The Yishuv Responds

The Jews in Palestine respond to Nazi anti-semitism and genocide, 1929-1945.

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In 1944 the Yishuv finally convinced the British to let them havetheir own brigade. In addition to more than 26,000 Jews from Palestine serving in the British army, the Yishuv created the Jewish Brigade, consisting of 5,000 men. The Jews in the Brigade performed double duty in the army. At the same time that they were working for the British, they organized and trained for their eventual opposition to British control of Palestine. While they fought in Italy, they arranged escape routes to get Jews out of Europe after the war. All Jewish Brigade members were in the Haganah.

Jews worked on similar projects in central Europe while in the British army. An excellent example of this two‑way action was a group of paratroopers who volunteered to drop behind Axis lines to work with the nationalist patriots in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. While fighting against the Nazis, they were also finding ways to get Jews out of those countries.

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