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March 2: Denise Bloch, in the French Underground

Denise Bloch, 28, a Parisian Jew who had been active in the French Resistance in Lyon as a courier and wireless operator for two years (codenames Ambroise and Crinoline), was flown by the British Special Operations Executive into Central France on this date in 1944 to work undercover with Robert Benoist, her fellow passenger, to […]

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December 14: A Rabbi of the Resistance

David Feuerwerker, a rabbi who helped liberate Lyons from fascist rule and then reestablished the Jewish community in that city after World War II, was awarded the Gold Medal of the City of Paris on this date in 1957. Feuerwerker was “an eminent scholar and spiritual leader of French-speaking Jews in North America,” said the […]

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September 20: The Turkish Consul Who Saved Jews

Necdet Kent, who as Turkish vice-consul in France saved dozens of Turkish Jews living in France from being deported to Nazi death camps, died at 91 on this date in 2002. Kent served his government in Marseilles, a point of embarkation for many Jews fleeing Europe, from 1941 to 1944. In 1943, upon learning that […]

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July 8: I Shall Betray Tomorrow, Not Today

Marianne Cohn, a German-born Jew who was active in the French Resistance and helped to smuggle groups of Jewish children to Switzerland, was beaten to death by the Gestapo on this date in 1944. She was 22 years old.  Jewish members of the Resistance had prepared a rescue plan for her, but she refused to […]

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June 24: The Infiltrator

Jan Karski, a non-Jewish Polish resistance fighter against Nazism who in 1942 infiltrated both the Warsaw Ghetto (twice) and a transit camp near the Bełżec death camp and reported the information he gathered to the Polish government-in-exile as well as the British and American governments, was born in Lodz on this date 1914. Karski was […]

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June 1: Zvi Dunski and the Resistance in Sosnowiec

As the Nazi liquidation of the Sosnowiec Ghetto in Poland began on this date in 1943, it was met with an earnest but poorly armed resistance that had been organized by Zvi Dunski, a young Hashomer Hatzair (Socialist Zionist) activist. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Dunski, born in 1922, “played a central role […]

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February 27: German Wives Protest

On this date in 1943, the Nazi Gestapo began arresting more than 10,000 Jews in the city of Berlin. Those who were intermarried (primarily men) and some children of those intermarriages were imprisoned at Rosenstrasse, a Jewish community center. The next morning, many of the men’s wives congregated at the building and shouted for the […]

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January 13: Chaim Soutine

The prolific expressionist painter Chaim Soutine was born in Smilavichy, a town near Minsk (in modern-day Belarus) on this date in 1893. His interest in art was opposed by his Orthodox family and community, and he is said to have been beaten in punishment after presenting a rabbi his portrait. “The suffering he experienced within […]

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January 19: The Red Spy and the Red Orchestra

Leopold Trepper, who organized an anti-Nazi spy network that the Nazis called the “Red Orchestra” in occupied Europe (headquartered in Belgium), died at 77 in Jerusalem on this date in 1982. After being imprisoned for leading a strike in Krakow in 1923, Trepper moved to Palestine and worked as a communist activist against the British, […]

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