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Menachem Begin$
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Avi Shilon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300162356

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300162356.001.0001

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A Commander's Getaway

A Commander's Getaway

(p.25) Two A Commander's Getaway
Menachem Begin

Avi Shilon

Yale University Press

At the outbreak of World War II, Menachem Begin made a proposal in Beitar headquarters in Poland: that a Hebrew youth brigade be formed with the help of the Polish Army. However, the Polish leadership avoided the issue. Begin and his wife Aliza Arnold, along with several other members of the Polish Beitar commission, soon fled Warsaw for fear of the Nazis. In October 1939 Menachem and Aliza boarded another train in Lvov and headed for Vilnius (Vilna), where he was publicly humiliated for the first time since becoming a leader by Shimshon Yunichman, a Beitar commissioner in Palestine. On August 4, 1940, Ze'ev Jabotinsky died from a heart attack in New York, leaving Begin without a higher authority to lean on. In late 1941, Aliza, who was in Israel, learned that her husband had been sentenced to eight years of imprisonment with hard labor in Vorkuta in the northern Soviet Union. Upon his release from prison, Begin learned that his parents and brother died at the hands of the Nazis.

Keywords:   imprisonment, World War II, Menachem Begin, Beitar, Poland, Aliza Arnold, Nazis, Vilnius, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Israel

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