My history hero: Abba Kovner (1918–87)

Chosen by Jonathan Freedland, broadcaster and writer

The partisan fighter Abba Kovner. "He was clearly a natural leader, blended with every kind of courage," says Jonathan Freedland. (Photo by Universal History Archive/ UIG via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the February 2011 edition of BBC History Magazine

A partisan leader and writer, Abba Kovner grew up in Vilnius, part of Poland in the interwar years. After the Nazis invaded, he became one of the leaders of the United Partisan Organisation. The fighters were at first based in the ghetto and later, after escaping the city through the sewer system, in the forests around Vilnius

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