Former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn made some outrageous comments about the Holocaust recently. He said, there were “thousands of them and not many guards” implying that the Jews could have fought bare handed against machine gun nests and survived.
The Auschwitz’s Memorial Museum was quick to point out that “the assertion that Jews could have easily resisted during deportations to extermination simply due to their numerical strength compared to the guards oversimplifies the dire circumstances they faced during the Holocaust.
The sheer number of SS guards made resistance nearly impossible.” I might add that the SS were the most barbaric, brutal, and cunning of all of the Nazi forces. They shot first and asked questions later.
General Flynn is entirely wrong but he does enable a discussion on Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is the most famous but there were more. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising began on April 19, 1943 and was ended with a major assault by the SS on May 16, 1943. 700 Jewish fighters who were barely armed put up the greatest resistance ever seen in the history of Man against the most terrifying and bestial army ever assembled. 7000 Jews died fighting. 7000 were captured and sent to Treblinka where they were murdered. After the uprising 42,000 Polish Jews were rounded up and killed in a two day shooting spree dubbed Operation Harvest Festival by the Nazis.
Another less known uprising took place in the Sobibor extermination camp which was run by the SS and their Ukrainian supporters. On October 14, 1943 prisoners in Sobibor killed 11 members of the SS including the deputy commandant Johann Nieman. 300 prisoners escaped. Only 50 survived the war.
There were many other lesser known pockets of resistance. Jews tried resisting in over 100 ghettoes throughout Eastern Europe. They joined underground operations that helped eventually topple the Third Reich.
One story that gets very little attention is that of 17 year old Herschel Grynszpan who was a Jewish refugee living in Paris who in November 1938 walked into the German Embassy there and killed Nazi diplomat Ernst Vom Rath. Grynszpan was probably murdered by the Nazis although his exact fate is somewhat murky. He was the first Jew to resist the Nazi onslaught.
General Flynn does not have a correct understanding of the Holocaust. I am afraid that many have a similar delusional perception. I would recommend that they talk to Holocaust survivors while they still can.