With the atrocities of the Holocaust that caused the murder of about six million Jews through unimaginable ways like gassing, mass shooting, and starvation, it was no surprise that many wanted to take revenge. This was how Nakam, a paramilitary organization made of Holocaust survivors, was formed.

They wanted to seek revenge for the death of their brothers and sisters who perished. The “Jewish Avengers of the Holocaust” might not have suits as cool as Iron Man’s, nor could they turn green and giant like Hulk, but they sure were as brave.

Nakam Was Formed

It all started in 1945 when after visiting the site of the Ponary massacre and the extermination camp at Majdanek and especially meeting the survivors of Auschwitz camp, Abba Kovner decided that he would take revenge. He was a Polish Israeli poet and writer who attempted to organize a ghetto uprising. When that failed, he hid in the forest, joined the Soviet partisans, and survived the war.

Jewish partisans in Vilnius after the liberation. Abba Kovner standing, center. (Nakam Wikipedia Page)

Kovner recruited some 50 Holocaust survivors, most former Jewish partisans and a few who had escaped to the Soviet Union. They named their organization Nakam (Revenge). They used the Hebrew name that meant “judgment,” which could also be an acronym for “the blood of Israel avenges.”