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Guiding Questions:

  • How did Jews attempt to resist in the Riga Ghetto?

  • To what extent was the resistance successful?

Jews sought out various methods of resistance, including in the Riga Ghetto.

There was a resistance movement in the ghetto led by about 40 members of the Jewish police. Joseph took part in the resistance, helping to smuggle guns into the ghetto. They worked in small, secret cells of 3-4 members who smuggled weapons into the ghetto working clandestinely with the Jewish police. They dismantled weapons to bring them into the ghetto and then put them back together. 


Someone told the Germans of the smuggling and the German and Latvia solders killed the Jewish police officers. One of the organizers, Ofsey Okun, attacked one of the Nazi commanders with a knife and wounded him before being killed.

Police Commander Krause brought all forty-two Jewish policemen into the public and shot them. The Jewish rebels refused to give them names of any of those ordinary men who had smuggled in weapons with them. Their bravery saved Joseph's life.


Learn more about Joseph's difficult choices, including whether to escape in the forest, in his testimony later on.

Joe Brandman Testimony.jpg
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