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Nakam: The Holocaust Survivors Who Sought Full-Scale Revenge
Author Dina Porat and AJU’s Michael Berenbaum discuss Porat’s new book, Nakam (Hebrew for “vengeance”) which tells the story of “the Avengers” (Nokmim), a group of young Holocaust survivors led by poet and resistance fighter Abba Kovner, who undertook a mission of revenge against Germany following the crimes of the Holocaust. Drawing on rich archival sources and in-depth interviews with the Avengers in their later years, Porat examines the formation of the group and the clash between the formative humanistic values held by its members and their unrealized plans for violent retribution.
Professor Dina Porat is the founder of the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University in Contemporary European Jewry studies, served as head of the Department of Jewish History at the Rosenberg School for Jewish Studies, and held the Alfred P. Slaner Chair in Antisemitism and Racism. Porat was Yad Vashem’s chief historian until 2021 and is now its academic advisor. She’s received accolades for her numerous publications, including the Raoul Wallenberg Medal in 2012. Recognized by Marker Magazine and Forbes, she’s also been a key figure in Israeli Foreign Ministry delegations and academic advisor for the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research. Professor Porat’s influence spans globally, teaching at renowned universities and guiding dozens of M.A. and Ph.D. students.
Michael Berenbaum is a Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at the American Jewish University. He is a writer, a scholar and a creator of Museums. His work has been recognized by the Emmys and Academy Awards.