Vitka Kempner Kovner, partisan
Vitka Kempner Kovner, right, with fellow partisans Rozka Korczak, left, and Abba Kovner, center. Photo by Courtesy of the Forward
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The legendary Vilna partisan Vitka Kempner Kovner died on February 15. Widow of the poet and partisan leader Abba Kovner, she was born in the Polish town of Kalisz in 1920 and escaped from there to Vilna when the Germans invaded Poland.

Vitka Kovner was among the founding members of Abba Kovner‘s partisan organization, the FPO (United Partisan Organization) when it was organized in the Vilna ghetto in January 1942.

Her act of sabotage act, blowing up a Nazi train, was the first carried out by the FPO organization and possibly the first act of resistance by any woman against the Nazis in Eastern Europe.

Read more at the Forward.