Wolf Gruner’s New Book Shifts Narrative on Jewish Resistance

Wolf Gruner’s New Book Shifts Narrative on Jewish Resistance

On August 1, 2023 Yale University Press will release Wolf Gruner’s Resisters. How Ordinary Jews fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany. Gruner is Founding Director of the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research, and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History, University of Southern California. Described as “a highly original and compelling account of individual Jews who resisted Nazi persecution, challenging the traditional portrayal of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust”, the book is the fruit of twelve years of extensive archival research which aims to correct the long-held myth that Jews went passively to their destruction. Focusing on “ordinary resisters”-- a real estate broker, a homemaker, a merchant, and two teenagers– the book is ground-breaking in also expanding the traditional definition of resistance as “armed combat” to show multiple ways in which Jews attempted to protest and defy the Nazis.


The WCHC was proud to host Dr. Gruner on our campus as one of our speakers at last year’s international symposium on Heroines of the Holocaust: New Frameworks of Resistance,  held from June 15-16 2022. Gruner will be contributing a chapter based on his talk, entitled "This Thug Hitler! Defiance and Protest of Jewish Women in Nazi Germany" to the forthcoming volume Heroines of the Holocaust: Reframing Courage and Resistance in Genocide, edited by Lori Weintrob and Judy Baumel-Schwartz for Routledge Press (Fall 2024). 

 Dr. Gruner will return to speak about his new book during our 2023-2024 term.


At last year’s Heroines of the Holocaust: New Frameworks of Resistance
Symposium at the Wagner College Holocaust Center. Left to right:
Insa Eschebach (Free University of Berlin), Lori Weintrob (Director WCHC), Wolf Gruner (USC Dornsife Center) and Andrea Genest, (Ravensbrueck Museum)