Hanoch Jalzanogora

Born in Siedlce in 1913, to a poor family. He attended the “Tarbut” school. After the death of his father, when he was 12 years old, he was forced to stop his studies and moved with his family to Warsaw. He began working in a glass factory and supported his mother and younger sister. He continued his studying by himself in the “He’Halutz Ha’Tzair” movement, in which he was one of the first members since he turned 13. Every evening after the hard work he would come to the branch, trying not to miss any action or conversation. In 1933 he was elected to the local committee and was appointed instructor of a group of young apprentices. His simplicity and devotion were loved by all.

In 1938 he participated in a seminar of “He’Halutz”, held in the Warsaw suburb of Walia. He spent some time in a pioneers’ farm in Grochov from which he traveled for training in Vilnius, where he worked at the branch of the movement. His older sister, Sarah, was an active “He’Halutz” member, and the younger sister, Ethel, at “He’Halutz Ha’Tzair”. She died in Bialystok.

At the beginning of the war Hanoch was in Vilna, but moved to the Soviet area in order to live under a socialist regime. He did not stay there long and returned to his comrades in Vilna, putting himself at the disposal of the movement and working in the Zionist pioneering underground. At the end of 1941, during the first expulsion from Vilnius, he fled to Slonim and later, in 1942, to Bialystok, where he served as secretary of the “Kibbutz”. He often left the ghetto disguised as a non-Jew – he was tall and pale and did not look like a Jew – to bring food to friends and also smuggled weapons into the ghetto.

The kibbutz also served as a training site, and Hanoch served as one of the instructors. Before the war he had participated in the movement’s self-defense courses and learned to fire a rifle and throw grenades. He was active in the Jewish Fighting Organization and commander of a combat unit.

Hanoch never harbored any illusions about the fate of the Jews of Bialystok, nor with regard to the results of the rebellion. At the general meeting of the kibbutz on February 27, 1943, he called on friends not to delude themselves. The revolt will not save them, nor will going to the forest. There are two ways to go to death, and one is the right one: they must die with dignity.

The loyal and devoted member of the movement was on duty until the very last moment. He fell in the Bialystok ghetto uprising.

Written by Fishel Dromi (Popowski), From the book “Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto” by M. Neustadt.
Translated from Hebrew by Mr. Yuval Romano.