“I did not commit treason, I committed suicide” – Uri Ilan’s Secret Notes

The story of the captured soldier who chose to end his life for fear of revealing secrets to the enemy

Using an improvised, hand-made implement, Sergeant Uri Ilan recorded his story on pages torn from a book. His account began with his capture by Syrian forces and ended with his own death. The notes, which Ilan hid in his shoes, were discovered upon the return of his body from captivity, the day after he hung himself. As the notes explained, he took his life for fear that he would break under enemy torture and reveal secrets that could damage national security.

One of the ten notes left behind by Uri Ilan, on which he wrote: “Vengeance upon their representative at the armistice talks Uri.”  The writing is pierced into the lower half of the inside title page of the book Nikmat Ha’Avot (“Vengeance of the Fathers”) by Yitzhaq Shami


The night of December 8, 1954, Uri Ilan and four members of his squad set out on foot from Kibbutz Dan in order to replace a battery in a listening device in the northern Golan Heights as part of “Operation Cricket.” At the time, the Golan Heights were under Syrian control – this mission was taking place behind enemy lines. Not long after they set out- something went wrong and the the five were discovered by the Syrian army near Kibbutz Kfar Szold. They were captured and first taken to Quneitra. From there they were transferred to the infamous al-Mezzeh prison in Damascus, where the soldiers were placed in individual cells.

Uri Ilan survived fifty-three days of brutal torture in captivity. Isolated in his dungeon cell, and unaware of the efforts to free the squad members, he believed that the others had been executed and that he was next. On January 13, 1955, he was found hanging in his cell in the Damascus prison. Frightened by the soldier’s suicide, the Syrians called in the UN representative. After the representative confirmed the sham report that described no signs of violence on Ilan’s body, his remains were transferred to Israel the same day. Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan was present when the body was returned to Israel and he was among the first to read the messages the deceased soldier had hidden on his body. The first note contained Hebrew words pierced into the paper: “Look through my clothes for my will Uri.”

“Look through my clothes for my will Uri” – the Hebrew words were pierced into page 72 of a copy of Nikmat Ha’Avot (“Vengeance of the Fathers”)


Uri Ilan, who did not have access to writing utensils, had used an improvised wooden toothpick to poke his messages into the pages of the Hebrew book Nikmat Ha’Avot (“Vengeance of the Fathers”) by Yitzhaq Shami. Seven of the ten notes called for revenge on his captors. At Ilan’s funeral, Dayan quoted Ilan’s words from one of the notes: “I did not commit treason, I committed suicide.” These words were etched into collective Israeli memory, becoming symbols of personal sacrifice.

Uri Ilan’s coffin being carried for burial. Photo: Government Press Office


Dayan eulogized Sergeant Ilan at his funeral: “Uri Ilan carried the mission of the security of his people on his young body and with the power of his own determined will, until he reached the limit of his ability and his will prevailed over his body. Uri reached the end of his journey. A note attached to his cold corpse returned to the homeland bears his final cry: ‘I did not commit treason!’ The army flag bows before you – Hebrew soldier, Uri Ilan.”

The note that was made public: “I did not commit treason / I committed suicide.” pierced into page 103 of a copy of Nikmat Ha’Avot (“Vengeance of the Fathers”)


When the Chief of Staff offered the notes to Uri’s mother, Fayge, she refused and replied memorably, “He wrote them for the IDF, he did not write them for me.” The Uri Ilan Archive is preserved at Bar-Ilan University. The notes found on his body are kept in the IDF & Defense Establishment Archives.

Footage from Uri Ilan’s funeral, January, 1955:


The notes displayed in this article appear courtesy of the IDF & Defense Establishment Archives.

Lawrence of Arabia or Lawrence of Zion?

The story of the archaeologist turned British intelligence officer: Is it possible that this iconic pro-Arab figure eventually became a Zionist? And what organization was likely responsible for his change of heart?

"Lawrence of Arabia", portrayed by Peter O'Toole in the 1963 film

It was around the time of the First World War. The waning Ottoman Empire still ruled over the Land of Israel, but the British were already waiting in the wings in Egypt. In this article, we will discuss the British officer and archaeologist whose name is the stuff of legend and mystery. The life of this important historical figure was documented in an Oscar-winning film, his image was immortalized on the cover of a Beatles album and even Winston Churchill hailed his autobiography as ranking “with the greatest books ever written in the English language”.

