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The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow

The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow

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Published by teebone747
Analysis of the leader of the Warsaw Judenrat, Adam Czerniakow, as told through his diary that he kept there. Makes the argument that the Judenrat was not a collaborator of the Nazis.
Analysis of the leader of the Warsaw Judenrat, Adam Czerniakow, as told through his diary that he kept there. Makes the argument that the Judenrat was not a collaborator of the Nazis.

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Published by: teebone747 on Dec 06, 2008
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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow
Analyzing Collaboration
Tyrone Schiff 11/24/2008
History 386: The Holocaust – Professor Howard Lupovitch and GSI Andrew Cavin
 
The Holocaust was a devastating episode of catastrophes that led to the demise of millions of people. A targeted group during the Holocaust was the Jews. Starting in 1933, withthe rise of the Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, a strategy for the systematic genocide of EuropeanJewry was implemented and almost successfully carried out. One of the particular means inwhich the Nazis organized Jews was through a strategy of Ghettoization. Ghettoes wereextremely dense quarters in which Jews were localized. The living conditions of the Ghetto werehorrendous. “Hunger, overcrowding, and a lack of sanitation caused epidemics,” whichultimately led to a highly inflated mortality rate (Bauer, 169). Ghettoes were in unusually poor,underdeveloped areas outside of the main area of town (Bauer, 160). Caged like animals withfences or walls surrounding the exterior of the Ghetto, Jews were forced to survive under theseconditions. The reality of the situation, however, is that Jews did in fact find a way to continuetheir way of life in spite of all of these hardships. Within the Ghettoes, Jews devised a way of lifethat worked for them. Yet, there is much debate as to whether the Jews organized and achievedaims that furthered their own interests, or rather, were simply pawns of the Nazi regime.Within the Ghettoes there were mandated Jewish Councils called
 Judenrat 
. ReinhardHeydrich, a high ranking official in the Nazi Party, “decreed the establishment of Councils of Jewish Elders [in the Ghetto] composed of twenty-four ‘of the remaining influential personalitiesand rabbis’” (Bauer, 171). In effect, the Nazi Party was creating an entity through which theycould centralize their demands. They banded the leaders of the Ghetto together so that actionsdictated by the Nazis could be enacted swiftly and without much dissent. It was an effective planof molding the actions and thoughts of the members of the Ghetto so that they would be in linewith the Nazi Party’s decree of “The Final Solution.” The
 Judenrat 
was “responsible for the
 November 24, 2008History 3861
 
immediate and accurate execution of all Nazi orders” (Bauer, 171). This, in effect, shifted theaccountability of some of the requests made by the Nazi Party on to the leaders of the Ghettocommunity, the
 Judenrat 
.This raises a phenomenally complex argument that will be at the core of discussion for the remainder of this paper. Considering that the
 Judenrat 
would often take orders from the NaziParty and help execute their objectives, can one consider the
 Judenrat 
an organized body thatintentionally collaborated with the Nazi Party, thereby assisting them in achieving their aims?This is quite a profound assertion. However, the intention of this paper will be to reveal beyond areasonable doubt that the
 Judenrat 
was not in fact a collaborator with the Nazi Party. In order toillustrate this premise, the events, actions, and life of Adam Czerniakow
(Czerniakow from this point forth)
, the leader of the Warsaw
 Judenrat 
, will be unpacked and discussed. In order to provide a complete picture detailing some of the decisions made by the Warsaw
 Judenrat 
,thoughts relating to both sides of the argument will be explored and weighed against one another.This holistic view of the assertion at hand should indicate conclusively that the Warsaw
 Judenrat 
was not collaborating with the Nazi Party. Instead, the actions of the
 Judenrat 
will reveal thecouncil’s attempts at maintaining culture, identity, and safety, which will go a long way inrefuting the contention of the
 Judenrat 
complying with the Nazi Party to actualize “The FinalSolution.”In order to gain a sense of the Warsaw
 Judenrat 
, one has to begin the analysis with theleader, Czerniakow. Czerniakow became an active member of Polish Jewish public life prior toWorld War I (Hilberg, 1). Professionally, he was an engineer and was a member of the EngineersAssociation in Poland (Hilberg, 2). Prior to leading the Warsaw
 Judenrat 
, Czerniakow waselected to represent several organizations including the Jewish artisans on the National Jewish
 November 24, 2008History 3862

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