A Surplus of Memory

The Issue of Revenge

     When it came right down to it, the practical thing to do was not so much about taking revenge upon Germans responsible for murdering and torturing Jews but caring for and organizing the survivors for resettlement to what was then Palestine. This was the primary task of what was left of the Jewish Fighting Organization in Warsaw at the end of the German occupation of Poland in 1945. Revenge was on the agenda but was not the main issue. For others, it was the most important thing.

Yitzhak Zuckerman

     "As for "Revenge", that subject kept me awake nights," stated Yitzhak Zuckerman in his memoir, A Surplus of Memory, "especially since, later, they came and asked me to lead "Revenge". But my notion of revenge wasn't theirs (some of the former Jewish partisans). I was "dying for revenge," but I was remote from their idea, which bordered on madness. Could you annihilate a German nation of sixty million? And if you did kill a thousand Germans, would that make you sleep better?

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