Revenge is never really sweet

None of us can truly share the misery and horror of Auschwitz and the other Nazi death camps. So vile were the Nazi programs that the idea of seeking some form of revenge against Germany seems natural. NAKAM was a small organization formed in the aftermath of the Second World War that sought revenge against Germany in an attempt to kill six million Germans as reprisal.

The organization was started by Abba Kovner.

article continues below

He had escaped the Vilna ghetto to join the Soviet partisans. He fought the Nazis with them. After the war, he visited with survivors of the death camps and determined that the Germans and Nazis must pay for what they had done. He formed NAKAM to extract revenge from Germany. As the Nazis had killed over six million Jews, NAKAM proposed to kill six million Germans in retaliation.

With the support of some very influential Jews in Palestine, the plot was simple. NATAM's Plan A was to poison the water supplies of four major German cities - Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, and Nuremberg. Members were sent to Germany to obtain details of the water supplies of these cities, the sources and distribution methods.

In Palestine, a chemist prepared a poison that could be easily added to any water supply in small amounts and which would affect the whole system and be fatal to any that ingested it. NAKAM thought that this would kill at least six million Germans.

Just as the Nazis had not cared about which Jews they killed, the indiscriminant death of men, women, and children was of no concern. Nor did it matter if those opposed to the Nazis or even foreigners were killed by the poison. The potential victims were Germans or in Germany. That was enough.

When the poison was ready, it was placed in safe containers and picked up by Kovner to be taken from Palestine to Germany on a British ship. Aware of the plot, the British arrested Kovner on board. His accomplice threw the poison containers overboard; Kovner was jailed in Cairo for a few months.

Plan A was cancelled but Plan B could now go forward.

After the war, German soldiers were held in large concentration camps by the victorious Allies. Plan B was to poison the bread made in one of the camps near Nuremburg with arsenic. Only partially successful, several thousand prisoners became ill but no deaths were recorded.

Kovner joined a Jewish resistance movement prior to Israel's independence and then the Israeli army. A well-respected poet, he spent his final years in an Israeli kibbutz.

Violence begets violence.

Revenge for a wrong is a natural instinct in our species. In our modern world, personal revenge has been replaced by our system of laws and justice. Society takes revenge for those wrongs, not the victims personally. Vigilante justice by private people or groups is illegal. Many would say the attempt by NAKAM was justified - an eye for an eye. Had it been successful, the result would have been further "tit for tat" actions that would never end. No doubt others would have been drawn into the conflict.

Instead, those most culpable had the Nuremburg trials.

Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Prince George Citizen welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. Comments that contain external links will not be permitted. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Snowblow front lawn POLL

Did you snowblow your front lawn this spring?

or  view results

Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!
  • 97/16

    Prince George's Weekly News

Popular Citizen

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.

Lowest Gas Prices in Prince George
Prince George Gas Prices provided by