History 323 ††† Summer 2005†††††††††††† Prof. J. Popkin


Essay Assignment #3 (due in class, Mon., June 27)


Write a 1000-1500 wd (4-6 pp double-spaced) essay on one of the following topics:


(1) In what ways did Polish Jews react to conditions in the ghettos in 1940-1942 (that is, before the start of the massive deportations)?Did all elements of the Jewish community react in the same way?Should this be seen as a heroic period in Jewish response to the Holocaust, or did Jews miss opportunities to improve their chances of survival?Explain your answers, drawing on specific material from relevant readings, particularly the documents in Dawidowicz and the reading in Tecís book.You may also find useful material in Blatt and Bergin.


(2) What was the purpose behind the treatment given to prisoners in the German camps (those who were not immediately gassed)?Did the Germans succeed in this purpose?What possibilities did Jews have of resisting German plans for them?Were men and women equally affected by camp conditions?(The main sources for responses to this question will be the excerpt from Primo Levi (xerox), the four selections in Niewyk, 105-36, and the chapter on the camps in the Tec book).