Abstract

There has been considerable theorizing and research on the motivations of individuals who rescued Jews from the Nazi Holocaust. Participants in armed resistance movements, the other major form of active opposition within Nazi-dominated Europe, have attracted less scientific attention. The study reported here compared members of these two groups using a quantitative measure applied to their own post-war memoirs and interviews. Thematic content analysis was used to score the relative strengths of eleven major value categories in materials produced by forty-seven members of resistance movements and fifty Holocaust rescuers. Benevolence, Universalism, and Spirituality were significantly higher among rescuers than among resistance fighters, with the opposite pattern for Security. There were some gender differences, but no differences based on country of residence. Comparisons with Schwartz's international norm group results are also presented, and the implications of this research with respect to altruism in extreme circumstances are discussed.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-9933
Print ISSN
1911-0359
Pages
pp. 31-42
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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