July 18: The Cyclist Who Saved Jews

Gino Bartali, a champion Italian cyclist who during World War II saved a family of Jews in his cellar and carried messages and documents by bicycle to the Italian Resistance, was born in Florence on this date in 1914. He began racing at age 13, was the Italian national champion by 22, and won the […]

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The Legacy of Hannah Senesh

A SOCIALIST ZIONIST HEROINE by Isabel Pearlman Published in Jewish Currents in 1974; republished in Autumn 2015 HANNAH SENESH, born July 17, 1921, was Hungarian, Jewish, gifted, and attractive, with an exceptionally appealing personality. She lived in a large house in Budapest “that’s in a wonderful position, and has a beautiful big garden.” So she […]

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July 9: Assassinating a Nazi

David Frankfurter, a Croatian Jew who in 1936 assassinated Wilhelm Gustloff, a leading Nazi in Switzerland, was born on this date in 1909. Frankfurter, the son of a rabbi, was studying medicine in Germany when the Nazis came to power. He continued his studies in Bern, Switzerland in 1934, where he witnessed growing Nazi sentiment […]

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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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May 12: Frania Beatus, Ghetto Courier

Frania Beatus, 17, a Warsaw Ghetto partisan who served as a fighter and a courier between the ghetto and the rest of the city, conveying messages, bribes, and armaments, committed suicide on this date in 1943, three weeks after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had begun, prompted by the knowledge that much of the Jewish Fighting […]

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March 30: Father of the Jews

Capuchin monk Father Marie-Benoît (Pierre Péteul), who provided transport for more than 4,000 Jews from Nazi-occupied France into Switzerland and Spain, was born in Bourg d’Iré, France on this date in 1895. Wounded in World War I, he took vows after the war and became a leading Christian expert on Judaism. Headquartered in a monastery […]

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Comrade Mordecai

A Memoir from the Warsaw Ghetto by Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, translated by Yuri Suhl From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” Originally translated and published in 1962. IN THE LATTER HALF of 1943, the famous Warsaw Ghetto historian, Emanuel Ringelblum, a Left Poale Zionist, while hiding […]

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