In the Nováky forced labor
camp in Slovakia, Zionist youths and Communists led the resistance movement.
They smuggled weapons, carried out military
exercises disguised as camp drills, and produced
false "Aryan" papers.
August 28, 1944, the Jewish fighters in Nováky
launched a revolt, disarming the guards and
taking over the camp. The newly freed prisoners
then joined the Slovak National Uprising that
aimed to overthrow the country's pro-Nazi
government. The Nováky Group, made
up of some 250 former prisoners of the camp,
constituted the only exclusively Jewish unit
in the uprising. They captured important military
objectives and combated attacks from heavily
armed German troops.
It is estimated that between
1,500 and 2,000 Jews actively took part in
the Slovak National Uprising (August 29-October
27, 1944), during which 269 fell bravely in
battle. After the war, 166 Jewish fighters
received the Order of the Slovak National
Uprising for their courage under fire.