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Sign-O-Pedia: Irgun (Etzel)

About the tag

Historical background

: (Etzel emblem was taken from one of the signs on the site)
Etzel (Irgun) - cronym for the National Military Organization. Etzel, which advocated more decisive action against the British than the " Haganah" organization, was established in Jerusalem in 1931 and consisted mainly of members of the Betar and the revisionist movement (under the leadership of Ze’ev Jabotinsky) who retired from the Jerusalem "Hagana" organization. The first commander was the commander of the Jerusalem branch - Avraham Tehomi.
The Etzel was considered by the British as a terrorist organization, and pursued its leaders and soldiers. Many of its soldiers were placed in detention camps in Latrun and Eritrea, and some were even executed by hanging.
During World War II WWII, the Irgun’s actions against the British provoked controversy among the Haganah leadership, which collaborated with the British in their war against the Nazis, which led to The "Saison" (hunting season) - the imprisonment and extradition of Irgun activists to the British authorities. The Hagana also prevented actions by the Etzek that it believed could have harmed the Jewish settlement
In 1940, after the commander of the IDF, David Raziel, ordered the cessation of operations against the British, those who did not agree with this order, led by Avraham Stern (Yair), resigned from the Etzel and founded the Lehi organization.
One of the Irgun’s well-known actions that provoked controversy was the explosion of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the Mandate headquarters, in which 90 people were killed, including 15 Jews.
Following the declaration of the State of Israel on November 29, in which the UN decided on the partition plan and the end of the British Mandate, there was a rapprochement between the Haganah and the Irgun, despite incidents in various places between the two organizations.
After the declaration, Etzel forces in IDF units were usually integrated into independent units, all of which were composed of their own men. In June 1948, the Irgun brought an arms ship from France (Altalena) on board were also immigrants destined to serve in the Irgun units. Due to a dispute over the distribution of the weapons on the ship (whether most of it will belong to the IDF, or to the Irgun forces that were already in the IDF), and due to fears of a civil war, Ben-Gurion ordered the ship to be shelled and it sank.
The Irgun units within the IDF were scattered among the various units.

Among the commanders of the Etzel were: David Raziel , Yaakov Meridor, Menachem Begin . When the supreme (ideological) commander was Zeev Jabotinsky .

Menachem Begin
In 1943 Menachem Begin lived in Jerusalem , but after his place of residence was revealed to the British he moved to Tel Aviv.
During the years of the underground he hid under the name Rabbi Yisrael Sassover, and between the years 1944-1946 he lived under this name in a house on Habshan Street in Tel Aviv

Over the years the Etzel changed the location of its headquarters, all in Tel Aviv:
1936-1940 Gruzenberg Street in Tel Aviv, here at the offices of the National Labor Fund, where the headquarters of the High Command of the Etzel Forces
1938-1939 Aharonovich Street in Tel Aviv, in this place all the members of the Etzel headquarters were imprisoned by the British authorities
1941-1943 Brook Street in Tel Aviv, under the command of Yaakov Meridor
1944-1947 Bialik St. Tel Aviv
1948 The headquarters of the Etzel under the command of Menachem Begin was located at the Freud Hospital in Tel Aviv (Yehuda Halevi Street) .
1948 at Alliance High School on Yehiali Street (Neve Tzedek) was the Etzel High Command Headquarters during the battles for Jaffa, during the War of Independence

The school for commanders of the Etzel between the years 1940-1946 was in Shuni (near Binyamina)
A training center and activity base operated on Ein Yaakov Street in Tel Aviv between the years 1948-1945

Weapons production
Most of the weapons in the Etzel’s possession were weapons bought in Europe, usually small arms (pistols and rifles). In addition, the Etzel established workshops where spare parts for weapons, mines and more were produced , attempts to manufacture explosives were made in Tel Aviv

The weapon was hidden in Slicks which were hiding places in a variety of places: schools
For more details, see the extended entry on the subject Slicks

The Etzel participated in the immigration, by bringing illegal immigrants, in "Af-Al-Pi" ships (6 ships)

Kol Tsion HaLokhemet (Voice of Fighting Zion)
Etzel’s broadcasting station was established in 1939 and operated from Tel Aviv

