Jewish Complicity in the Jewish Holocaust

Jews sometimes “defend’ their extensive role in the African slave trade with the glib assertion that “Africans sold each other.” But they make no such assertion about their own “Holocaust” when confronted with a few of these facts:

  • There were whole Jewish councils called Judenrat set up by the Nazis to fill boxcars with Jews heading for Death Camps – they had uniforms and everything!
  • Some Jews called kapos informed on other Jews in the concentration camps—some even acted as executioners.
  • There were at least 77 Nazi officers who are known to have been Jews many thousands more in the enlisted corps.
  • There were even some Jews who negotiated with the Nazis to save themselves at the expense of other less wealthy, darker-skinned Jews.

And yet none of this has
created ANY lessening of the responsibility of the Nazis for the Jewish Holocaust. NO ONE ever says that Jews “were responsible” for the Jewish Holocaust. This idea is only raised in relation to the Black Holocaust—and then only by Jews. We have here another racist double standard.


As the German army swept through Poland and the Soviet Union, it carried out an order of S.S. leader Heydrich to require the local Jewish populace to form Jewish Councils as a liaison between the Jews and the Nazis. These councils of Jewish elders, (Judenrat; plural: Judenräte), were responsible for organizing the orderly deportation to the death camps, for detailing the number and occupations of the Jews in the ghettos, for distributing food and medical supplies, and for communicating the orders of the ghetto Nazi masters.

The Judenrat (see photos) took on the functions of local government, providing police and fire protection, postal services, sanitation, transportation, food and fuel distribution, and housing, for example. Jewish leaders were ambivalent about participating in the Judenrat. On the one hand, many viewed these councils as a form of collaboration with the enemy. Others saw these councils as a necessary evil, which would permit Jewish leadership a forum to negotiate for better treatment. In the many cases where Jewish leaders refused to volunteer to serve on the Judenrat, the Germans appointed Jews to serve on a random basis. Some Jews who had no prior history of leadership agreed to serve, hoping that it would improve their chances of survival. Many who served in the Judenrat were arrested, taken to labor camps, or hanged.

When the Nazis required a quota of Jews to participate in forced labor, the Judenrat had the responsibility to meet this demand. Sometimes Jews could avoid forced labor by making a payment to the Judenrat. These payments supplemented the taxes which the Judenrat levied on Jews to finance the services provided in the ghettos.



The German concentration camps depended on the cooperation of trustee inmates who supervised the prisoners. Known as Kapos, these trustees carried out the will of the Nazi camp commandants and guards, and were often as brutal as their S.S. counterparts. Some of these Kapos were Jewish, and even they inflicted harsh treatment on their fellow prisoners. For many, failure to perform their duties would have resulted in severe punishment and even death, but many historians view their actions as a form of complicity. After the war, many of these Kapos were prosecuted as war criminals.


Further reading:

Isaiah Trunk, Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation (New York: Stein & Day, 1972).

“Jewish Service in the German Wehrmacht,” London Daily Telegraph, December 2, 1996. Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement (New York: Macmillan, 1984).

W. Glicksman, “Social Differentiation in the German Concentration Camps,” in YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science (New York, 1953), 8:145-48.

Bryan Mark Rigg, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military (Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of Kansas, 2002).