About the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz
“Here we built a memorial to the burnt-out ghetto.
It is a living eternal memorial.”
-Haim Guri, From That Fire / The town of Rokitno
The Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz (Lohamei Haghetaot in Hebrew) was founded in 1949 and is located in the Western Galilee, under the Mateh Asher Regional Council jurisdiction. The major agricultural branches are the orchards, avocado grove, field crops, fish harvesting pools, dairy and poultry farms and a hatchery. The major industries include KAMA Capacitors and Electronics Israel and Tivall Min Hatsomeach Ltd, which specializes in the development and production of vegetarian meat-substitute products made from natural ingredients. Tivall has become the major source of income for the kibbutz. Recently, the kibbutz has entered the tourist industry, opening a bed and breakfast "Beit Va'kait". As well, many members have found work outside of the kibbutz in various fields and professions.
At the heart of kibbutz stands the Ghetto Fighters' House, serving as both a museum and Holocaust research and documentation center.
Excerpt from the Ghetto Fighters' website:
The Ghetto Fighters' Kibbutz was established in April 1949 on a hill overlooking the Acre valley using old buildings of the British Army. Among the founders, all of whom were Holocaust survivors, were the last remaining survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, partisans, prisoners of concentration camps, those who went into hiding using a false identity and those who escaped to the USSR.
Upon immigrating to Israel, the pioneers established a kibbutz in order to commemorate their families that perished during the Holocaust. The ground breaking ceremony was set for April 1949, on the sixth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt. On that same day, the foundations were laid for the first museum in the world to document the Holocaust of European Jewry.
In August 1949, the first baby was born on the Ghetto Fighters’ House. The first couples began to marry. For the first time after the long years of suffering and wandering, the kibbutz members began to feel as if they have a permanent home and that their suffering had come to an end. In September 1949 there were 159 members and 21 members in this growing settlement. 60 years have passed since then and today, the kibbutz numbers 250 members, most second and third generation of the founders, their spouses, and groups from the Israeli youth movement who came to settle on kibbutz and families from the city and from abroad who also wanted to settle on the kibbutz. The kibbutz has 200 children, adolescents, and young adults who have completed their army service.
In 1984 the founders of the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz published Pages of Testimony (Dapai Edut, interviews by the editor Tzvika Dror). In this four volume literary work, there are testimonies of 96 kibbutz members. In these testimonies, the founders talk about their childhood before World War II, on the war years, on their struggle for life and making Aliya (the Hebrew term for immigration) and the establishment of the kibbutz. Pages of Testimony is in essence the story of the Jewish nation of our generation.
For more information about the Ghetto Fighters' Kibbutz visit the kibbutz website: http://www.loh.org.il