Tag Archives: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Of Heroes and Villains: Breaking Open the Grey Zone of Human Action

By Michaela Soyer

After more than 70 years, the Warsaw ghetto uprising remains an almost mythical example of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. After the war, some of the survivors immigrated to Israel and created the Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz. In 1949, the year the kibbutz was founded, these men and women represented a narrative of survival against all odds welcomed by the new Zionist state. A quarter of a century later the construction of heroic survival loomed large over the beginnings of Holocaust remembrance. In 1976, Yad Vashem revealed Nathan Rapoport’s memorial commemorating the uprising. The sculpture portrays the Warsaw ghetto fighters as super-humans. In Rapoport’s depiction, they resemble Greek gods rising from the ashes of the Warsaw ghetto. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Social Trauma and Activism

Failed Movements and Movement Failures

By Rachel L. Einwohner

In my “Sociology of Protest” class, when we get to the section of the course that addresses social movement outcomes I always start off with a brief exercise. I put the following on the board: “A successful movement is one that ________________________” and then ask the students to complete the sentence. The students always come up with excellent responses and typically identify a variety of ways in which movements can be successful, including achieving lasting social change and increasing awareness of a particular cause or issue. We then use these responses to think about ways of operationalizing movement success, and move into a lecture and discussion of Gamson’s (1990) classic treatment of movement success in terms of acceptance and new advantages. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Social Movement Failure