The full name of Yom HaShoah, which begins Monday night, is “Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.” It’s a name that “links remembrance with resistance in no uncertain terms,” Chad Gibbs writes: a day to remember not only victimization, but courage and dignity.

Gibbs, a historian at the College of Charleston, has spent years researching Treblinka II, a Nazi extermination camp where one of the most dramatic acts of rebellion took place. In August 1943, several hundred prisoners managed to escape, though most were recaptured and killed.

But it’s important not to lose sight of more everyday resistance throughout the Holocaust, Gibbs writes – the daily acts of defiance and empathy, like hiding a friend’s illness from guards, or even in the ways people “carried themselves on the way to a certain death.”

“In a place meant to destroy all Jewish life,” Gibbs writes, “the smallest acts of support and comfort were resistance.”

This week we also liked stories about China’s evolving beauty ideals, the role of the social media platform Discord in the huge Pentagon leak, and new research on how ancients apes – and humans – evolved in Africa.

Molly Jackson

Religion and Ethics Editor

Samuel Willenberg, the last survivor of the Treblinka uprising, poses for a picture at his art studio in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2010. AP Photo/Oded Balilty

Defying the Holocaust didn’t just mean uprising and revolt: Remembering Jews’ everyday resistance

Chad Gibbs, College of Charleston

Yom HaShoah, which falls on April 17-18, 2023, pointedly commemorates Jewish resistance to the Nazis.

A goal of the Texas plaintiffs was to stop the practice of sending abortion medication by mail. Andrii Zorii/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Anti-mifepristone court decisions rely on medical misinformation about abortion and questionable legal reasoning

Jamie Rowen, UMass Amherst; Tami S. Rowen, University of California, San Francisco

If the ruling to reverse the use of mifepristone stands, it will not only severely restrict abortion access for women throughout the US – it will have far-reaching effects on health care.

An ape that lived 21 million years ago was used to a habitat that was both grassy and wooded. Corbin Rainbolt

Wooded grasslands flourished in Africa 21 million years ago – new research forces a rethink of ape evolution

Laura M. MacLatchy, University of Michigan; Dan Peppe, Baylor University; Kieran McNulty, University of Minnesota

Contrary to the idea that apes evolved their upright posture to reach for fruit in the forest canopy, the earliest known ape with this stature, Morotopithecus, lived in more open grassy environments.

The Conversation Quiz 🧠

  • Here’s the first question of this week’s edition:

    A new study has confirmed that global warming is causing what in Major League Baseball?

    1. A. Angrier umpires
    2. B. More home runs
    3. C. More ground balls
    4. D. A rise in beer sales

    Test your knowledge