Josef Glazman

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Josef Glazman
Born 1913
Died 7 October 1943
Nationality Lithuanian
Known for Resistance leader in the Vilna Ghetto

Josef Glazman (1913 – 7 October 1943) was a Lithuanian Jewish resistance leader in the Vilna Ghetto.

Glazman was born in 1913[1] in the town of Alytus.[2] He became head of the Betar youth movement in Lithuania in 1937.[1] He was also a member of the Zionist-Revisionist political movement and was the editor of the Revisionist newspaper Hamdina.[2]

When Nazi Germany invaded Lithuania in June 1941, Glazman was in Vilnius and was taken for forced labor by the Germans. In November, he returned to Vilnius and was forced into the Vilna Ghetto where he organized an underground group of Betar members. He was also a member of the Jewish police.[1]

Glazman helped found the Fareynikte Partizaner Organizatsye (FPO) in January 1942. This was a militarized underground resistance group against the Germans. Glazman was the deputy commander of the FPO as well as in-charge of its intelligence gathering. In June 1942, Glazman changed jobs from the ghetto police force to the ghetto's housing department.[1]

Glazman's relationship with the head of the Vilna Ghetto, Jacob Gens, was difficult. In the second half of 1942, Gens tried to send Glazman to the nearby ghetto at Švenčionys to head up the housing department. Glazman refused as he feared that it was an attempt to force him to participate in choosing which Jews would be deported to forced labor or extermination.[3] Glazman was arrested in October 1942,[1] but was released after the leaders of the Communist underground in the ghetto interceded with Gens. Glazman was questioned repeatedly by the Jewish police over the few months, but was not arrested again.[3]

On 25 July 1943, Gens attempted to send Glazman to a nearby labor camp, but when Glazman refused to go on his own, he was arrested by the police. The FPO organized a rescue and freed Glazman while he was being escorted out of the ghetto by the police. Gens then met with the FPO and persuaded them that Glazman should go voluntarily to the labor camp and that Gens would personally guarantee Glazman's safety.[3] Glazman returned to the ghetto within a few weeks. After Gens' surrender of Yitzhak Wittenberg to the Germans, Glazman led a group of Jewish fighters out of the ghetto into the nearby forest to form a partisan band.[1]

Glazman's partisan band was discovered by the Germans on 7 October 1943 and all but one of the group were killed.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rozett and Spector "Glazman, Josef" Encyclopedia of the Holocaust pp. 243–244
  2. ^ a b Shneidman Three Tragic Heroes pp. 125–126
  3. ^ a b c Tushnet Pavement of Hell pp. 229–231


  • Rozett, Robert; Spector, Shmuel. "Glazman, Josef". Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: Facts on File. pp. 243–244. ISBN 0-8160-4333-7.
  • Shneidman, N. N. (2002). The Three Tragic Heroes of the Vilnius Ghetto: Witenberg, Sheinbaum, Gens. Oakville, ONT: Mosaic Press. ISBN 0-88962-785-1.
  • Tushnet, Leonard (1979) [1972]. The Pavement of Hell. Geneva: Ferni Publishing House. ISBN 2-8295-0007-5.

External links

  • Josef Glazman from the Shoah Resource Center at Yad Vashem.
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