Gordonia

Gordonia - organisation which began its life as a youth movement in Palestine. During World War II, members of the Gordonia in Poland participated in the armed resistance as well as in the political underground. Attempts were being made to establish a powerful stronghold in Warsaw which could then supervise the organisation’s activities in other towns and cities. The organisation maintained the so-called “people’s kitchens” and participated in the organisation of illegal learning. It made attempts to maintain contacts with Częstochowa, Opoczno, Będzin, Sosnowiec and Opatów as well as a number of other towns. Following the end of World War II, the Gordonia resumed legal operations in Poland; it now formed part of the HeHalutz and was the most powerful of all youth groups within the said organisation. It maintained its own productivisation centres as well as kibbutzim. In 1947, the Gordonia and a section of the Nocham group maintained 12 kibbutzim, where a total of 1023 individuals were receiving training. On July 17, 1947, the right wing of the Poale Zion merged with the Hitachdut, forming the Poale Zion Hitachdut Jewish Zionist Socialist Worker’s Party in Poland. The youth organisations associated with the said parties have also merged at that point. However, a very small number of Dror activists decided to join the Gordonia instead. Most Dror activists decided to merge with the Borochov Jugent, forming a new organisation called Drod Borochov Jugent. The Gordonia was disbanded by decision of the Ministry of Public Administration in 1949, along with all other Zionist youth organisations. In the early 1950s in Israel, attempts were made to create a unified pioneer movement; as a result, the Ichud Habonim was established. The Gordonia formed part of this organisation.

Natalia Aleksiun

Quoted after: Tomaszewski J., Żbikowski A., Żydzi w Polsce. Dzieje i kultura. Leksykon. [Jews in Poland – Their History and Culture. A Lexicon.], , Warsaw 2001. 

 

Gordonia: Zionist youth organization associated with the Hitachdut party. It was founded in 1923 in Galicia, but soon gained a worldwide reach. The Gordonia ideology was based on the writings of Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), who preached the cult of work on the role and collective work. Therefore, the primary task of the members of Gordonia was to create kibbutz in Palestine (the first was created in 1929) and in the diaspora – to train in agriculture in the hakhsharas. Gordonia belonged to He-Chalutz movement. It published its own press, founded teams modeled on scouting and sports clubs. Before the war Gordonia had 40 thousand members in the whole world. Its leader in the interwar period was a Polish Jew Pinhas Lavon (Lubianikier). During the war it worked in the underground. After the war Gordonia led in Poland the kibbutzim and prepared young people for emigration. It was dissolved in December 1949 like almost all the Jewish organizations.

The term was created within the framework of the project Zapisywanie świata żydowskiego w Polsce [recording the Jewish environment in Poland], whose author is Anka Grupińska, a well-known Polish journalist and writer, specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews. The project, initiated in 2006 by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, consists in recording interviews with Polish Jews from all generations.
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