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Żagiew ("The Torch"), also known as Żydowska Gwardia Wolności (the "Jewish Freedom Guard"), was a Nazi-collaborationist Jewish agent provocateur group in the Nazi German-occupied Poland, founded and sponsored by the Germans and led by Abraham Gancwajch.[1] Many Żagiew members were related to the collaborationist Jewish organization Group 13, which was also led by Gancwajch. The Nazis had over a thousand Jewish secret agents in Poland[2] and some were permitted by their Gestapo handlers to possess and bear firearms.

The organization operated primarily within the Warsaw Ghetto. Its primary goal was to infiltrate the Jewish resistance network and reveal its connections with the Polish underground aiding and hiding Jews in the General Government. The organization was able to inflict considerable damage on both fronts.[3] Żagiew agents were also instrumental in organizing the Hotel Polski affair in Warsaw, a German scheme to lure thousands of wealthy Jews under false promises of evacuation to South America into a trap and extort their money and valuables before killing most of them.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Jerzy Ślaski, Jerzy Piesiewicz, Polska walcząca: 1939-1945, Published by Instytut Wydawniczy Pax, 1990; ISBN 83-211-1428-8.
  2. Piotrowski, Tadeusz (1997). Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide…. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company. pp. 74. ISBN 0-7864-0371-3. 
  3. Henryk Piecuch, Syndrom tajnych służb: czas prania mózgów i łamania kości, Published by Agencja Wydawnicza CB, 1999; ISBN 83-86245-66-2.

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