«I Wanted to Avenge the Spilled Innocent Jewish Blood»: Resistance of Mizoch Jews during the Holocaust

Keywords: Голокост, повстання в гетто, Мізоч, опір євреїв нацизму, Західна Волинь


The purpose of the study is to uncover the resistance of Volyn Jews during the Holocaust at the local level, in particular the uprising in Mizoch (Mizocz) ghetto in October 1942 and the struggle of Jews after its suppression. The author finds out the background, course, and consequences of the uprising in the ghetto, rescue and survival strategies, and the further fate of the Jews who later struggled in various partisan units, and joined the ranks of the Red Army, etc.

The scientific novelty of the study is in the fact that, for the first time in the historiography of the Holocaust, the resistance of Mizoch Jews to the Nazis during the uprising in the local ghetto, and the implementation of their individual and collective resistance as the members of various units and groups are studied. New, previously unpublished sources are introduced into scientific circulation.

Conclusions. The resistance of Volyn Jews to Nazism during the Holocaust at the local level is analyzed in the research paper. The uprising in Mizoch ghetto had the following stages: the creation of an underground in the ghetto, preparation for the uprising – getting cold weapons (they couldn’t have got any firearms), beginning of the action during the liquidation of the ghetto, setting fire to the houses, fighting with the ghetto guards, and the escaping of some Jews to the ‘Aryan side.’ Among the participants of the uprising were the representatives of the Judenrat. During the fire, some Jews died in the flames committing suicide in order not to give themselves up to the occupiers. In this context, setting fire to ghetto houses should be considered as a set of actions for the carrying out of the uprising.

After the liquidation of the ghetto, the active forms of Mizoch Jews resistance included both individual struggle (attacking the occupiers, harming their lives and health) and fighting in organized groups (participation in Soviet partisan units, Ukrainian underground, Polish self-defense, Czech groups, and detachments of the Soviet Army). Jews took revenge for the death of the representatives of their nation and their relatives not only to the German occupiers, but also to civilians who participated in the slaughtering of the Jews.

Thus, the Jews were not submissive victims of the Nazis but actively resisted from the first to the last days of the occupation on an individual and group level. The uniqueness of the Jewish resistance consisted in the absence of a single political center for the Jewish partisans to get orders from, and its specificity was in the exceptional cruelty of the Nazi regime against the Jews in comparison with other occupied peoples.


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How to Cite
Mykhalchuk, R. (2022). «I Wanted to Avenge the Spilled Innocent Jewish Blood»: Resistance of Mizoch Jews during the Holocaust. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (4(40), 236-253. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2022.4(40).617
Modern History