Δευτέρα, 15 Αυγούστου 2016

Nakam – The Jewish Revenge Plan to Kill off Six Million Germans




 Nikola Budanovic




The origins of Nakam, or Revenge in Hebrew, comes from the United Partisan Organization that was based in the Vilna Ghetto, Lithuania, during WWII. Established in January 1942, this was also the first clandestine resistance organization, in a Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe.
Their motto was: “We will not allow them to take us like sheep to the slaughter”, which became the basis of their struggle against the systematic elimination of the Jews in Lithuania and Europe. The leading figure of the movement was a Jewish poet and writer, Abba Kovner.  His first lieutenants were Rozska Korczak and Vitka Kempner.

The United Partisan Organization planned to destabilize the German industrial facilities in Vilna using sabotage, as they declared themselves part of the broader partisan struggle in occupied Soviet territory. The organization was disbanded and re-established several times during the war until the driving of the Nazis out of Vilna in July 1944.


A member of the Jewish Brigade under British Army whith. On the shell is written: A Gift for Hitler
A member of the Jewish Brigade under the British Army. On the shell is written: A Gift for Hitler. Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
By the end of the war, the remnants of the United Partisan Front established Nokmim ― the Avengers. The idea was to organize a group of assassins that would make sure that notable Nazi war criminals didn’t escape justice. The organization united with the veterans of the Jewish Brigade in the British Mandate of Palestine and renamed itself simply NakamRevenge.
It was also called Dam Yisrael Noter  ― The Blood of Israel Avenges. The abbreviation of this phrase was DIN, which is a Hebrew word for judgment. Its leadership remained the same as it was in the United Partisan Organization – Kovner and Kempner (who got married in 1946) with the addition of Yitzhak Avidav and Bezalel Michaeli. Even though a number of groups seeking retribution emerged by the end of the war, the Nakam proved the most extreme one.
The group had about 60 members, and it was comprised of war veterans and Holocaust survivors. For them, the war wasn’t over yet. Their plan was to infiltrate Germany and conduct assassinations and sophisticated operations. While the dust was still settling in a defeated and devastated Germany,  part of the group managed to arrive in Germany and devise a plan that was daring, to say the least.
According to an interview conducted by The Observer with Joseph Harmatz, who was close to the organization, Kovner acquired large amounts of poison and planned to disperse it in the water supplies of Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, and Hamburg, killing numerous civilians. The plan sparked a lot of controversy among the Jewish organizations preparing the foundations of an independent Israel.


Jewish Partisans in the Vilinus Ghetto. Wikipedia / peut-être un résistant ou un sympathisant / CC BY-SA 3.0
Jewish Partisans in the Vilnius Ghetto. Abba Kovner is standing in the center. Wikipedia / peut-être un résistant ou un sympathisant / CC BY-SA 3.0
On one hand, the Haganah, which would become the core of Israeli Defense Force, issued Kovner fake documents that enabled him to travel through Europe, but on the other, some Haganah members rejected the idea of mass revenge on Germans. Harmatz claimed that Chaim Weizmann, who would become the first president of Israel, supported Kovner’s actions and helped him acquire the poison he needed. Historians dismiss this claim as highly unlikely.
Their original intention was to cause the deaths of six million Germans, which was an equivalent of the number of Jews that died in the Holocaust. Kovner departed from Haifa, on a ship headed for France. He had documents claiming he was a member of the Jewish Brigade.
In Toulon, France, the British discovered that his documents were forged and he was detained and sent to an Egyptian prison under British control. The poison intended for the action was thrown into the sea. Harmatz stated in his interview that Kovner and Nakam were betrayed by Zionists who feared that the event might jeopardize the legitimate proclamation of the state of Israel. In the time of the arrest, Nakam agents had already infiltrated the sewers of several major German cities.
They were only waiting for the poison to arrive when the operation was aborted. There were also plans to leave the American residential areas free of poison so that the poison could reach only the German population.

Meanwhile, his accomplices managed to smuggle some poison to Germany. Plan B was in effect ― the poisoning of 3,000 bread loaves in the American-held POW camp Stalag 13. The command of the operation was given to Kovner’s deputy, Yitzhak Avidav.
On April 14th, 1946, the Nakam broke into a bakery that was supplying bread to the camp and poisoned 3,000 bread loafs intended for the ex-SS members. The poison was diluted arsenic. The prisoners were kept in a POW camp near Nuremberg.
On April 23rd, a report came out in the press that 2,283 German prisoners fell ill from poisoning, with 207 of them hospitalized. Joseph Harmatz claimed that 300-400 German POWs died of consequences of poisoning, even though an official report stated that no deaths occurred concerning this event.
Kovner was released a few months after his imprisonment. He returned to Palestine and after Israel was proclaimed in 1948 and became an army captain. He continued his hard-line approach concerning those who carried out the Holocaust.
He also wrote many newspaper articles that seemed to incite hatred of primarily Egyptians in his “battle pages” titled “Death to the Invaders!” The tone of the articles, which called for revenge for the Holocaust and referred to the Egyptian enemy as vipers and dogs, had upset many Israeli political and military leaders.
Kovner testifzing against Eichmann.
Kovner testifying against Eichmann. Wikipedia / Public Domain
Kovner testified about his experiences during the war in a trial against Adolf Eichmann.  He also played a major role in designing and constructing several Holocaust museums, among which is the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv.
Abba Kovner died in 1987, of cancer. The interest in the case concerning the poisoning of the German POWs was revived in May 2000, in Nuremberg, when two members of the Nakam group confessed that they took part in the event. The public prosecutor office in Nuremberg abandoned the case, “due to unusual circumstances” as the reason for the suspension of the investigation.

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου