Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB)
Polish, �ydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ZOB) - An
underground military organization in the Warsaw ghetto that was founded
on July 28, 1942, during the first week of the large-scale deportations
from the ghetto. ZOB's founders were members of three youth
organizations (Ha-shomer Ha-tsair, Dror, Ha-noar Ha-ivri "Akiba"),
including I. Cukierman, C. Lubetkin, M. Tenenbaum and J. Kaplan.
Regional sections were created in Bialystok (Tenenbaum), Krakow
(Cukierman), Sosnowiec and Bedzin (M. Anielewicz).
As one of its first actions, ZOB killed the chief of the Jewish
police, J. Szerynski; this was carried out by I. Kanal on August 20
during a deportation. ZOB's members also set fire to the szopy
(workshops) and people were taken out of the ghetto to partisan
In order to obtain arms, contact was made with
the Home Army (AK). The Jewish National Committee (ZKN) was founded
thanks in part to H. Wolinski (Jewish section in the Office of
Information and Propaganda of the Main Headquarters of the AK), who
demanded talks with representatives of the entire Jewish population. In
addition to the organizations mentioned above, it also included Poaley
Siyon, the Zionist Organization and the Polish Workers' Party. The Bund
did not take part, as it disagreed with the Zionists' political views.
The Jewish Coordinating Committee (ZKK) was created as a way to overcome
all these various ideological differences; in linked ZKN and the Bund.
A. Berman (Poaley Siyon-Left) and L. Feiner (Bund) were its
representatives to the Polish government. Heading the expanded ZOB was
Anielewicz (Ha-shomer Ha-tsair), whose deputy was M. Edelman (Bund).
Cukierman was in charge of the Organizational Department, while J.
Morgenstern (Poaley Siyon-Right) was director of intelligence.
In November, the military structures began to be reorganized
according to the AK model (in "fives"). Twenty-two operational groups
were formed in all. Training began. Because the AK did not keep its
promise to supply weapons (by January 1943, only ten pistols had been
provided), production of weapons began. Collaborators and spies were
assassinated, including the Jewish policemen J. Lejkin (October 28,
1942), I. First (November 29, 1942), and A. Nossig, who was suspected of
being an informant (February 23, 1943).
The first armed skirmishes took place in
January 1943, and led to the withdrawal of German detachments from the
ghetto. On April 19, 1943, an uprising broke out in the Warsaw ghetto,
which was the first armed revolt in occupied Europe. Despite the enemy's
enormous advantage, the battles continued for over a month. Most of
ZOB's leaders and soldiers were killed. Some escaped through the sewers
beneath the ghetto and joined partisan detachments, primarily with the
People's Army. An operational group under Cukierman's command fought in
the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.