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Mieczysław Apfelbaum Square in Warsaw, Wola district (Nowolipki).

A memorial stone for the leaders of ŻZW in the Warsaw Ghetto Paweł Frenkiel and Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum on ul. Dubois (Dubois Street) in Warsaw. (Part of the Memorial Route of Jewish Martyrdom and Struggle in Warsaw)

Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum (some sources give Mieczysław or Mordechaj as his second name, and Appelbaum as his surname), nom de guerre "Kowal" ("Blacksmith") (?-4/28/1943) was allegedly an officer in the Polish Army and a commander of the Jewish Military Union (Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, ŻZW), during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (See Dawid Wdowiński.) In 1939 Apfelbaum was a Lieutenant in the Polish Army. During the German invasion of Poland he fought in the defence of the Polish capital Warsaw.

Moshe Arens, the author of numerous works on the Revisionist underground in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising maintains that the "ZZW was led by Pawel Frenkel, a member of the Revisionist Youth Movement, Betar; Leon Rodal, a member of the Revisionist movement, and David Apfelbaum, a former officer in the Polish Army who was an adherent of Zeev Jabotinsky."[1]

After Poland's defeat together with many other Jews in Polish Army as well as Polish-Jewish political leaders he founded the ŻZW. In structures of the organization, Apfelbaum purportedly was the chief of the department of communication with Korpus Bezpieczeństwa and Armia Krajowa on "Aryan" site of Warsaw. Together with Paweł Frenkiel he was also said to be a leader of the war department in ŻZW. In the meantime, Armia Krajowa secured his promotion to Captain from the Polish government in exile.

It is stated in many secondary accounts that during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Captain Apfelbaum was commander of a squad who took part in the heavy fighting in defense of the Muranowski Square.[2] He was supposedly killed in the first days of uprising.

After his death command of AK promoted him to the rank of Major in the Polish Army. In 2004, the mayor of Warsaw Lech Kaczyński had a square named for Apfelbaum in the city's Wola district.

Doubts about the existence of Apfelbaum

According to the historians Dariusz Libionka and Laurence Weinbaum, authors of an extensive study of the ŻZW,[3] Apfelbaum was in all likelihood an entirely mythical figure. In an article published in 2007 in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and the Polish journal Więz they maintain that there is no credible evidence to suggest that there was a person by that name involved in the ZZW in any capacity.[4] They reject the writings of Arens and others (including most notably Paris author Marian Apfelbaum[5]) who ascribe to Apfelbaum a leadership role in the ŻZW. Libionka and Weinbaum demonstrate that Apfelbaum's name does not appear in any reliable eyewitness testimony and that contrary to claims to the contrary, Dawid Wdowinski did not refer to him in his memoirs. Libionka and Weinbaum examine the provenance of the Apfelbaum story and trace it to the accounts of Henryk Iwanski and his cohorts. In their book, published in 2011, that testimony is deconstructed and relegated to the category of "apocrypha."[6]

Other Polish non--Christian World War II soldiers


  1. Moshe Arens, "The Development of the Narrative of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising," Israel Affairs, Vol.14, No.1, January 2008
  2. "When we invaded the Ghetto for the first time, the Jews and the Polish bandits succeeded in repelling the participating units, including tanks and armored cars, by a well-prepared concentration of fire. (...) The main Jewish battle group, mixed with Polish bandits, had already retired during the first and second day to the so-called Muranowski Square. There, it was reinforced by a considerable number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold the Ghetto by every means in order to prevent us from invading it. (...)" source: "The Stroop report", Pantheon 1986 ISBN 0-394-73817-9
  3. Dariusz Libionka & Laurence Weinbaum Bohaterowie, hochsztaplerzy, opisywacze Wokół Żydowskiego Związku Wojskowego (Warsaw: Stowarzyszenie Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów, 2011)
  4. Dariusz Libionka und Laurence Weinbaum: "A Legendary Commander" Haaretz, 22 June 2007
  5. Marian Apfelbaum Retour sur le ghetto de Varsovie (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2002)
  6. 69 years of manipulations
  • Chaim Lazar, Matsada shel Varsha (Tel Aviv: Machon Jabotinsky, 1963).
  • (English) David Wdowiński, And we are not saved. (New York: Philosophical Library,1963).

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