Three Tragic Heroes of the Vilnius Ghetto: Wittenberg ,Sheinbaum, Gens

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Vilnius (Vilna, Wilno), the capital of Lithuania, has been one of the main centres of Jewish cultural, religious, social and political activity of the Diaspora since the middle ages. At one time, one half of the city inhabitants were Jewish. Everything changed during the Holocaust. The Jewish community was destroyed by the Nazis and their collaborators. But there were those who refused to surrender without a fight. Witenberg and Sheinbaum were the leaders of the Jewish underground resistance organisations in the Vilnius ghetto. Gens was the Jewish Head of the ghetto, appointed to this position by the German authorities. Each person had the same objective -- personal and communal survival. All three perished during the destruction of the Jewish ghetto. These three figures constitute the 'Three Tragic Heroes of the Vilnius Ghetto'. This book compares the different approaches to the issues of resistance and survival and illuminates the specific problems of Jewish resistance and also the larger dilemma of survival during the Nazi era.