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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
April 1930, Members of the Beitar Zionist Youth Movement in Riga, Latvia

April 1930

Members of the Beitar Zionist Youth Movement in Riga, Latvia

The leader of the group was Mishka Havkin. In 1923, seven years before the photograph was taken, Ze’ev Jabotinsky visited Riga. During his visit the Revisionist Zionist Party in Latvia was founded as well as the Beitar Youth Organization – the first Beitar branch in the world. The party’s platform was thus formulated: “The Trumpeldor Federation (Beitar is a Hebrew acronym for “The Joseph Trumpeldor Union”) is part of the future Hebrew division to be established in Eretz Israel.”

Almost all of the members of Beitar in Riga – numbering approximately 100 – studied in the Jewish professional school in the city, in all three fields of study that were taught in the school: carpentry, welding and electricity. Beitar in Latvia also ran an agricultural training farm (hacshara) near Riga that produced a rich and varied selection of crops, as well as a maritime training farm, where dozens of youth were trained.

The Revisionist Party was very active, even producing its own newspaper, which was published until the Latvian fascist revolution in 1934.

For more information about Riga, click here.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives 5476/47