Joseph Harmatz, One of Last Jewish 'Avengers,' Dies at 91.
Joseph Harmatz, one of the last remaining Jewish "Avengers," died on Friday at the age of 91. Harmatz, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust, was the leader of the "Nokmim" (Hebrew for "Avengers"), a partisan militia that sought to exact revenge on Nazis for their war crimes during the Holocaust.
Harmatz participated in one of the Avengers' most daring operations: A mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 that sickened more than 2,200 Germans, but ultimately caused no deaths.
In his last interview with the Associated Press at his apartment in Tel Aviv earlier this month, Harmatz said he did not regret the mass assassination attempt, as it sent a clear message that the days when attacks on Jews went unanswered were over.
Harmatz was born in Rokiskis, in northeast Lithuania. After Vilnius was captured by the Nazis, he joined the United Partisan Organization that operated in the Vilna Ghetto. Harmatz escaped to the Rodniki forest and joined a partisan group called "Lanitzahon" (Hebrew for 'to victory'). Among other things, Harmatz smuggled fellow partisans from the Vilna Ghetto sewage system into the woods, where they joined him in fighting against the Nazis.
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|Date:||Sep 27, 2016|
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