Nazi Hunters: The Jewish Avengers

Nazi Hunters: The Jewish Avengers

Posted On: January 1, 2012
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Their targets included lawyer Wilhelm Stuckart, author of the Nuremberg laws, whose job had been to provide a legal justification for the Final Solution. Then there was Aleksander Laak, responsible for 100,000 jewish deaths in Estonia.Otto Abetz, former German ambassador to France who had many French Jews deported to concentration camps. The Avengers at one point also targeted six million Germans, just for being German. In Hebrew they called themselves the Nakim – the Avengers. In the Spring of 1945, as World War Two was drawing to its end, a Passover gathering was addressed by Abba Kovner, a survivor of the Jewish uprising in the Vilna ghetto. One day he would go on to become the uncrowned national poet of the State of Israel. He spoke passionately, invoking Psalm 94, in which God promises that he shall deal with the enemies of the people of Israel: “He will repay them for their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness.” This, Kovner suggested, was the fate that should be meted out to the Germans. And if the courts of international justice would not do it, then the Jews should do it themselves. Among those who heard him were Joseph Harmatz and Leipe Distel. Together they would become the Avengers.