Photo Credit: Jewish Press
Regular readers of this cavalcade apperceive that every Rosh Hashanah, I like to affection a cards that acquaint a adventure of time and place. With Rosh Hashanah letters accounting at a time back Jews acutely reflect about the year that has anesthetized and the year to come, these cards reflect thoughts and dreams and accommodate different acumen into Jewish religious, political, social, cultural, and aesthetic practices.
In this article, I present cards beatific by soldiers in the Jewish Brigade, the Chativah Yehudith Lochemeth (literally, “Jewish Angry Force”), which became the alone absolute aggressive assemblage to serve during World War II in the British Army; in fact, it was the alone such Jewish force to serve in any of the Allied forces.
It came about alone afterwards a abiding and arduous attack by the Zionist movement in general, and by the Jews of Eretz Yisrael in particular, to represent the Jewish bodies in the aggressive attack adjoin the Nazis.
The advertiser to the Jewish Brigade was the Jewish Legion during World War I, back Zionist leaders, led by Zev Jabotinsky, auspiciously petitioned the British government to admittance the conception of a Jewish aggressive force. The Legion went on to accomplish an important addition to both the Allied war accomplishment and the liberation of Eretz Yisrael from Ottoman control.
Shown actuality is an acutely attenuate Jewish Legion Shanah Tovah agenda from 1919, address the Legion slogan: “For our Nation and for our Land.” At the basal in red is the menorah attribute of the Legion, with its adage “Kadimah!” (“Forward!”) on its base. A Jewish soldier has accounting on the folio (not apparent here): “Camp of Eretz Yisrael Battalions by Sarafend (Tzrifin).” The British accustomed Sarafend, a cardinal breadth in the Dan arena in axial Israel amid on the eastern ancillary of Rishon Letzion, as a cardinal abject during WWI. Interestingly, it was the actual abode where, 25 years later, the Jewish Brigade was formed.
At the alpha of World War II, Jews were confined in assorted capacities throughout the British Army, and Chaim Weizmann, as admiral of the World Zionist Organization, offered the abounding cooperation of the Jewish association in Eretz Yisrael to the British government. He did so admitting Britain’s arising of the hated White Paper of 1939, which had about revoked the Balfour Declaration and quashed Jewish hopes for a citizenry in Eretz Yisrael.
The Jewish Agency approved to aggregate all Jewish soldiers into a audible Jewish force angry beneath a Jewish civic flag, but Weizmann’s appeal for permission from the British government to authorize such a assemblage was arbitrarily rejected. Anon after, the British did cautiously accede to admit Jewish soldiers in the Royal Army Account Corps and in the Pioneer Corps, but alone if an according cardinal of Jews and Arabs were accustomed into the force.
There was no botheration accepting Jewish recruits. However, although the Jewish Agency undertook a massive attack to assurance up acceptable Arab volunteers, alike alms banknote bonuses for enlistment, the Arab application accomplishment accepted unsuccessful, as alike the low-quality Arabs who alive up bound bare their units afterwards pocketing the banknote bonus.
Jewish groups re-petitioned the British to admittance an all-Jewish force, but they were afresh rebuffed, in allotment because the British and Neville Chamberlain feared that the enactment of a Jewish angry force could serve as the antecedent for a Jewish army that could advance a aggressive apostasy adjoin the British and ultimately affectation a claiming to their ascendancy of Eretz Yisrael.
As it turns out, this British abhorrence was justified, as apparent by this 1943 Jewish Brigade Rosh Hashanah agenda depicting Jabotinsky (who anesthetized abroad in 1940) at the aerial larboard attractive bottomward agreeably from the clouds on aerial aloft a boot Jewish army accurate by planes and tanks. The explanation reads: “A year of the founding of the Jewish army.”
In 1944, afterwards some six years of negotiations and with the war about over, Winston Churchill assuredly agreed to admittance the Jews to anatomy a “Jewish Brigade,” which consisted of Jewish infantry, artillery, and account units. As Churchill explained, announcement his adapted abundant acuteness for the Jews:
I apperceive that there are all-inclusive numbers of Jews confined with our armament and the American armament throughout all armies. But it seems to me absolutely adapted that a adapted Jewish unit, a adapted assemblage of that chase which has suffered impossible torments from the Nazis, should be represented as a audible accumulation amidst the armament aggregate for their final overthrow.
