top of page
Study and Theory/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Zvia Lubatkin

The secret of the strength of the movement

There are questions that do not allow peace for the members in Israel and for us too: the first question is: how did it happen that a whole nation just went, with its neck stretched out, to the slaughter. I tried in my story to explain this in the best way that I could. I don’t know what the conclusion is from my words. However I want to say,  although it doesn’t help us, and it does not alleviate matters for us, that it is very doubtful in my opinion whether another nation would have stood futilely in these conditions of terrible isolation, and against such a sophisticated and well organized machine of the Germans. We know how the Polish went to slaughter and the Russian prisoners, and entire nations surrendered before the Nazis. The second questions is – where did this strength come from of the pioneering movement, of the youth movement, which took into its hands, perhaps a little too late, in those difficult times, the steering wheel of the management of Jewish life. It seems to me that there is no need to search much for answers to this question. It is wrong, and it is also very painful, when we think that we placed the young people while thinking that it was a matter of individuals. Of Yitzhak or Zvia or Mordechai or Frumke. We all lived and live with awareness, that it is impossible to know what would have become of us, if we had not been members of a movement, without absorbing from childhood the values, which you gave to us. That is, in fact, the secret strength of the movement: which always knew how to demand of its people. It wanted to educate and it educated revolutionaries, who stood and were able to stand in various periods of times and in hard times of independence of the nation, of the independence of the individual in Israel, and the independence of the individual in general. Only by the power of the education that we received could we get through those same periods of time....could we stand in the ghetto only because we were a collective, a movement, because each of us knew that he was not alone. Every Jew was placed alone opposite his fate. Alone and abandoned in front of a huge and strong enemy. However, we stood from the first moment and until the end as a collective, as a movement. This feeling, that there is a movement, that there is a community of people who take care of each other, that there is a joint path, is that which enabled each and every one of us to do what we did. The worst tragedy was that the Jews did not know what to do. From the early days, when the great demoralization started in the ghetto and until the days of eradication and death – they did not know what to do. But we knew what we wanted in the light of the values that we had been educated upon. We searched and we found the way. That was the strength that allowed us to live.

More >
bottom of page