Individual Responsibility and Resistance During the Holocaust
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Laura Pritchard, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Suffolk, Virginia
STUDENT WORK SAMPLES
Excerpt from a project on Rosa Robota and the Auschwitz UprisingNotes for the presentation:
- In Nov. 1942 at age 21, Rosa Robota was deported from Ciechaow, Poland and was sent to Auschwitz.
- She worked in a clothing supply section of the camp where she was approached by Noah Zabladowicz, a member of the Jewish underground at the camp.
- Zabladowicz asked Rosa to help smuggle schwartzpulver, which was the explosive they planned to use to blow up the crematoria and gas chambers with the help of outside partisans.
- Rosa had friends working in the Union Munitions Plant, and she had them help smuggle the explosive out through secret compartments in their dresses.
- Before the planned explosion occurred, a group called the sonderkommando (the men who handled the corpses) staged their own revolt, blowing up one of the four crematoria at Birkenau on Oct. 7, 1944. Many prisoners escaped, but they were caught, shot, and killed.
- The explosives were traced back to Rosa and three other women. After much torture to try to get information from her (unsuccessfully), Rosa at age 23 was hanged with the three other women in front of the camp. Before her death she told a friend, "I know what I did and I know what is coming. It’s easier to die when you know that there is a continuation of your actions."
- Her last message was "Hazak v'ematz"—"Be strong, have courage."
- Although the gas chambers and crematoria kept working, Rosa and the others brought hope to the other prisoners that they could stand up and resist the Nazis.
Bibliography of Rosa Robota and the Auschwitz Uprising
"Auschwitz-Birkenau." The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. 19 May 2003. http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/auschbirk.html
This is the Jewish Virtual Library, and it has information on the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Bulow, Louis. "Gate to Hell: Auschwitz." 15 May 2003. http://auschwitz.dk/auschwitz.htm
This site has information on Auschwitz.
Cohen, Judy. "Rosa Robota: Heroine of Auschwitz." 15 May 2003. http://www.interlog.com/~mighty/special/rosa/htm
This article told about Rosa Robota and the others that were involved in the uprising at Auschwitz.
Jacobs, Alan. "The Camps, photos by Alan Jacobs." 15 May 2003. http://www.remember.org
This site, a cybrary for the Holocaust, has many photos of Auschwitz.
"Prewar portrait of Ella Gartner." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 15 May 2003. http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/08518.htm
This is a picture of Ella Gartner that we used for the poster.
"Rosa Robota: Heroine of Auschwitz." 15 May 2003. http://datasync.com/~davidg59/rosa.html
This article also told about Rosa Robota and the others that were involved in the uprising at Auschwitz.
"Rosa Robota, the Holy Heroine of Auschwitz." From Ciechanow Yizkor Book. Trans. by Rhonda and Ephraim Epstein. 15 May 2003. http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Ciechanow/Robota.htm
This article focused on Rosa Robota, beginning with her life in her hometown in Poland and going through her deportations, acts of resistance, and her death.