BETAR IN POLAND
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