You must have guessed by now who it is.

Here in Israel, this individual’s deeds are less familiar, probably because he is generally considered a pro-Arab figure. But, as we have been taught, one must always choose a side—good or bad, them or us. Because whosever supports Arab independence cannot possibly support Jewish nationalism simultaneously. Right?

I am of course referring to none other than Thomas Edward Lawrence, who most of us know as “Lawrence of Arabia”, leader of the Arab Revolt, hero of the classic Hollywood film, the man whose face appeared on the cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and who began his autobiography Seven Pillars of Wisdom with a cryptic poem dedicated to someone with the initials S.A.

Movie poster for Lawrence of Arabia, 1963


In addition to the above, Lawrence was also an archaeologist. In 1911, while participating in archaeological excavations in northern Syria, the 23-year-old Lawrence even wrote a diary documenting his travels in the area, which was later published. He would refuse a knighthood from the King of England because he felt betrayed by the British government. His premature death at age 46 in a mysterious motorcycle accident practically guaranteed his stardom and cemented his legacy to this day.

So who was Lawrence of Arabia?

T.E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia”


Let’s start from the beginning, Thomas Edward Lawrence was born in 1888 in Wales. His father, Sir Thomas Chapman, was a minor nobleman, and his mother, Sarah Junner, was the family governess. Chapman left his wife and family for Junner, and together they wandered from place to place. These events taught Lawrence the importance of keeping secrets from an early age. He had to keep the story of his birth under wraps in order to avoid the shame and social repercussions of being born out of wedlock. Later, this illegitimate son managed to break the glass ceiling of the British class system and enter Buckingham Palace through the front door.

Lawrence graduated with honors from Oxford where he majored in history. He arrived in the Middle East for the first time in 1910 to join the British Museum’s archaeological excavations at Carchemish. There he met the archaeologists Leonard Woolley (whom we will return to later) and David Hogarth, who was impressed with the young man. During Lawrence’s stay in the region, he learned the Arabic language as well as Arab customs and culture. These skills came in handy later and helped him acquire the legendary name by which he is known in popular culture.

With the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was drafted into the British Army. Given the rank of major, he began working as an intelligence officer. In 1916, he was attached to the Arab Bureau in Cairo, where he again crossed paths with David Hogarth. Hogarth’s predecessor as head of the bureau was Mark Sykes – the very same Mark Sykes responsible for the Sykes-Picot agreement that would divide the territories of the former Ottoman Empire between Great Britain and France.

At the time, the British had been working to mobilize Arab support for the war effort. Toward that end, they hoped to recruit the Arab Hashemite faction led by Hussein Bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, to their side. Eventually, an understanding was reached with the Hashemites who, for their help, were promised control over the entire area south of Turkey—a vast Arab kingdom that would stretch from the Arabian Peninsula to the region of Syria (including the Land of Israel).

Lawrence had played a key role in formulating this agreement with the Hashemites. But he had been kept in the dark about the Sykes-Picot agreement, and felt betrayed when he learned of its contradictory terms. In his anger, he revealed its contents to the Hashemites. This secret move by the British was the first breaking point for Lawrence with the empire he himself represented. He became distrustful, among other things because he saw the duplicity as a betrayal of British values.

The Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, 1916

General Edmund Allenby sent Lawrence to help the Arabs during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire and together with Ali’s son, Faisal, he commanded a group of several thousand fighters equipped by the British. The campaign that began in the Arabian Peninsula ended with the occupation of Damascus and the entire eastern flank. However, Damascus was part of the territory that France was to receive according to its agreement with Britain. Lawrence knew this, but it did not prevent him from assisting in the conquest of Damascus and supporting Faisal’s claim to be crowned King of Syria. Lawrence was in essence attempting to thwart the Sykes-Picot agreement.


What Did the British Do?

The Arab Revolt was an acclaimed success, and the Hashemite forces were able to conquer Aqaba, helping the British in their conquest of Palestine – the Land of Israel. However, Sharif Hussein’s demand for the establishment of a large Arab kingdom encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, was rejected outright. The French recaptured Damascus and expelled Faisal, while the British stood by and did nothing. This, for Lawrence, was the second betrayal.

