Judenrats --- friend or foe? #holocaust


Like many topics, this one is sure to be a "hot" one, but the more I read and study about the Judenrat, the more perplexed I am.  While I know there is no definitive answer, as things were different everywhere, I would like to know what others thoughts are, now, today.  First of all, how did the Nazis 'choose/select' people to form these groups in each community, especially those in less visible positions (such as secretaries)?  How long was a person likely to serve on one of these boards - a  set term, or until death)?  For those who did survive the war, how were they later treated by others who might have known they were part of a Judenrat?  Would they have kept such knowledge quiet? (And yes, I know many people never ever spoke about their war experiences.) 

It seems there are many new books being published, bringing new details and information about various situations &  wartime events, to light.  While some only make brief mention of the Judenrat, some outright castigate them all, and present them as the worst of the worst Jews.  I am sure people who served in these groups :  a. didn't have any choice in the matter,  b. some likely thought they could save family members in doing so,  c. and as with other situations, some relished the power they perceived having. Is there any real consensus about this, or is that even possible? Were some areas better/worse than others in how the Judenrat dealt with their given communities?  Of course, those who had family members directly affected in some way by the Judenrat, or who had been part of a group, probably have very different feelings (good and/or bad) than others who don't. There are many more knowledgeable people out there, and I would appreciate hearing what some of the many opinions on this matter. 

Thank you.
Leah Heilpern Snider
Silverdale, Washington/ USA

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