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Jabotinsky's ChildrenPolish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism$
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Daniel Kupfert Heller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174754

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174754.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Jabotinsky's Children

Daniel Kupfert Heller

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of the Betar youth movement in Poland in the 1930s. Like dozens of Zionist youth movements operating in the country at the time, Betar promised to prepare its members for a new life in the Yishuv—the Jewish community of prestate Palestine—by providing vocational training, Hebrew classes, and lessons in Jewish history. What set Betar apart was its commitment to the military training of Jewish youth, as well as its support of several prominent policies of the European Right. They deemed rifles, not ploughs or shovels, to be the most important tools to fulfill Zionism's goals. Like the vast majority of Zionist activists between the two world wars, Betar's leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, sought to capture the hearts and minds of Jews living in Poland. His Union of Revisionist Zionists, founded in 1925, would go on to become one of the most popular Zionist organizations in the interwar period.

Keywords:   Betar youth movement, Zionism, Zionist youth movements, Yishuv, Jewish youth, European Right, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Zionist activists, Union of Revisionist Zionists, Poland

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