At this point, it is also important to mention the “Nili” underground organization—the spy network in the Hebrew settlement in the Land of Israel that was operating at the same time and in parallel. The underground was in contact with Lawrence’s colleague, the archaeologist Leonard Wooley. Both groups pursued the same goals: cooperation in return for the promise of a state. Nili was providing broad intelligence that greatly contributed to the British effort. What was Lawrence’s view of this?

In the end, the British and French took over most of the territories promised to Sharif Hussein and divided them according to the Sykes-Picot agreement. However, Lawrence and Hussein also had some success: Hussein’s two sons were crowned kings—Abdullah over Jordan (the Hashemite dynasty rules Jordan to this day) and Faisal over Iraq. Lawrence, however, considered the agreement a betrayal by the British, and when he was summoned to Buckingham Palace to receive a knighthood after the war’s end, he made a public show of his disapproval by declining to accept it, a move that infuriated and embarrassed King George V. Nevertheless, when he was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1935, the entire nation paid tribute to him. He has since remained a legend in the eyes of many Britons, his portrait on the cover of the Beatles album being just one example of his iconic status in popular culture

Now for the part that might come as a surprise to many readers. Lawrence of Arabia was not only pro-Arab. He was also supportive of Zionism, though perhaps not from the beginning. Lawrence underwent a change in his opinion about the Jews in the region, likely due in part to his conversations with Wooley who told him of the Jewish aid Britain had received in the war effort, such as the work of the Nili underground.

Towards the end of the war, Lawrence developed different loyalties. Having begun to see His Majesty’s Government as betraying its allies, he transferred his loyalty to the Hashemites. At this time, while rethinking his worldview, Lawrence also underwent a change in his attitude towards the Jews. If before the war he discounted them, now, inspired by Aaron Aaronsohn and his friends in the Nili underground movement, he saw them as brave, wise and courageous. The shift did not end there. Lawrence used his power and influence to change the face of the Middle East.

He organized the meeting between Chaim Weizmann, president of the Zionist Organization, and Prince Faisal, in which the Prince renounced his attachment to the land west of the Jordan River. He convinced Churchill to change the Sykes-Picot agreements so that they left out the Land of Israel. And at the Cairo Conference in 1921, in which the formal implementation of the Balfour Declaration was finally concluded, he demanded that a mandatory territory remain, including a national home for the Jewish people. Lawrence even envisioned the Jews playing an important role in the Middle East. In an interview he gave to a local London Jewish newspaper on the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, he said: “Speaking entirely as a non-Jew, I look on the Jews as the natural importers of Western leaven so necessary for countries of the Near East.”

Lawrence also spoke about the establishment of a future Jewish state: “…if a Jewish state is to be created in Palestine, it will have to be done by force of arms and maintained by force of arms amid an overwhelmingly hostile population.’” In this, he and Aaronson shared the same thinking, but it is doubtful whether they ever discussed it together.

Once Lawrence himself realized that the aforementioned arms could be Jewish rather than English weapons, he gradually adopted a more pro-Zionist approach. It is also worth noting that Aaron Aaronsohn had met Lawrence when they both worked for British intelligence. Aaronsohn disliked Lawrence because he thought he was against the Zionist idea, and Lawrence didn’t particularly like Aaronsohn either. Aaronsohn envisioned a new Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, including a Jewish-Armenian-Arab partnership, in which the Armenians would be a mediating factor between the Jews and the Arabs. Aaronsohn saw the importance of an Armenian state mainly in view of the genocide that had been perpetrated against them. He shared his thoughts with Sykes himself. We will never know how Aaronsohn might have reacted to Lawrence’s support for the Zionist cause because he died in a plane crash in 1919 over the La Manche channel on the way to the Paris Peace Conference. His body was never found.

Opinions about Lawrence of Arabia differ depending on how one views history. One thing is certain, Lawrence of Arabia, who was born “a social outcast,” appreciated the loyalty and integrity of smaller nations, and he abhorred duplicity. He believed in his path and worked for the good of the common people. One would assume that these traits developed in reaction to his own pain and shame from being thought inferior simply because of the circumstances of his birth.

Studio photograph of Asia Feinberg dressed up for Purim as Lawrence of Arabia. This item is part of the Israel Archive Network project  and has been made accessible thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Yad Ben Zvi Archive, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and the National Library of Israel


In preparing this article we relied on The Diary Kept by T. E. Lawrence While Travelling in Arabia During 1911 (Hebrew) and Eliezer Livne’s book, Aaron Aaronsohn, His Life and Times (Hebrew).


