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Zionist Rescue Group

Our group reacted to this amazing announcement like robots in a daze. Most of the captives, immediately, unquestioningly, started walking away as fast as they could. There was no time to feel relieved, express our thanks or celebrate. There was no time to shake hands or exchange words of encouragement with the others. We had to keep moving, to clear out of the area fast and find new hiding places.

I was stunned. We had been saved by one of the Zionist rescue groups I had heard much about. But there was no time to contemplate the fantastic turn of events. Saved or not, I was now in a desperate situation. My cover had been blown and my documents were all gone. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. I told the "SS man" about my predicament in a few words, then I told him that I wanted to join their group. He looked at me for a moment and said: "You can come with us and we can help you, but we can't offer you permanent shelter." With that, they tied me up again and marched on, with me, a captured Jew, in the middle.

I was alive again and filled with new hope. We went to a safe house, that was under international protection, in the heart of the city, called the Glass House. It was completely full and couldn't shelter another person without endangering the safety of the others. The Zionists paraded in full nazi uniforms and pretended to guard the house.

Inside the building, confusion reigned. It was packed with people of all ages, waiting for washrooms and food. I was sent to have something to eat and to lay down to rest. They provided me with new false documents, clothing, food and shelter for the day, along with a pair of shoes to protect my cold bare feet. Later that evening, I was invited to join one of the groups that left to scout the city for news. When we reached a quiet, safe corner, I was told to beat it. Once again, I was on my own.

It was confirmed later that my rescuers, the group that saved my life, was Hanoar Hazioni, one of the famed Zionist groups that mascaraded in uniforms and intimidated real Nazis. They were very well organized, equipped with uniforms, weapons and false identification papers. They were also connected to other similar groups through a messenger service–young men who risked their lives, commuting between buildings, carrying documents and news from one group to another. I later met the members of this liberal Zionist organization, when I became a member after the war.

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