Stern, Abraham (1907–1942)

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STERN, ABRAHAM (1907–1942)

Jewish underground leader. Born in Poland, Abraham Stern migrated in 1924 to Mandatory Palestine, where he studied at the Hebrew University. He later began doctoral studies in Florence, Italy. Stern served in the Haganah beginning in 1929, then left in 1931 to form the Irgun Zvaʾi Leʾumi (IZL), through which he smuggled weapons into Palestine. He returned to Palestine in 1939, following publication of the British White Paper, to organize resistance to the British. In 1940 he left the Irgun in a dispute over ideology and tactics, forming a new group, Lohamei Herut Yisrael, or LEHI, which became known as the "Stern Gang." LEHI carried out a campaign of anti-British propaganda and terror attacks. Abraham Stern was killed by members of the British Criminal Investigation Division (CID) on 12 February 1942.

SEE ALSO Irgun;Lohamei Herut Yisrael;White Papers on Palestine.