Where in "Sarah's Key" are there examples of resistance, as well as acquiescence/doing nothing?

1 Answer | Add Yours

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Like most Holocaust accounts, Sarah's Key details the horrors of WWII for Jews living in Europe.  This book takes place (mostly) in Paris, France.  Many wrongly believed France to be innocent of Hitlerian influence.  This book proves otherwise.

Perhaps the only incident of violent resistence takes place in the Vel' d'Hiv' where thousands of Jewish French citizens were held before being deported to death camps.  Though most were compliant for fear of their lives, one woman jumped from a balcony and killed herself and her child rather than face a unknown death that was out of her control.

Some of the acts of non-violent resistance include Sarah's first instinct to hide her brother in the closet.  Another example is when the boy, Leon, escapes the Vel d'Hiv' by running for the doors amidst confusion.  Later, Sarah and her friend Rachel escape the camp and a French officer actually aids them by lifting the barbed wire and giving Sarah money.  Jules and Genevieve of course non-violently resist by lying to officers, hiding Sarah, and ultimately adopting her.

The biggest examples of acquiescence are of course the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of French citizens who simply ignored the roundup of Jews in their cities and countries in the first place.  Even as they are unloaded from the Vel d'Hiv' (and clearly have been neglected and abused within), many people turned away and did nothing.  Though much of this may have been from fear, even more was simply from a great amount of ignorance and deceit as to what was really happening.

We’ve answered 318,945 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question