Conceptualizing Jewish Reactions: Between Amidah and Resistance

Havi Dreifuss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the concept of amidah and its relevance as an effective conceptual category in Holocaust research. By examining the growth of the concept of amidah at the beginning of Holocaust research, discussing the many categories included in it, emphasizing its ahistorical character and detachment from broad contexts, the author argues that this term does not promote in-depth and critical discussion. In light of these obstacles, Bauer's early conceptions regarding the concept of amidah are analyzed while placing it in the context of the discussion of responses to the Holocaust. As part of those broader contexts of human reactions to extremist actions, Bauer's early reference to those actions called “amidah” opens the door to a comprehensive and in-depth discussion that is not possible within the original concept. This discussion obviates the need for a hierarchical catalogue of the responses under discussion, includes reference to the constant change that has taken place in these actions, and is based on the consciousness that underlies the response. Moreover, it connects amidah to the ability to analyze acts by Jews and non-Jews in the Holocaust, as well as those of a variety of individuals and communities who found themselves in the reality of genocide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Holocaust Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Holocaust
  • amidah
  • conceptualization
  • resistance


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