The Ugly Duckling Is Set Free

The story of how a fighter in the Palmach, a Jewish underground organization from the pre-state era, managed to translate a popular children's classic while incarcerated in Jerusalem’s central prison…

Tuvia Hadani with an illustration from his translation of “The Ugly Duckling”

I’m holding this tiny booklet wrapped in a plain, orange book cover, and reading the words written in fastidious circular Hebrew handwriting, in the right corner of the title page:

“Just before school,

kind Hagit!

Accept from afar,

a humble gift”.

Underneath, the title reads:

“The Ugly Duckling.

By Andersen.

Jerusalem P., 15 Elul, 5704.”



Who is Hagit? Who was responsible for this mysterious handwritten translation of a classic children’s fairytale? What is “Jerusalem P.” (ב”ס ירושלים)? And exactly how “afar” was the booklet sent from?

The origins of this story stretch back eighty years, to the day when a British military court sentenced Tuvia Hadani to five years in prison for possession of illegal arms.


Life Imprisonment for Possession of Bullets” – An article describing Tuvia Hadani’s (Hodansky) trial, during which he was sentenced to five years in prison, Haaretz, September 6, 1942.

It was the same day that newspaper headlines ran with the news that the British were finally successful in stopping the Germans in North Africa, and it was easy to overlook the meager caption in the page before the last: “Life Imprisonment for Possession of Bullets”.

The article described the verdict from the trial of several Palmach members that were caught “near a path leading to Givat Brenner”, and in possession of weapons that could only have been taken from British army bases or warehouses. The Palmach was the elite fighting unit of the Haganah, the largest Jewish underground organization during the British Mandate period in the Land of Israel. One of the defendants, as noted in the caption, was sentenced to life imprisonment. The others were sentenced to “lesser” prison sentences of five to seven years.

When one of the accused, Tuvia Hodansky, raised his hands and surrendered to the British soldiers together with his friends, he probably wasn’t thinking about graceful swans, ugly ducklings or European fairytales altogether. It was much more likely that he was pondering the sentence that awaited him and the family he would be forced to leave behind. There was nothing beautiful or whimsical about this moment – his life was about to change and not in a good way.

Tuvia (or Teddy, as his friends and family called him) was born in Leipzig, Germany, a few years prior to World War I. After becoming infatuated with Zionism, he joined one of the Zionist youth movements, left his family and made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel.

The year was 1932, a year before the rise of the Nazis to power. Together with other recently arrived “Yekkes” (German Jews), he became a member of Kibbutz Givat Brenner, which at the time was a poor kibbutz, with land too meagre to support all its inhabitants. Since Teddy had been a carpenter’s apprentice in Germany with some expertise in the field, he and his friends established a carpentry shop, that would subsequently become a famous factory, known across Israel.

Tuvia Hadani at a Bikkurim ceremony (first-fruits offering) at Kibbutz Givat Brenner. From the Hanan Bahir collection. The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, the National Library of Israel

But all of this productive work was put to a halt after about a decade. During World War II, Teddy voluntarily enlisted in the Palmach, along with many youths from the kibbutzim and other Jewish agricultural settlements. Before he had even had a chance to gain experience and establish a reputation in the organization, he was caught with other Palmach members smuggling weapons. The mission’s details had been leaked to British military personnel, who were waiting for them at the designated place and time.

Following his sentence, he arrived at the prison, where he was to share a cell, some moldy mattresses and a bucket with several other underground prisoners.

The prison cell in Jerusalem’s central prison, illustrated by Tuvia Hadani

It was not a quiet place. He had no desk, peace of mind or any source of inspiration. But still, when he wasn’t performing tasks for the prison administration, he sat and diligently worked on his project, a meticulous and delicate translation of the children’s fairytale, with its ironic title, considering his situation – “The Ugly Duckling”.

Did he identify with the duckling and see himself, and his own life story, when he wrote about the poor bird’s suffering and isolation?

“He got up and ran away. As he left the huge lake far behind, he came upon a small pond. He hid in the dark among the trees and waited for the break of dawn.”

Aside the beautiful and meticulously handwritten Hebrew words, he added sweet and graceful illustrations for children.

