European History | History of Religion | Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement
This paper discusses the nuance of Jewish agency during the Holocaust. It argues that full genocide was thwarted by individual efforts which can illustrate a picture of collective defiance. Utilizing Berger’s definition of agency as, “the capacity to exert control and even to transform to some extent ‘the social relations in which one is enmeshed.’” Focusing attention to after 1939 in ghettos and camps, it investigates period sources such as ghetto witness accounts, orders, and diary entries. It allows for a comprehensive depiction of Jewish agency as neither entirely heroic or lachrymose, as painted by popular depiction.
Augustana Digital Commons Citation
Knapik, Joseph. "The Problem of Jewish Agency in The Holocaust: 1939-1945" (2020). Geifman Prize in Holocaust Studies.