1939 - In the month of August, the Etzel soldiers blew up the "Voice of Jerusalem" radio studio of the British government .
1944 - In the month of February, the Etzel fighters blew up the offices of the Aliya Department in Jerusalem, which were responsible for the sections of the White Book
1944 - The British income tax offices in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem were blown up in February
1944 - In March, the police headquarters and the British detective center on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem was blown up, the building was also blown up in 1945
1944 - In August, Etzel forces raided a British police station on Levinsky Street in Tel Aviv, and seized weapons and ammunition
1945 - Attack on a British military camp in the exhibition grounds in Tel Aviv, weapons and ammunition were taken in the raid .
1946 - "Night of the Airplanes" - attack on the Lod airport used by the British and other fields
1946 - Attack on the Ramat Gan police station, with the aim of confiscating weapons and ammunition. Two fighters were killed in the attack, and one was captured, who was later executed (Dov Gruner)
1946 - Kidnapping of British officers from the "Yarkon" hotel in Tel Aviv, to save the lives of two Etzel soldiers (Michael Ashbal and Yosef Simhon) who were sentenced to death. Following the kidnapping, their sentence was commuted to life imprisonment
1946 - The explosion of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The secretariat of the mandate government and the headquarters of the British army were located in the hotel. In July the Etzel blew up the hotel. Despite phone messages the hotel was not evacuated, the south wing was destroyed and 92 people were killed in the explosion
1946 - In the month of October, the Etzel personnel blew up the passenger hall at the Jerusalem train station
1947 - Goldschmid house explosion in Jerusalem, the place was used as a club for British officers
1947 - In September, the building of the British police headquarters in Haifa was blown up. 11 people were killed in the explosion
1948 - At the beginning of the War of Independence, nine companies of Etzel attacked the city of Ramla
1948 - The occupation of Menshiya neighborhood in Jaffa was done by the Etzel as part of the War of Independence. After pressure from the British, the "Haganah" soldiers replaced the Etzel soldiers in the occupied positions
1948 - Operation "Pitchfork", taking over the compounds that the British evacuated when they left Jerusalem, including the Russian compound (a joint operation with the "Haganah")

Olei Hagardom (The Gallows)
To deter the Etzel fighters, the British began to resort to the death penalty. The first was in 1947 when Dov Gruner, who was captured during the Etzel attack on the Ramat Gan police, and 3 other Etzel members (Yihiel Drezner, Eliezer Kashani and Mordechai Elkachi) who were caught carrying weapons after Etzel men beat British officers and soldiers were hanged in Acre prison

The trials of the members of the Etzel, like those of the other undergrounds, were conducted at the Supreme Military Court in Jerusalem, which the undergrounds refused to recognize as legitimate .

The places on the site that refer to the concept Irgun (Etzel) (1-25  of 71)
1 The home of Menachem Begin - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
2 The Place of the Fall of Simcha Ozer - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
3 The Place of the Fall of Yizchak Bilu - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
4 Shalom Synagogue - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
5 The Etzel headquarters - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
6 The Place of the fall of Arieh Yitzhaki - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
7 The Irgun Headquarters 1938-1939 - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
8 The Etzel workshop - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv - old format
9 The Etzel workshop - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
10 Tel Aviv - Independence Trail - Bank of Israel - Information
11 Bank of Israel - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
12 Kol Tsion HaLokhemet - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv - old format
13 The Irgun Headquarters 1944-1947 - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
14 Alliance High School - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
15 The Irgun Headquarters 1941-1943 - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
16 The Place of the Fall of Ziona Yefet - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
17 Hayarkon Hotel - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
18 A British Army camp attached by the Etzel - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
19 David Raziel’s Residence - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
20 Tel Aviv - Jaffa - A memorial plaque to the Etzel victims on the clock tower
21 Netanyahu - Commemoration of the Aliyah of "Af-Al-Pi" ships
22 British police station in Jaffa Port - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
23 Tel Aviv - "In Memory of Natan Panz" - Outdoor sculpture by Zvi Geyra
24 Tel Aviv - "Monument to the Conquerors of Jaffa" - Outdoor sculpture by Michael Kara
25 Ramat Gan - Commemoration of the Underground - Elementary School
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