Simcha Rathajzer-Rotem died in Jerusalem

Simcha Rathajzer-Rotem, also known by his nom de guerre „Kazik”, died in Jerusalem. He was one of the last surviving Jewish fighters in the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

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Simcha Rathajzer-Rotem during the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.  /  photo: Grzegorz Kwolek (JHI)

He was born in 1925 in Warsaw. He was a member of the Youth Zionist Movement Akiba. In 1942 he joined the ZOB (Jewish Combat Organization). As a ZOB member, took part in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. He became the head courier, reporting directly to the ZOB commander on the Gentile side, Yitzhak Zuckerman. When it became apparent that the Germans would prevail, he was sent via a secret passageway to the Aryan side of Warsaw where he met with Zuckerman to arrange an escape for the fighters.

On the night of 8/9 May he returned to the ghetto and help the group of figters to leave the ghetto through the sewers. He also took part in the Warsaw Uprising.

In 1946 he took part in the Beriha organizationt hat helped European Jews immigrate to Palestine. He lived in Jerusalem.

Awards and decorations: Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2003, Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and Gold Polish Army Medal in 2013.

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