Prof. Israel Gutman

Born in 1923 in Warsaw, Poland.  When WWII started Gutman was sixteen. As a member of ‘Hashomer Hatzair’ Youth movement Gutman joined the Jewish underground resistance group in Warsaw Ghetto, participated in the Warsaw ghetto uprising, where he was injured. From Warsaw he was sent to Majdanek and then Auschwitz. In May 1945 he walked in the “Death March” to Mauthausen. Gutman was held for two years in those camps. After the war he was very sick and was hospitalized in Austria, he run away from there and joined the Jewish Brigade in Italy. Gutman assisted helped the “Sh’erit Ha-pletah” people, was active in the “Ha’apala” organization and Made Aliyah to Israel in 1947. Gutman joined “Lehavot Habashan” Kibbutz, started and raised a family and was a member of the kibbutz for twenty five years. As the only survivor from his family and classmates, Gutman felt he had the responsibility to understand how life returned to normal after the great disaster. After he studied at a university and published many researches and books about the Holocaust, Gutman became a very known name  in the Holocaust research field, and he raised and developed generations of researchers in that field. Between 1993-1996 Gutman became the head of the international research center in “Yad Vashem”, in the years 1996-2000 he was the head historian of “Yad Vashem”. Gutman passed away in 2013.

Abba Kovner

Author and poet, born in Sevastopol, then part of the Russian Empire, went to the Hebrew gymnasium in Vilnius. Kovner was a member of “Hashomer Hatzair” youth movement. When Vilnius was occupied by the Germans and the kidnapping of Jewish man started, he found a refuge with his friends in a monastery. Kovner was one of the founders of the “ United Partisan Organization” (FPO) in Vilnius the Ghetto. After the death of Izaak Witenberg, the head commander of the organization, Kovner replaced him. On the 23 of September 1943, the day the Ghetto was eliminated, Kovner headed with a group of warriors to the forests of Rodniki and joined the partisans. After the liberation of Lithuania Kovner went back to Vilnius and was active at “Habricha” and “Eastern Europe survivors brigade” organizations. Kovner was one of the founders of “Hanakam” organization. Kovner Made Aliyah to Israel in 1946 and together with his wife Vitka Kempner-Kovner joined Kibbutz “Ein Hahoresh”. In the Israeli independence war he was a cultural officer in “Givati” brigade. He dedicated a lot of time to his writing and in 1970 he got the Israel national prize for literature. Kovner passed away in 1987.

Prof. Yehuda Bauer

Born in Prague in 1926 and in 1936 Made Aliyah with his parents to Israel. In 1960 he got his Ph.D. in philosophy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  His academic career he started in the “Harman institute of contemporary Jewry” in the Hebrew University. Between 1973-1975 and 1977-1979 was the head of “Harman institute of contemporary Jewry”, and between 1984-1994 was the academic head of the institute. In the same time, he founded and was the head of the Vidal Sassoon international center for the study of Anti-Semitism in the Hebrew University. Between 1986-1995 Bauer was the editor of a Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In 1998 Bauer got the Israel national prize for the research of the history of the Israeli people. In 2000 Bauer was selected to be a member in the Israeli national scientific academy. Bauer was the head of “Yad Vashem” international center for the study of the holocaust, Bauer was also the academic adviser of “Yad Vashem” at the same time. Bauer is considered one of the senior researchers of the Holocaust and genocide in the world.

Dr. Shalom Cholavsky

Author and researcher of eastern European Jewry, born in 1914, in the town of Lida in Belarus.  When the war started Cholavsky was the head of the Jewish rebellion group in Nyasvish Ghetto and later on he was one the commanders of the uprising. After the uprising Cholavsky escaped to the forests and joined the Partisans, where he fought in the Zhukov unit until the liberation. In 1944 he met with Yitzhak (Antek) Zuckerman, one of Warsaw ghetto uprising leaders,  and together they founded the organization for the partisans and fighters. Cholavsky was active also in “Habricha” organization. In 1948 Cholavsky made Aliyah to Israel and settled in Kibbutz “Ein Hashofet”. In 1977 he got his Ph.D. in philosophy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Cholavsky published many papers about the holocaust in Belarus, Partisans and the Ghetto uprisings. Cholavsky passed away in 2011.

