The illegal youth group “Chug Chaluzi” (circle of pioneers) was founded on February 27, 1943, the same day that all Jewish forced laborers were arrested and most of them deported. The group originally had 11 members, all of whom had been members of Zionist youth groups before. Between 1943-45, the group supported an estimated 50 Jews in hiding. At the end of the war, “Chug Chaluzi” had approximately 40 members, of whom six to eight persons made up the inner circle.
Most of them lived illegally in Berlin. Group members helped each other obtain food, false ID cards, and places to stay. As much as possible, they continued their youth group activities, which included Hebrew lessons, illegal visits to the theater, outings in the woods, and celebrations of the Jewish holidays. “Chug Chaluzi’s” recognized leader, Jizchak Schwersenz (former director of Youth Aliyah School), lived illegally under the name “Ernst Hallermann” in Berlin from August 1942 until February 1944, when he escaped to Switzerland. After Schwersenz’s escape, Gad Beck became the leader of the group.