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Since the end of World War II, the response of the Jewish population in Europe to the Nazi policy of extermination has constituted a significant element in Jewish, and particularly Israeli, consciousness of the Holocaust. In the 1950s this issue became the focus of a debate among Israeli writers and public figures. An examination of a variety of sources of Israeli public opinion—articles in Israeli daily newspapers, debates in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and speeches during memorial ceremonies, as well as archival materials—reveals that the positions expressed in the public discourse of that period represented two opposing viewpoints. The first created a moral distinction between those who actively participated in self-defense, especially armed resistance, and those who did not. The second contested the idea of placing armed resistance at the center of Holocaust commemoration, or using it educationally as a value over other patterns of Jewish reaction.