The Partisans, Underground Fighters, and Ghetto Rebels Monument

The Partisans, Underground Fighters, and Ghetto rebels Monument

On April 9, 2008, during the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, the main monument was dedicated to the partisans, ghetto rebels and Jewish underground fighters who fought in World War II.
The monument is located at the Yad LaShiryon site in Latrun, as part of the memorial site for the Jewish Soldier in WWII.
The ceremony was held by the Association for the Establishment of the Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II and the Yad LaShiryon Association in the presence of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Maj. Gen. (res.) Haim Erez, Chairman of the "Association for the Establishment of the Museum of the Jewish Fighter in World War II" and Yad LaShiryon, Chairman of the Partisans Organization, Underground Fighters and Ghettos, Mr. Baruch Again, veterans of the partisans and fighters of the ghettos and undergrounds, ambassadors of states and military attaches, officers and soldiers of the IDF and guests.

The artist and former partisan Alexander Bogen, who immigrated to Israel in 1951, designed the monument. He has exhibited in many countries, served as the chair of the Painters and Sculptors Association in Israel and works to commemorate the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.

Mr. Noam Lanir, the son of the pilot, Lt. Col. Avi Lanir, who fell in the Yom Kippur War and was tortured to die in Syrian captivity and the nephew of Staff Sergeant Israel Barzilai, who fell as a tank commander in the battles of the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War .

From the words of Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the dedication ceremony of the monument to the partisans, Rebels of the Ghettos and Jewish Underground Fighters in World War II 9.4.08:

Mr. Baruch Shub, Chairman of the Organization of Partisans Underground Fighters and Ghetto Rebels, my friend Maj. Gen. (res.) Chaim Erez, Chairman of "Yad LaShiryon" and "Jewish Warrior in World War II," Ambassadors, veterans and distinguished guests.

The dedication of this monument in memory and honor of the partisans The underground fighters and the ghettos during the Second World War is another important milestone in the commemoration and the passing of the legacy of Jewish heroism during the dark years of the Nazi occupation.

This place, "Yad LaShiryon", overlooking the Ayalon Valley and the battlefields from the days of Yehoshua Ben-Nun until the War of Independence of the State of Israel, symbolizes the connection between the heroic channels of the Jewish people throughout the ages. This is where they merge and unite into one heritage that is now the heritage of the IDF.

Of the many aspects of World War II - the largest and most decisive of all the military systems throughout history - there remains a chapter in which the occupation is still partial and incomplete, and this is the story of the guerilla warfare waged against the German army by organized and disorganized groups.

And within this story - their place and the overwhelming majority of the Jewish partisans who fought in the back and arms of the Nazi oppressor and his allies.

The image of a people led like sheep to the slaughter is a sinner to the full truth. Jews were not only slaughtered. They fought, and relative to the number of Jews in the world at the time - their participation was even at very high rates.

The number of Jews who fought was estimated at 1.5 million. They served in regular armies, especially in the Red Army, in the American army and in the British army, in which Israeli battalions also operated, and they fought underground and partisan organizations.

The partisans operated under harsh conditions that are difficult to imagine. The Jewish partisans - all the more so. Many of them operated in a hostile and violent anti-Semitic environment on the part of the local nationalist organizations that opposed the Nazi regime. Life in the forests in dire conditions and fear of death, exposed to the animal revenge of the German army, was unbearable.

But the urge to rise up, to defend honor and to sanctify the name of Israel motivated you and your friends to acts of courage and heroism.

Standing in front of the monument, we will praise all the partisan fighters, including our Jewish brothers and sisters in the partisan battalions in: Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus; Poland, Lithuania, the mountains of Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece; And in Algiers the rebels in the Warsaw ghetto, the Vilna ghetto, and the death camps in Treblinka and Sobibor; The members of the Jewish Regiment in Rezistans in France and the Jewish underground in Belgium - and all the others who acted alone and in small groups and their heroism remained anonymous and unknown.

Everyone deserves the glory.

The blessed activity of the Association for the Establishment of the Museum of the Jewish Warrior in World War II is of great educational value.  It expresses our duty to commemorate and honor the duty of the State of Israel and the duty of the Jewish people to those who have despaired of individual or small groups in the underground and siege.

Thank you and all the partners in this important project, and especially to the artist Alexander Bogen for his wonderful work, to Noam Lanir, to his mother Michal and to his sister Nurit, the family of Avi Lanir, whom I have been privileged to meet with our air fighters throughout the generations.

A person who has protected his body to death in prison is also hidden in the secrets of the State of Israel. To Noam and the family, I would like to thank you for your generosity and for your help so that this monument could indeed arise.

In the plenum for Israel 60 years, we have not yet reached the resting and the spirit of the Jewish partisans whose songs the Palmach fighters sang near the bonfire and we are the young fighters of the IDF on the eve of the battle. The spirit of these Jewish partisans in World War II, In these days too, IDF soldiers and commanders are fighting day by day against those who are unwilling to accept the rebirth of Israel in its land.

To our enemies we say, the State of Israel is the strongest in the region and our presence here is a fait accompli for good.

The IDF and the defense establishment will continue to act against terror infrastructures in order to prevent terror attacks against the State of Israel, and we will fulfill our supreme commitment and bring peace and security to the citizens of Israel.

And you, the veteran partisans on behalf of the State of Israel, on behalf of the security establishment, I salute each and every one of you – you are blessed.