Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1



While the Holocaust is remembered by historians and victims as a time of suffering and genocide, Jewish ghetto survivors recall numerous occasions in which humor was used to combat the oppression of Nazi authorities. Although many historians emphasized the physical hardships and tragic conditions faced by Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the existence of jokes throughout Eastern European ghettos articulated the legitimacy of humor within the greater context and discussion of coping, resistance, and unification for the preservation of Jewish life and identity in the post-war period. Rather than depicting Jews as solely victims, humor returns agency to the Jews who lived in ghettos by highlighting the complexity of their reality without overgeneralizing their experiences.


Written for HIST 418: Nazism.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.