The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - LETTERS -

I wish to high­light one es­sen­tial as­pect re­lat­ing to the Pol­ish Betar move­ment miss­ing from Elaine Margolin’s re­view of Daniel Heller’s Jabotin­sky’s Chil­dren: Pol­ish Jews and the Rise of RightWing Zion­ism (“A state of their own,” Books, Au­gust 18).

Poland’s own na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing var­i­ous re­volts against for­eign oc­cu­piers and the de­vel­op­ment of in­sur­gency fight­ing meth­ods, served as ex­am­ples for Betar. The re­sult was that al­most all the se­nior po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary lead­ers of the Ir­gun and Lehi (Stern Group) came from the ranks of Pol­ish Betar.

Pol­ish co­op­er­a­tion en­abled Betar, from 1930, to take ad­van­tage of pro­grams to train its school-age mem­bers in mil­i­tary tech­niques and tac­tics, in­clud­ing, in early 1939, a three-month course for un­der­ground com­man­ders from Man­date Pales­tine in de­mo­li­tion, sab­o­tage and ma­neu­vers at an army base south of Andrychov. Sev­eral grad­u­ates re­mained in Poland un­til late sum­mer and passed on the lessons to more than 1,000 Betar mem­bers who later fought in and led ghetto re­volts dur­ing the Holo­caust. YIS­RAEL MEDAD


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