Armée Juive-The Jewish Army

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Many people have this misconception about the resistance of the Jews against the Nazi regime, many think they just gave up without a fight. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

There were many Jewish partisan groups and resistance fighters across Europe.

In this blog I will put the focus on the French Armée Juive, sinply because of the day it is in . On August  19 1944 they were significant in the uprising of the French resistance during the liberation of Paris.

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The Armee Juive means “Jewish Army”. It was a rebellion group who was inspired by their Jewish heritage to use physical resistance to rescue fellow brethren from camps, and launch attacks against the Germans.

The Jewish Army (Armée Juive), was founded in 1942. It was established and led by Abraham Polonski, Eugénie Polonski, Lucien Lublin,David Knout and Ariadna Scriabina(aka Sara Knout, daughter of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin).

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They continued armed resistance under a Zionist flag until liberation finally arrived. The Armée juive organised escape routes across the Pyrenées to Spain, and smuggled about 300 Jews out of the country during 1943–1944. They distributed millions of dollars from the American Joint Distribution Committee to relief organisations and fighting units within France. In 1944, the EIF and the Jewish Army combined to form the Organisation Juive de Combat (OJC). The OJC had four hundred members by the summer of 1944.

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Its members smuggled money from Switzerland into France to assist Jews in hiding, smuggled at least 500 Jews and non-Jews into neutral Spain,

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and took part in the 1944 uprisings against the Germans in Paris, Lyon, and Toulouse. “Solidarité,” a Jewish Communist unit, also carried out attacks on German personnel in Paris. Many Jews joined the general French resistance as well.

In 1944, a consolidated Jewish partisan force known as the Organization Juive de Combat (Jewish Fighting Organization) or OJC, cooperated in an campaign against the retreating German army, and participated in the liberation of Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble and Nice. The OJC’s greatest success was the capture of a German train loaded with soldiers, food, weapons and ammunition. The Jewish partisans, all wearing Star of David armbands, triumphantly informed the terrified German prisoners, “Ich bin Jude (I am a Jew).”

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