On July 3, 1944, the British government accustomed the Jewish Brigade with hand-selected Jewish and non-Jewish chief officers, and on September 20, 1944, the British War Office clearly proclaimed the accumulation of the Brigade with added than 5,000 volunteers headquartered in Egypt. Officially, the Brigade was adapted to fly alone the British Union Jack, but it additionally flew a dejected and white banderole with a Magen David at the center, in the average of which was featured a dejected “P” (for Palestine).
The Brigade anon alternate in important battles in the Italian Campaign and in the 1945 Spring Offensive. It afterwards searched for Holocaust survivors, provided abatement to them, and assisted their efforts to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael.
Broadly heralded as the a apotheosis of the Maccabees, some 30,000 Jewish volunteers from Eretz Yisrael served with the British Army during World War II, and added than 700 were dead in alive duty. Britain’s Imperial War Museum accustomed the important contributions fabricated by the Brigade by anecdotic its soldiers as “terrorists.” (The Museum afterwards apologized in 2015.)
Shown actuality are two absurd Rosh Hashanah cards beatific by soldiers of the Jewish Brigade, which are apparent forth with an accurate badge and banderole application exhausted by Brigade soldiers on their uniforms. The agenda to the left, which displays the Brigade’s logo at the aerial adapted and is anachronous at the basal larboard “Europe, Rosh Hashanah Eve, 1945,” carries the bulletin “A Year of Accretion and the Enactment of the Jewish State.”
The centralized folio (not exhibited) contains the admirable words of Michah 5:7, so beautifully adapted in absorption the affair of Holocaust survivors blooming in the Jewish accompaniment of Eretz Yisrael: “And the balance of Jacob shall be in the bosom of the abounding nations, like dew from Hashem, which is neither hoped for by man nor accessible by people.”
The Rosh Hashanah agenda on the aerial right, additionally beatific in 1945, cites Isaiah 63:4, whose bulletin and appliance are unmistakable: “For the day of avengement that was in my heart, and my year of redemption, accept come.”
After the war, abounding Brigade soldiers aing the Bricha movement which, demography advantage of the agitated and anarchic bearings in post-war Europe, confused Holocaust survivors amid countries, facilitated their movement out of DP camps and to Eretz Yisrael, and banned accoutrements to the Haganah. Abounding burst survivors begin abundant alleviation in actuality cared for by Jewish soldiers.
Brigade soldiers additionally aing with the Nokmim (“Avengers”) in artful missions tracking bottomward and dispensing vigilante amends to Nazi murderers. The acquaintance of the Jewish Brigade associates – not to acknowledgment their British uniforms, equipment, and affidavit – helped the Nokmim acquisition and annihilate over 1,000 Nazi killers. The Jewish Brigade was assuredly disbanded in the summer of 1946, but abounding of its soldiers went on to comedy important roles in Israel’s aggressive achievement in its War of Independence in 1948, including 35 who became Israeli generals.
Finally, apparent actuality are two actual rare, double-page 1945 Jewish Brigade greetings cards, which adduce two of the best agitating prophetic verses. The first, beatific by a soldier in Squad Aleph of the Accustomed Transportation Unit, depicts a soldier extending an olive annex from Italy beyond the sea to a sunbeam-bathed Eretz Yisrael, in which both Jewish industry and Jewish agronomics are evident.
One can alone brainstorm the affections generated by the commendation of Isaiah 2:4 in the hearts of the soldiers of the war-weary Jewish Brigade, Shoah survivors, and, indeed, the absolute Jewish people: “And they shall exhausted their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up a brand adjoin nation, nor shall they apprentice war anymore.”
The additional agenda was beatific from Austria to Jerusalem (the folio is hand-stamped “By Air Mail/ Concessional Postage/Palestinian Personnel”) by a affiliate of the Jewish Assemblage for Accustomed Transport of the Jewish Brigade. Citing the apocalypse from Jeremiah 31:16, the printed bulletin sums up aggregate the Jewish Brigade stood for then, and aggregate the Accompaniment of Israel continues to angle for today: “Shnat V’Shavu Banim L’Givulam,” “[And there is achievement for your future, says Hashem], and your accouchement shall acknowledgment to their border.”
Wishing a Shanah Tova to all.
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