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Kovno Jewish Leader Kilied As He Defied Nazis; Urged Jews to Meet Death Bravely

The story of the heroic death at the hands of the Germans of Isaac Bloch, a leader of the Lithuanian Betar, a Revisionist organization, was disclosed this week when troops of the Jewish Brigade, now stationed in Austria, encountered Lithuanian Jews who had been freed from a concentration camp.

According to a letter from one of the Brigaders received today, Bloch was among several hundred Jews whom the Gestapo collected in a Kovno synagogue prior to deporting them. When he was brought into the synagogue, he strode to the platform in front of the Holy Ark and before the Nazis realized what he was doing, he shouted;

“You Germans are stronger now. I am defenseless and you can kill me at your whim. But you won’t destroy our people. We will outlive you. Brother Jews,” he continued, turning toward the terror-stricken prisoners, “be prepared to die for the glory of God. Do not flinch.”

That was as far as he got. Before he could go on, a Gestapo man fired at him and, as he fell, his blood gushed onto the curtain hanging before the Ark.