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Rozka Korczak-Marla

Rozka Korczak-Marla was one of three leaders of the Vilna Ghetto uprising, which, astonishingly, ended with successful escapes rather than mass executions. Korczak began fighting for equal rights in eighth grade, when she organized a strike by Jewish students to protest their anti-Semitic Polish school. She joined Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir, a Zionist youth group, quickly rose to a leadership position, and traveled to Vilna to serve Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir. When Germany invaded Poland in 1941, they created the Vilna Ghetto, killing thousands and planning to liquidate most of the remaining 28,000 Jews. Together with Abba Kovner and Vitka Kempner she founded the United Partisan Organization (FPO) in 1942, and launched an armed resistance against the Germans, remaining until the end to cover the escape of other Jews before fleeing through the sewers. She continued her work with Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir until 1944, when she immigrated to Palestine and wrote her stunning 1945 memoir, Flames in the Ashes, which revealed the complicated reality of the resistance to an Israeli audience. She settled at Kibbutz Ein ha-Horesh alongside other Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir comrades and spent much of her life editing and compiling testimony from other Holocaust survivors to retain the complexity and nuance of people’s varied experiences.

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Abba Kovner, Rozka Korczak, and Vitka Kempner-Kover, Vilna, July 1944
Full image
Abba Kovner (C) and Vitka Kempner-Kovner (R), Rozka Korczak-Marla (L), members of the Jewish Resistance in Poland, pictured the liberation of Vilna in July 1944.
Courtesy of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.
Date of Birth
April 24, 1921
Place of Birth
Bieslko
Date of Death
March 5, 1988

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rozka Korczak-Marla." (Viewed on December 17, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/korczak-marla-rozka>.

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