faced the Judenrat. Their testimonies are invaluable for the establishment of the Judenrat record. Because of this, we encourage herein memoirs from Holocaust survivors on this complex component of the Holocaust. Some of such memoirs are listed below.

The importance of the Judenrat cannot be overestimated as the Jewish people learned from it perhaps the most important lesson of their existence --and that is, that they never ever be left at the mercy of Judenrat-like institutions. The answer to this bitter lesson was the creation of a strong Israel coupled with a strong Zionist movement.


Additional Recommended Reading:
The Judenrat In Pruzany
[Chp. IV of the book "Alive from the Ashes" by Avraham Harshalom (Translated by Peretz Kidron); Hidekel Press, Tel Aviv, 1990.]
Thank you for your interest and consideration of this subject.
Your views are welcome here.





Selected Links to Memoirs with References On Judenrat

f r o m   H o l o c a u s t   S u r v i v o r s :



Konrad Elkana Charmatz, Holocaust Survivor:

Nightmares: Memoirs of the Years of Horror Under Nazi Rule in Europe, 1939-1945

[Published by the Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies]
Copyright © The family of the late K.Charmatz, 2000
Copyright © English translation Miriam Dashkin Beckerman, 2000

  Marian Finkielman, Polish Holocaust Survivor:

Out of the Ghetto: A Young Jewish Orphan Boy's Struggle for Survival

"For these things do I weep:..." Lamentations; 1:16

[Published by the Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies]
Copyright © Marian Finkielman, 2001

 Esther Goldstein, Holocaust Survivor:
I Shall Not Die, For I Shall Live

[Alliance for Murder: The Nazi-Ukrainian Nationalist Partnership in Genocide
Sabrin, B.F., ed., New York: Sarpedon. 1991; pp. 181 - 184]

 Ida Grinberg, Polish Holocaust Survivor:

[Yad Vashem Testimony 03/3091]

  Alexander Gutfreund, Polish Holocaust Survivor:

[Yad Vashem Testimony 03/10785]

 Charles Kotkowsky, Polish Holocaust Survivor:
Remnants: Memoirs of a Survivor

[Published by the Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies]
Copyright © Charles Kotkowsky, 2000

  Petro Mirchuk, Auschwitz Holocaust Survivor from Ukraine:
To Speak the Truth or Acquiesce to Slander

 Published in his essay (part 16):
My Meetings and Discussions in Israel
(Are Ukrainians "Traditionally Anti-Semites"?)

  D. Henry Sattler, Polish Holocaust Survivor:

March of Remembrance and Hope

 Golda Shwartz, Polish Holocaust Survivor:

A Testimony

[Yad Vashem Document 03/6922]