Zionism - Israeli Flag

Zionism and Israel - Biographies
Biography - Haviva Reik (Chaviva Reich)

Biography - Haviva Reik (Chaviva Reich)

Chaviva Reik - Haviva Reich - Zionist Partisan Heroine of World War IIHaviva Reik (Chaviva Reich or Havivah Reich) ((1914-1944), Haviva Reik was one of 32 or 33  Palestinian Jewish parachutists from Palestine sent by the Jewish Agency and the British army Special Operations Executive on military and  missions in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Haviva (Emma) Reik was born in the Slovakian village of Shayo Hasso, and grew up in  Banska- Bystrica in the Carpathian mountains. She  joined the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement there.In 1939 she came on Aliya (immigrated) to Palestine, where she joined Kibbutz Ma'anit and later enlisted in the Palmach, the elite strike force branch of the Haganah  underground military organization. She joined the new parachutists' unit.

In her native Slovakia, an uprising was in progress against the puppet. government. The center of this uprising was the in the Banska-Bystrica area. The revolt had begun in the spring of 1944. It was initiated by the Czechoslovak Agrarian party, part of the Social Democratic party, the Communist party, sectors of the Slovak nationalists, and  army officers. In late December 1943 these groups, et up the Slovenska Narodna Rada (Slovak National Council; SNR). The uprising aimed to overthrow the axis puppet Hlinkova Slovenska Ludova Strana (Slovak People's Party of Hlinka; HSLS) and detach Slovakia from the Axis. There were armed underground Jewish cells existed in each of the three Slovak labor camps before the SNR was established. Early in 1944 they established contact with the SNR, and became part of the movement. An SNR victory could save the remaining Slovak community. Over 2,000 Jews fought in the uprising, and about 500 fell in battle. Reik and her comrades were sent to contact this group. The uprising was to coincide with allied advances, particularly the Soviet Army. However, the Red Army held back. The partisans made considerable gains, and on August 28 the Nazis decided to occupy Slovakia and eliminate the uprising.

After their training, Reik and three others, Rafael Reiss, Zvi Ben-Yaakov, and 'Haim Hermesh (Kassaf) waited in Bari, Italy to be parachuted into Slovakia. However,  the British authorities refused to send a woman behind enemy lines for a military operation. In September 1944, Reik hitched a ride with a group of American pilots who were flying to Banska-Bystrica and joined the others on September 21. At the end of the month, a fifth parachutist,  Abba Berdiczew, joined them,  bringing radio equipment.

In Banska-Bystrica, Haviva and the others engaged in relief and rescue activities. They organized a soup kitchen and community centre for refugees, and they facilitated the escape of Jewish children to Hungary and then to Palestine. Through their connections with  partisan and resistance groups, they helped rescue allied POWs. However, their time was very short.  Late in September, SS - Obergruppenfuhrer Gottlob Berger, the chief commander of the German forces, was replaced by the Hoherer SS. - und Polizeifuhrer  SS - Obergruppenfuhrer Hermann Hofle. They used Ukrainian Waffen SS troops (among them apparently John (Ivan) Demjanjuk) to suppress the rebellion. On October 27, 1944, the Germans occupied Banska-Bystrica.  Haviva and the other parachutists escaped with about 40  Jewish partisans. They built a camp in the mountains, but they were captured after a few days by Ukrainian Waffen - SS troops of the Galicia division .On November 20 the Germans shot most of the captive Jews, including them Reik, Ben-Yaakov and Reiss. Abba Berdiczew was deported to Mauthausen death camp and later killed.  Haim Chermesh escaped, fought with the partisans, and later returned to Palestine. On September 10, 1952, Haviva Reik's remains were buried in Mt. Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem along with those of the others. Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva, the Givat Haviva institute, an illegal immigrant ship and numerous streets are named for Haviva Reik.

See Also: Zionist Parachutists  Hannah Senesh Enzo Sereni


More Israeli and Zionist Biographies The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


Text of biography and song translations are copyright © 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center, May be printed out for non-profit educational use without permission. Other uses by permission only. Please link to these pages. Please do not copy them to Web sites or forums without permission. 

External Zionism Links

This site provides resources about Zionism and Israeli history, including links to source documents. We are not responsible for the information content of these sites. These links are NOT intended to be an exhaustive reference about Zionism, but the list will keep growing...

Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.

Please do copy these links to your Web site,  and tell your friends about  https://zionism-israel.com Zionism and Israel Information Center

 Thank you.

Please link to us and to  our Sister Web sites -    http://zionism.netfirms.com Zionism Pages  and Zionism and Israel On the Web

Wikipedia article about Zionism - A comprehensive article including the history of Zionism  as well as links to specific topics and articles about anti-Zionism.

Zionism - Table of contents at the Jewish Virtual Library

Zionism article at Infoplease

Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:

Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress

Political Zionism - US Library of Congress

Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress

Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress

Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Jewish Agency Zionism pages - Links to basic information about Zionism from the Jewish Agency

Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN


Dvar Dea - Israel Advocacy

Israel-Palestina - (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie -gids Israël, Zionisme, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective - Dutch and English.


ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log    Zionism & Israel News  Israel: like this, as if Albert Einstein Bible History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew Israel Advocacy Zionism and its Impact Israel Christian Zionism