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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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Jabotinsky Encounters Polish Jewish Youth

Jabotinsky Encounters Polish Jewish Youth

(p.28) 1 Jabotinsky Encounters Polish Jewish Youth
Jabotinsky's Children

Daniel Kupfert Heller

Princeton University Press

This chapter details Vladimir Jabotinsky's first encounter with Polish Jewish youth, during a last-ditch effort in 1927 to gain supporters for his political organization, the Union of Revisionist Zionists. He initially viewed the Polish Jews flocking to greet him at train stations with a mix of pity, disdain, and suspicion. Little did he know that they would transform his very understanding of Revisionism's mission and the tools required to bring him to power. The chapter then describes how members of several Jewish youth movements in Poland helped to convince the Revisionist leader to turn the celebration of militarism and the rejection of socialism into core components of his organization's program. Culminating with the founding of Poland's Betar youth movement at the end of 1927, it reveals how Polish Jewish youth were not merely the passive recipients of ideology imposed “from above” but played an active role in shaping the political beliefs and behaviors they adopted.

Keywords:   Vladimir Jabotinsky, Polish Jewish youth, Union of Revisionist Zionists, Revisionism, Jewish youth movements, Poland, militarism, socialism, Betar youth movement

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