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[Pages 213-215]

Fallen in the Defense of Israel

Translated by Renee Miller

Edited by Fay Bussgang

Mojsze Blat, z”l [may his memory be blessed]

brz213a.jpg -   Mojsze Blat

Born in 1900 to Hasidic parents. His father was a shoykhet [ritual slaughterer] in Koluszki, eight kilometers from Brzezin. The Blats were a family of honest and courageous people. He inherited courage from his father; from his mother, who was also full of goodness, Mojsze inherited his devotion to friends.

Being a Zionist, he sought to travel to Eretz Isroel [Land of Israel] when he was still a youngster, and in 1921, he came to Israel against the will of his parents. When he came, he worked in construction. Not happy with this, he voluntarily joined the border police. He served for five years as a corporal. Having learned Arabic and English, he traveled through the entire land and became familiar with every segment of the population.

After five years in police service, he returned to civilian life. In 1925 and 1926, when unemployment spread throughout the country, he experienced many difficulties as an unemployed person. His friends extol the virtues of his attitude toward other friends during that difficult time. In 1927, Mojsze Blat left Eretz Isroel and went to America, with the intention of returning to Eretz Isroel.

He returned in 1933 and settled in Jerusalem, later in Tel Aviv. With the outbreak of events in 1936, Mojsze Blat received an important assignment in the defense of the Tel Aviv suburban housing project Hatikvah.

In 1937, Mojsze Blat came to the forests of Carmel, near Haifa, as the one responsible for guarding this strategic position. The conditions were very difficult there. He lived in cramped quarters. Winter brought rain. He was cut off from the city of Haifa and often did not have any means to bring in enough food. Mojsze accepted this all with dedication, and he made an effort to lighten the difficult life of his companions and encourage them.

In those days, he showed who he was with all his admirable behavior. While in the forests of Carmel, he did not sit still; he energetically researched the area and developed good relations with the Arabic neighbors. His involvement was also great in the purchase of land in Carmel and the development of Ya-arot haCarmel [Carmel Woods].

Many times Mojsze complained that they did not make good use of the fertile land and that there were not more Jewish settlements in this part of Carmel. His aspiration was to build a series of kibbutzim [cooperative communes] in Carmel. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the realization of his hopes, because his life was cut short before his time.

On Carmel his companions mourned a long time for him. He fell in Ya-arot haCarmel on September 29, 1938.

Koved zayn andenk [Honor to his memory!]

Chaim Flam, z”l

brz213b.jpg -   Chaim Flam

Born in 1927 in Brzezin. Chaim'l was a grandson of Krok; his father was Abraham Krok. In 1942 during the deportation from Brzezin, he was dragged away by the Germans to a concentration camp. He succeeded in escaping to the partisans, where he remained until 1945. After liberation, he joined a kibbutz in order to go to Israel. In the meantime, he was sent on a trip to Poland in order to transport survivors to Germany and from there to Israel.

In 1946, when he was on his way to Israel, the English captured his ship and sent the survivors to Cyprus. At last, in 1947, he came to Eretz Isroel and lived in Nesher. In 1948, he participated in the War of Independence, in fighting around Haifa in the Hativat Carmel [Carmel Brigade]. He fell in the fight near Kibbutz Yagur in a clash with the Arab League and was buried in the cemetery of Kfar Hasidim [village of the Hasids].

Koved zayn andenk!

Abraham Michrowski, z”l

brz214a.jpg -   Abraham Michrowski

Son of Elimelech and Chaja, a grandson of the esteemed Brzeziner businessman, Jakob-Hersz Goldkrantz. Born October 13, 1926, in Lodz. He emigrated to Eretz Isroel in 1933 with his parents and worked there as a locksmith. When he was seventeen and a half, he was mobilized as a gafir [constable]. Later, he joined the Jewish Brigade as a corporal. He experienced all the ups and downs that took place in the Brigade, and finding himself in Holland, he was sent to organize the bricha [escape] of the Jews of Eastern Europe to Israel. He was arrested but managed to escape.

