Boria Lerner

Boria Lerner

Born: December 15, 1914

Lipcani, Romania

Boria was born to a Jewish family living in the Bessarabian province when it was still a part of the Russian Empire. Following Romania's 1918 annexation of the province, life for Bessarabia's 200,000 Jews worsened. Subject to more widespread antisemitic laws and pogroms than while under Tsarist Russian rule, many Bessarabian Jews emigrated overseas or sought refuge back in Soviet villages.

1933-39: Boria became active in a local revolutionary communist group and was arrested and jailed many times. After moving to Paris in late 1938, he joined the International Brigade to fight alongside the Spanish Republicans in their war against fascism. After their war ended in March 1939, he enlisted in the French army to fight against the Nazis. But, due to an illness, he was unable to serve and was discharged.

1940-44: Shortly after France fell to the Germans in May 1940, Boria was deported to the Rivesaltes detention camp in southern France. He escaped in 1941 and went to Paris. There, he headed a unit of the Jewish resistance. They planted explosives in German-occupied buildings throughout the city. Boria oversaw the assembly of bombs and established a workshop and explosives depot in the Latin Quarter. He was arrested during a police roundup on June 26, 1943. He was tortured, but divulged no information.

Boria was condemned to death on September 20, 1943. He was executed by firing squad on Tuesday, October 1, the Jewish New Year. Boria was 28 years old.

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