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Violence, Resistance, and Rescue during the Holocaust

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What do different forms of anti-Semitic violence during World War II teach us about the comparative study of political violence? In this article, we review three recent political science books about the perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence, the responses of their Jewish victims, and the rescue efforts that helped European Jews evade violence. These books demonstrate promising theoretical, empirical, and methodological uses for the rich historical record about the Holocaust. We use these studies to highlight the methodological innovations that they advance, the blurry theoretical boundaries between selective and collective forms of mass violence, and the possibility of agentive action by perpetrators, victims, and rescuers alike. We conclude by highlighting the social-psychology of genocidal violence and the legacies of these episodes as areas for future inquiry.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: October 1, 2020

This article was made available online on May 4, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Violence, Resistance, and Rescue during the Holocaust".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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