After liberation, he returned to the Haganah [underground militia] and was made head of a unit. In the War of Independence, he and his unit fought in Hamshulash and captured Magdil Tsedek, Rosh Ha-in, Klensova, and many other Arab villages and positions. When he returned from the attack on Latrun, he said to his mother: “It would not have bothered me if I had fallen in battle, if only I knew that we had recaptured Latrun.

After the capture of the village Kolah in a ten-day battle, he was assigned to hold the position, but during the night of July 17, 1948, the position was suddenly surrounded by fifteen armored cars with machine guns from the Arab Legion. He was one of the first to fall, without saying goodbye to his loyal friends, who fell to the last man.

On July 19, 1948, he was laid to eternal rest in the cemetery of Natanya.

He was awarded the rank of lieutenant posthumously.

Szlama Lipszyc, z”l

brz214b.jpg -   Szlama Lipszyc

Son of Cwi [Zvi] Dov and Mina, born in 1913 in Brzezin. He received a good Jewish education, and he prepared himself to come to Eretz Isroel and to work in a kibbutz. In 1934, he came to Israel as an illegal immigrant. He worked at various enterprises. He got married in Israel, and his son was born. He was a quiet person. In his later years, he lived in Jerusalem.

He fell in the War of Independence on May 31, 1948, at Shaykh Gerakh.

On September 10, 1950, his grave was moved to Mount Herzl.

Koved zayn andenk!

Dan Aszer Fogel, z”l

brz215a.jpg -   Dan Aszer Fogel

Son of Icek and Bruche. Born in 1913 in Brzezin. After completing elementary school and high school, he began to work as a tailor. He was much loved by the youth of Brzezin, and he was also active in communal life. In 1939, when the Second World War broke out, he joined the Polish army.

In 1944, he came to Eretz Isroel with the Anders' Army by way of Russia.[1] Being very desperate and heartbroken, he regained his good humor and courage after meeting landslayt [fellow townsmen] in Eretz Isroel. He returned to work in tailoring and was active in the establishment of the organization of the Brzeziner landslayt in Eretz Isroel.

In the War of Independence, he distinguished himself with his heroism on almost every front, and not far from Kfar Unu, he fell in battle on June 11, 1948.

He left a wife and a son who was born after he fell in the War of Independence. His son also carries his name––Dan.

Koved zayn andenk!

Arje Wald, z”l

Arje Wald was from France, the son of Jakob Wald, who had previously lived in Brzezin. After the liberation of France, as a seventeen-year-old young man with a sparkling soul and heart, he did not remain idle but gathered the orphans among the sheyres-hapleyte [survivors] and organized them.

Arje Wald came to Eretz Isroel and participated in the difficult struggle to free the country.

brz215b.jpg -   Arje Wald

He fell near the Arabic village Dir Alban and was buried in the cemetery in Kibbutz Kiryat, amid the mountains along the way to Jerusalem. Since he was in Israel only a short time and had stayed in the Gate of Hope Colony, he is recorded in Yad Vashem as a citizen of that colony.

Koved zayn andenk!

Jakob Lasker, z'l

brz215c.jpg -   Jakob Lasker

Jakob Lasker, son of Fiszel the shoykhet. Worked in the refineries in Haifa. Died when a wild group of Arabs attacked his workplace.

Koved zayn andenk!

Translator's Footnote

  1. When the Polish army collapsed in 1939, Fogel must have tried to escape to Russia, where he ended up in Siberia as a political prisoner. In 1942, the Anders Army was formed from Polish political prisoners in Russia and came through Iraq and Iran to Palestine. There were 4,200 Jewish soldiers among them, of whom about 3,000 left the Anders Army and remained in Palestine, some joining the British army, others, the Haganah or the Jewish Brigade. Those who remained in the Anders Army fought in Italy as part of the British Eighth Army. Return

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