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The Avengers

Cover of The Avengers

The Avengers

A Jewish War Story
Borrow Borrow

In 1944, a band of Jewish guerrillas emerged from the Baltic forests to join the Russian army in its attack on Vilna, the capital of Lithuania. The band was led by Abba Kovner, a charismatic young poet and Zionist leader. In the ghetto, Abba had built bombs, sneaking them out through the city's sewer tunnels to sabotage German outposts. His chief lieutenants were two teenage girls, Vitka Kemper and Ruzka Korczak. At seventeen, Vitka and Ruzka were perhaps the most daring partisans in the East, the first to blow up a train in occupied Europe. Each night, the three of them shared a bed, raising gossip, but what they found together was more than temporary solace. It was a great love affair. Then, in the last terrifying days of the war with travel in Europe still unsafe for Jews and the extent of the Holocaust still widely unknown they hatched a plan for revenge: before it was over, they would have smuggled enough poison into Nuremberg to kill 10,000 Nazis. The Avengers is the story of what happened to these rebels in the ghetto and in the forest, how they took revenge, and how fighting for the state of Israel, they moved beyond the violence of the Holocaust and made new lives. Here, from RICH COHEN, the author of the highly praised Tough Jews, is one of the last great untold stories of World War II.

In 1944, a band of Jewish guerrillas emerged from the Baltic forests to join the Russian army in its attack on Vilna, the capital of Lithuania. The band was led by Abba Kovner, a charismatic young poet and Zionist leader. In the ghetto, Abba had built bombs, sneaking them out through the city's sewer tunnels to sabotage German outposts. His chief lieutenants were two teenage girls, Vitka Kemper and Ruzka Korczak. At seventeen, Vitka and Ruzka were perhaps the most daring partisans in the East, the first to blow up a train in occupied Europe. Each night, the three of them shared a bed, raising gossip, but what they found together was more than temporary solace. It was a great love affair. Then, in the last terrifying days of the war with travel in Europe still unsafe for Jews and the extent of the Holocaust still widely unknown they hatched a plan for revenge: before it was over, they would have smuggled enough poison into Nuremberg to kill 10,000 Nazis. The Avengers is the story of what happened to these rebels in the ghetto and in the forest, how they took revenge, and how fighting for the state of Israel, they moved beyond the violence of the Holocaust and made new lives. Here, from RICH COHEN, the author of the highly praised Tough Jews, is one of the last great untold stories of World War II.

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About the Author-
  • RICH COHEN has written for the New York Times Magazine among many other publications. He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, and recently co-wrote a filmscript with Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. He lives in New York City.

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    Phoenix Books, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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A Jewish War Story
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