The Zionist Activists Who Collaborated With Nazis, and Were Executed by Jewish Partisans

The Betar movement has ignored a melancholy chapter of its history that occurred in the Vilna ghetto during the Holocaust: the execution by Jews of other Jews who collaborated with the Nazis

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Lotek Salzwasser, left, with the Betar commissioner in Poland. “If Salzwasser  had been from Hashomer Hatzair he would have survived,” said Kremmerman, a former partisan, in his testimony.
Lotek Salzwasser, left, with the Betar commissioner in Poland. “If Salzwasser had been from Hashomer Hatzair he would have survived,” said Kremmerman, a former partisan, in his testimony.Credit: Jabotinsky Center Archives
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

When Lotek Salzwasser joined the partisans in the forests of Lithuania in the fall of 1943, he thought he had escaped certain death at the hands of the Nazis. He could never have imagined that death would come at the hands of other Jews, his comrades in the underground. Yet that is what happened. Abba Kovner, the commander of the underground in the Vilna ghetto, sealed Salzwasser’s fate after hearing testimonies that he had collaborated with the Nazis.

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