He dedicated his creation to Hagit, the daughter of Uri Steinberg, who was arrested together with him but had been given a shorter sentence.

The first pages of the illustrated manuscript

His final product was not a professional or polished Hebrew translation by any means. It included a number of grammatical errors, which were very common at the time in the immigrant society of the early State of Israel. When I read it, I could almost hear my grandmother’s voice reading it to me, with Hebrew enunciation that we would laugh at as children: using the long “oo” vowel sound instead of the long “o”, or “sh” instead of “s”.

Was the inadequacy of the translation the reason it never got commercially published? Or was it the reality of war and conflict with the British that prevented a resourceless Palmach fighter from promoting his work?

Whatever the reason, the children of the young country never got to enjoy this creation. It was only in the latter part of the 1950s, that they were able to read a Hebrew version of “The Ugly Duckling” (translated by Malka Fishkin, Yizre’ela Publishing).

Following his release from prison, Teddy returned to the kibbutz, where he managed the famous carpentry shop. Later on, being something of an intellectual, he returned to his studies in order to complete his formal education, while also working to facilitate further Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel.

Since then, there have been numerous published Hebrew translations of Hans Christian Andersen’s literature, and particularly of “The Ugly Duckling” classic. It was only posthumously, in Teddy’s memory, that members of Kibbutz Givat Brenner finally published his “Booklet” (as Amos Rudner, who had edited several of Naomi Shemer’s writings and produced the publication of this creation, called it).

When it was finally published, Hagit was a much older woman, perhaps even a mother of adult children, and so the publishers dedicated the work to all of Givat Brenner’s children.

Tuvia never got to enjoy seeing the letters of his booklet in print, letters that he managed to handwrite in erratic conditions, on the bare, cold prison floor. He never saw his delicate illustrations brought to life in color either.

He did get to see the country that he had only dreamt of back in Germany, and for which he fought for from the moment he arrived. The country that grew up and shifted from a young, feeble duckling, lacking any grace, into a beautiful and splendid swan, walking proudly and confidently among its peers, the other swans of the world.

“But when we look through this booklet, when we read it, or when we listen to our parents read it to us, we see before our eyes a proud Hebrew prisoner writing and illustrating for us, on the prison floor, translating Andersen’s story about the ugly duckling, even as he remains certain that all of his friends, his fellow prisoners, are nothing but swans dressed in ugly duckling clothes, imprisoned in a duckling pen, who are destined yet to sail and fly away as swans.”

(Amos Rudner, in the introduction to the translation)

Banishing the Nazi Darkness: Who Are the Father and Daughter in This 1941 Hanukkah Photo?

Europe was cloaked in darkness during Hanukkah of 1941. With war raging on all fronts, the Jews of British Mandate Palestine did their part in the fight against the Nazis. A picture postcard featuring a Jewish soldier in the British Army and his daughter was meant to warm the hearts of Jewish soldiers serving around the world. But one question remains – who are they?


Postcard of the National Committee for the Jewish Soldier, Hanukkah 1941

The winter of 1941 was a dark one. At the beginning of the previous summer, after completing their conquest of western Europe, the Nazis stormed across eastern Europe to invade the Soviet Union. They were now besieging Leningrad, with fierce battles underway around Moscow. Early December saw another major turning point: the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II.

At the same time as their invasion of the U.S.S.R., the Nazis also began the mass extermination of Europe’s Jews. In Ukraine, Belarus and other countries, Jews were lined up in front of enormous killing pits and executed by the hundreds of thousands. In December, the first extermination camp, Chelmno, was established, and experiments of mass killings using gas vans were carried out. A short time later, the decision would be made to implement the “final solution to the Jewish question“—the total extermination of European Jewry.

Meanwhile, the situation in Mandatory Palestine was also looking bleak. German forces were advancing eastward in North Africa, and there were fears that they would eventually conquer the Land of Israel. In order to fulfill Ben-Gurion’s commitment to “fight the Nazis as if there were no White Paper,” (a reference to Britain’s resistance to Jewish immigration to Palestine) the local Jewish population provided thousands of volunteers who enlisted in the British army. Some of them were captured during fighting in Greece earlier in 1941.

