Holocaust Survivors Admit to Forming Death Squad to Kill Nazis
They were called "The Avengers" and theirs was a deadly mission -- hunt down and kill as many death camp SS officers as possible.
by Jim Kouri, CPP
As if taking a page out of Steven Spielberg's screenplay for his new motion picture "Munich," several Holocaust survivors shocked many when they admitted they formed a special death squad to hunt down Nazi war criminals after World War II. They conceded it was a group effort less concerned with bringing their persecutors to trial than with personally taking revenge on their tormentors.
The survivors said they hunted the former SS officers who headed the death camps executing and poisoning hundreds of them.
During a TV broadcast in Israel, the death sqaud members, some of whom fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, described hunting down SS officers in the dead of night. While wearing British or American military uniforms and officers' insignia, they said they dragged the former SS killers out of their homes and killed them execution-style.
In the biggest covert action undertaken, the group of Jewish men, who called themselves "The Avengers," obtained arsenic and laced loaves of bread with the poison which was fed to hundreds of SS officers who were being housed in detention camps by the American military. They claimed during the broadcast that they were also planning a large-scale action in Nuremberg, but the Jewish leaders -- more interested in establishing an Israeli state than in seeking revenge on fugitive Nazis -- ordered them to abandon their deadly operations.
"I didn't see myself as a murderer, not then and not today," death squad member Simcha Rotem told the Israeli TV audience. The special television broadcast reported on a reunion of the death squad members that was held outside of the city of Tel Aviv.
Exactly 60 years after the end of World War II, with most of several dozen members of "The Avengers" either dead or in their late 70s and 80s, Rotem told the Associated Press that "they gave into family pressure to recount their experiences to their children, grandchildren and other relatives."
Now and then, stories of such death squads have circulated in Israel. The Israeli government often turns a blind eye to such reports. In 2005, the Israel government denied a Polish request for extradition of a suspected member of "The Avengers."
Even more shocking was the story of how they wanted to poison the water supply of five German cities. However, fear that innocent people might die caused them to drop the plan.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.