Between Resistance and Collaboration
The Ambiguity of the Protectorate Gendarmes’ Service in the Theresienstadt Ghetto (1941-1945)
The article analyses the role members of the Czech Protectorate gendarmerie played in the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War. A Special gendarmerie unit guarded Theresienstadt, the only major Jewish ghetto created during the war in the occupied Bohemian lands. Whilst some of the gendarmes supported Jewish prisoners and tried to alleviate their plight, others collaborated with the SS unit – in charge of the ghetto, behaved brutally or denounced prisoners for any transgressions of the ghetto laws. Most of the gendarmerie unit vacillated between both extremes and remained passive observers to the events. The article centres on both extremes of support and betrayal, and asks what they can reveal about the wartime service of the gendarmes in the ghetto and their role in the persecution of the Protectorate Jews, as well as those deported to the ghetto from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and other territories.
Jan Lanicek, Between Resistance and Collaboration, in: Vol 8 No 2 (2021): S:I.M.O.N. SHOAH: INTERVENTION. METHODS. DOCUMENTATION., 13-37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.23777/SN.0221/ART_JLAN01