Poster for “Jewish Soldier Day”, 1942, organized by the National Committee for the Jewish Soldier. From the Oded Yarkoni Archive of the History of Petah Tikva
“And what are YOU doing for our soldiers?” Donor Certificate in support of the National Committee for the Jewish Soldier, the National Library of Israel collections, photo: Amit Naor

And so, in the winter of 1941, quite a few young Jews from Mandatory Palestine found themselves on Europe’s frigid soil at the start of the Hanukkah holiday. These were not ideal conditions for celebrating a religious festival, but thanks to the efforts of some hardworking people who devoted themselves to the welfare of the Jewish soldiers scattered around the world, it was made possible. The National Committee for the Jewish Soldier, established at the initiative of Yosef Baratz, worked to meet all the needs of Jewish soldiers serving in the British Army.

The committee contacted the British military authorities to raise awareness of the needs of Jewish soldiers. Its members saw to cultural matters first, sending newspapers in Hebrew, organizing Hebrew theater events, and even arranging Hebrew and English lessons in the various army units. Alongside all this, the committee provided the soldiers with religious items such as bibles, tefillin and prayer books, as well as kiddush cups and candlesticks, so that they could observe the Sabbath. In addition, the committee naturally also sought to provide the soldiers, especially those who had been wounded, with financial assistance.

“For the Soldier”, “For the Soldier’s Family” – A poster listing the various activities and contributions of the National Committee for the Jewish Soldier, the Ephemera Collection at the National Library of Israel

And so it was that during Hanukkah, in December 1941, the National Committee for the Jewish Soldier attempted to lighten the mood and offer encouragement and aid to the Jewish soldiers fighting the Nazis. Heading the effort was a huge gift drive for the soldiers. Dozens of volunteers including WIZO staffers, schoolgirls and members of the Working Mothers Organization, prepared packages that were sent to soldiers stationed in Mandatory Palestine and abroad. The soldiers in Europe received sweaters and warm woolen socks, as well as cigarettes (hey, it was the 1940s!), candy (yum!) and razors (handy!). Along with the packages, they also received letters and drawings from children back home, as well as the “Soldier’s Almanac,” a small booklet containing a yearly calendar, in addition to historical, cultural and geographical information the committee thought the soldiers should have.

The Soldier’s Almanac, 1941–1942. In addition to a calendar, the booklet included chapters on history and geography, a dictionary of English phrases and other useful information, the National Library of Israel collections, photo: Amit Naor
First aid information from The Soldier’s Almanac. Photo: Amit Naor


The Winter Soldier Will Banish the Darkness

In addition, the committee also issued a special holiday postcard which it sold in kiosks and bookstores, featuring an especially poignant image of a father in a British army uniform lighting the Hanukkah candles while his daughter watches, mesmerized by the flames. Underneath the picture is a line from the Hanukkah hymn Maoz Tzur: “The head of the Benjaminite You lifted/ and the enemy, his name You obliterated.” The contemporary context and the hope for a miracle that would brighten the future of the Jewish people would have been plain to all.

The postcard published by the National Committee for the Jewish Soldier. The postcard was found in the private collection of Yirmiyahu Rimon, the Haifa City Museum
The original photograph by Zoltan Kluger. Courtesy of the Israel State Archives

Little is known about this image. This and two other photographs of the candle lighting were taken by Zoltan Kluger, who was then one of the most prominent photographers in the country. Today, these photos are in the Zoltan Kluger collection in the Israel State Archives. You can see all three here, here and here.

Can you help us identify the mysterious soldier and child and discover what became of them? Photo: Zoltan Kluger. Courtesy of the Israel State Archives

Kluger worked for the KKL-Jewish National Fund and other national institutions on numerous occasions. We don’t know who commissioned the photos from him, but it seems that they were taken in the Land of Israel close to the time the postcard was issued. Apart from the postcard published by the Committee for the Jewish Soldier, the photo also appeared in the 1941–1942 calendar published by Keren Hayesod. Beyond that, we haven’t been able to find out any additional information about the photograph or about the soldier-father and his daughter. We do do not know the identity of the soldier or that of the little girl, we do not know where the soldier was stationed, nor whether or not he survived the war. We also do not know whether Keren Hayesod commissioned the photographs.

Which is why we are turning to you, our readers!  Perhaps one of you recognizes the soldier or the little girl? Perhaps you know what became of them? You might even have a copy of the postcard stored away somewhere. Let us know here in the comments!


Our thanks to the Israel State Archives for its assistance in the preparation of this article.