Mordechai Rosman

Born in 1917 in the city of Stolin (today part of Belarus, than a part of Poland). In his youth he was a member of “Hashomer Hatzair” youth movement in Stolin. In 1937 Rosman joined the Hahshara kibbutz “Algabish”  “Hahshara farm” in Czestochowa and been there for two years in preparation make Aliyah to Israel. Rosman got his immigration certificate but was called to guide another “Hakhshara” kibbutz in Wloclawek. When WWII  began the kibbutz was dismissed and Rosman returned with a lot of difficulties to Stolin and from there to Vilnius. In Vilnius Rosman was a member of “Hashomer Hatzair” group and was selected to be in the movement leadership group. During the war  Rosman was one of the leaders of the underground movement in the USSR, he was captured and put in prison by the N.K.V.D. (the USSR internal police). In prison Rosman was badly tortured before being released and returning to the movement. After the war, Rosman returned to Poland and discovered that his entire family was murdered during the holocaust. After a short period in Poland, he moved to Romania to establish an immigration center to Israel and was one the leaders of “Habricha” organization. At the end of 1945 Rosman arrived in Germany and was active in the Displaced persons camps. In 1947, at the age of 30, Rosman was the main leader of 4,515 Jewish immigrants, holocaust survivors, on the Exodus ship. When he arrived to Israel, he settled at Kibbutz “Haogen” and started a family there. Rosman passed away in 2014.

Rozka Korczak Marle

Born in 1921 in Bielsko and lived in Płock ,Poland, until the war started. Korczak Marle arrived in Vilnius and joined the leaders group of “Hashomer Hatzair” there. She was one of the founders of the United Partisans organization (FPO) in Vilnius ghetto. When the ghetto was eliminated, on the 23 of September, she run away through the sewerage and joined the partisans in the Rodniki forests. On July 1944 Korczak Marle returned to Vilnius and was sent on behalf of “Hashome Hatzair” to Israel, she arrived on the 12 of December 1944. Korczak Marle was one of the first holocaust survivors that got to Israel, and gave a firsthand testimony about the war and the Jewish rebellions by heart to the Jewish establishments and leadership in Israel. Korczak Marle initiated and lead the first Poland delegations for teenagers. Korczak Marle lived in “Ein Haoresh” kibbutz and strted a family there. She passed away in 1988.

Haika Grossman Orkin

Born in 1919 in Bialystok. Grossman Orkin was a member of the High leadership of “Hashomer Hatzair” Movement and one of the head leaders in Poland. She arrived to Vilnius in 1939. With the German occupation in 1941 she posed as a polish (non-Jewish) woman and traveled the Aryan side of Poland from Ghetto to Ghetto carrying messages, money and anything to help the underground movement. At the same year she moved to Bialystok and became a member of the underground movement there. Grossman Orkin managed to escape the Ghetto after the oppression of the Ghetto uprising on August 1943 and joined the Partisans. She made Aliyah to Israel in 1948 and settled in Kibbutz “Evron”. She married Meir Orkin. Grossman Orkin was the first woman to become the head of a Regional council (Ga’aton Regional council). She was a Member of the Israeli Knesset and a deputy to the Knesset head. She lighted a torch in the 45th Israeli independent day ceremony. Grossman Orkin passed away in 1996.

Yehuda Tobin

Yehuda Tobin, from Kibbutz “Beit Zera”, was a “Hashomer Hatzair” and “Hakibbutz Haartzi” leaders and worked on the movement’s behalf in a number of official duties. Tobin was a recruit of the Jewish brigade and experienced first hand, the historical and emotional meeting with the ” Sh’erit ha-Pletah” in Italy. This powerful experience inspired him dedicate many of years of his life, until his death, to Holocaust memorialization activities in Moreshet. Together with Rozka Korczak Marle and Levi Dror, Tobin Lead the ‘Moreshet’ book publication and “Moreshet Journal”. Together they fought for a right place for Holocaust memorialization in the Kibbutz Movement. Tobin passed away in 1998.

Akiva Nir

“Hashomer Hatzair” movement member in Czechoslovakia, was part of the Slovak uprising. Nir made Aliyah to Israel in 1948 and was one of the founders of Kibutz “Shomrat”. Nir took a several official roles in the kibbutz and Mapam. His book “Paths in a ring of fire” was published by “Moreshet” in 1967.