October 16, 2002
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM HONORS JEWISH RESISTANCE FIGHTERS DURING THE HOLOCAUST
WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance posthumously awarded the Museum’s Medal of Resistance to Heshek Bauminger and Aharon Liebeskind, founders of the Jewish Fighting Organization (JFO) in the Cracow Ghetto. Hela Schupper-Raufaizen, who fought with the JFO in Cracow, accepted the medal during the summer on their behalf. U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer made the presentation at the U.S. Embassy in Israel on behalf of the Museum.
As part of the Museum’s mission to serve as this country’s national institution for Holocaust education and remembrance, the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance recognizes the bravery of Jews who rose up against the Nazis and their collaborators. The honorees or their representatives (in the case of posthumous awards) are presented with specially commissioned Medals of Resistance. Honorees also receive permanent recognition in the Museum.
Aharon Liebeskind and Heshek Bauminger each led a resistance group in the Cracow Ghetto. Liebeskinds’s Akiva group combined several Zionist movements into one fighting force. Bauminger was a solider in the Polish and Soviet armies who escaped German capture. He established close ties to the Communist resistance and established another force inside the Ghetto. In October 1942, the groups merged to form the Jewish Fighting Organization. The JFO organized a number of attacks against German soldiers and equipment. On December 24, 1942, the German authorities launched a massive retaliatory campaign. Liebeskind was killed the following day, and Bauminger was caught and killed in March 1943.
To see a complete list of Medal recipients, visit the Museum’s Web site at www.ushmm.org/research/center.
Photographs of the award ceremony are available. Please contact Andy Hollinger in the Museum’s Media Relations Office at 202/488-6133 or email@example.com.