Lesson Plan

Jewish Partisans

Students will learn about resistance during the Holocaust, particularly the Jewish partisans that joined resistance movements.

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The Holocaust

Enduring Understanding

At great risk, some Jews were able to escape from the ghettos and camps and formed their own fighting units, or partisans, to resist Nazi occupation and threats.

Essential Question

  • 1In what ways can people resist without the use of violence?


10 Min

Start by asking your students, “What is resistance?”
Have students call out ways in which they think Jews resisted during the Holocaust and write those answers down on the board.

Define a partisan for the class, explaining that a partisan is, “a member of an armed group formed to fight against an occupying force.” Further this explanation by telling your students that these groups would typically use irregular, or guerrilla, forms of fighting such as sabotage and hit-and-run attacks.

More will be added to this list after reading through the resource, so make sure there is space available. Another aspect of this activity is to debunk the myth that there was little or no resistance. Filling the board with the different types of resistance will help students visualize how much there was.


25 Min

Read through the resource, Jewish Partisans by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a class. When you are finished, ask students to give more examples of how Jews resisted and add these to the list you have started on the board.

Is this more or less than they expected? Let students know that this is one category of resistance, and that in later lessons they can look into resistance that took place in ghettos and in the camps.


15 Min

Instruct students to take 5-10 minutes for a quick-write answering the following prompt:

“Resistance does not have to be with a gun or a bullet.” What do you think of when you read this quote? What comes to mind? (Prompt from lesson by Echoes & Reflections)

Reconvene as a class and ask people to share their thoughts.

Wisconsin Academic Standards

This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

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