Women of Valor: Partisans and Resistance Fighters
Gisi Fleischmann : 1897-1944 | Haika Grossman : 1919- | Rozka Korczak-Marle : 1921-1988 Zivia Lubetkin : 1914-1976 | Franceska Mann : ?-1944 | Haviva Reik : 1914-1944
Zofia Yamaika : 1925-1943 | Mala Zimetbaum : 1922-1944

Biographical Sketches - Zivia Lubetkin: 1914-1976

Zivia was one of the leaders of the Jewish Underground in Poland, a founder and the only woman in the High Command of its fighting organization, ZOB, Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa. She was one of the founders of the first resistance group in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942, which was organized as the first massive deportations began. She fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, spending the last days of the uprising in the command bunker at Mila 18, and escaping with other survivors through the sewers to the Aryan side of Warsaw.

During her years of underground activities, the name "Zivia" became the code word for Poland in letters sent by various resistance groups, including Gisi Fleischmann's "Working Group". Her Zionist activities began while she was still in high school, and she was a delegate to the 1939 Zionist Congress in Geneva, when she, like others, chose to return to Poland to share the fate of her people, rather than escaping to Palestine. Her resistance activities began long before armed resistance broke out, with her role as a courier of messages and smuggler of arms into the ghetto from the Aryan side.

Zivia was among those Jewish resistance fighters who answered the call to join the Polish uprising on the Aryan side of Warsaw in August 1944, fighting alongside those whose indifference to the fate of the Jewish ghetto fighters played a part in the ultimate destruction of the ghetto. After the liberation, Zivia was active in the Briha movement, which facilitated the movement of Jewish Holocaust survivors to Palestine. In 1946 she settled in Palestine, among the founders of Kibbutz Lohamei Haghetaot (Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz), where she lived for thirty years. She was a member of the World Zionist Executive and continued her involvement in Zionist activism.

© Copyright Judy Cohen, 2001.
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