Menu JTA Search

Jewish Partisans Raid Vilna; Blow Up Power Station; Jewish Cossacks Lauded in Moscow

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Information reaching here today from partisan units behind the German lines discloses that members of a Jewish guerrilla unit recently broke into German-held Vilna, blew up the power station, and left the city in darkness for six days.

The same unit, which is composed of Jews who escaped from Vilna prior to the Nazi extermination of the Jewish population there, was reported here today to have carried out a number of other important operations recently, derailing trains on the Vilna-Sarny line carrying German soldiers, officers and ammunition and destroying German communication lines by felling telegraph poles. The unit, whose commander Itzik Wittenberg from Vilna, was killed last July, is now led by a 25-year-old Jewish student of the Vilna Academy of Art whose name is not disclosed for security reasons. The unit has many Jewish girls in its ranks who have participated in raids on German garrisons in neighboring villages.

Moscow newspapers, in articles from the front describing Cossack attacks on the battlefields, reveal that the Cossack units have many Jewish officers. Among the heroes who have distinguished themselves in the various encounters between the Cossack troops and the Germans, are Squadron Commander Joseph Ryabchinsky, who was killed leading his man in a successful assault on a strongly-defended enemy village; Capt. Samuel Fronkel, who participated in the battle for the historic Dubno fortress; and Lieut. Hirsch Fastikovsky whose tank unit accounted for four German “Ferdinand” tanks and 100 men in a recent bettele.

NEXT STORY