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In Their Memory

(Rokitno And Vicinity Members Who Died While Serving In The Israel Defense Forces)

Translated by Ala Gamulka

[See the enlarged pictures by clicking on the thumbnails]

Son of Sender and Rivka, he was born in Stolin in 1927. His family settled in Rokitno in 1935 and he graduated from the Tarbut School. He was educated in a Zionist atmosphere and was a member of Hashomer Hatzair.

He suffered in the ghetto and in the forests together with his mother. He came to Israel on the immigrant boat “Birya”. He served in the War of Independence in the Carmeli Brigade and participated in the battles to liberate the Galilee.

He died from an illness on 11/3/1949 and was buried in the military cemetery in Haifa.

Moshe Golovey
Son of Avraham and Hannah, he was born in kibbutz Yagur on 6/4/1944 (12 Sivan).

He was a playful rebel, but his rebelliousness emanated from an inner need to be active and adventurous, to express his imagination and his creativity. He had a strong urge to sometimes deviate from rules and regulations forced by adults.

Bentzi had natural technical ability. He showed a strong inclination towards the sciences and he excelled in them. He loved the slopes of Mount Carmel where he hiked. He knew all its paths and its mysteries.

He was enchanted by flying, probably because it presented a personal challenge. Perhaps he searched for an outlet for his boundless energy, his sense of adventure and daring.

The military police and his strong wish to become a pilot changed him completely. It was as if he had grown up instantly. He would come home and shut himself up in the shed with a pack of books and booklets. He studied willingly and diligently all flying instructions, engines, airplanes, ammunition, etc.

He achieved his dream and became a military pilot. When the course for pilots was finished he was awarded his wings by the Prime Minister as an outstanding student.

During the Six Days War he served as a pilot of a super-mystere. He fell on the Golan Heights on 6/10/1967 (2 Sivan). He was buried in the cemetery in Yagur. He was awarded the rank of captain posthumously.

Ben Zion Geipman
Son of Nehemiah and Rachel (Meirson), he was born on 9/20/1929 in Tel Aviv. An outstanding and conscientious student, he loved learning and was highly respectful to his teachers. He loved music and played the violin. He was also a good athlete. In the summers, he volunteered with his friends in farming communities and devoted himself to his task. He tried to instill the sense of duty, self-discipline and honesty in his friends at work. He had a healthy outlook on the world as a human being and as a Jew and he reacted, in his diary, to political and social events in Israel and in his small personal circle. When the Jewish Brigade went to the front in WWII, he wrote in his diary that he was sorry he was too young and could not join his elders in avenging his nation. He was a member of Hagganah from the age of 14. He completed a course for counselors and excelled in it. He took part in struggles against the British as part of the Hagganah youth group. After completing successfully an officers' course he was sent to teach sergeants.

After the United Nations passed the resolution to establish the State of Israel, he volunteered for service and he was sent to defend Tel Aviv. He later completed a higher course for officers and afterwards demanded to be sent to battle. On 1/1/1948 he was part of a mission in Salome near Tel Aviv and he volunteered for an attack mission. At the end of the big battle in Abu Khabir he fell after having volunteered to save an injured comrade, on the morning of 2/13/1948. He was buried in the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery.

Emanuel Margalit
Son of Moshe and Haya, he was born in the village of Sahov on 10/15/1926 (7 Heshvan). He began his education in the cheder where he drank in the Bible with Rashi interpretation. He was lively and happy from childhood and attracted everyone who met him.

After several years at the cheder he transferred to study at the Tarbut School. There he absorbed Hebrew culture and he breathed the atmosphere of Eretz Israel, which was being revived. World War II put an end to his studies. He was only 14.

He managed to escape the Nazis and hid in the forests. There he joined a small nucleus of young Jewish partisans who fought in the forests.

When the war ended he came to Rokitno; he found out that his entire family was exterminated.

He went to Bytom, in Germany, and joined the Dror kibbutz. The kibbutz moved to France and from there he came here on a small immigrant ship called Tel Hai.

He went with his Dror friends to Kibbutz Beit Ha'aravah, north of the Dead Sea. He became attached to the place, in spite of the difficult climate, and he hiked throughout the area.

Asher was active in the struggle for independence. Among other activities, he participated in the night of the bombing of the bridges.

Upon discharge he moved with his group from Beit Ha'aravah to Kibbutz Alonim – his last home.

He fell during the Six Day War when a Syrian plane was brought down and fell apart in an army camp, on 27 Iyar (6/6/1967). He was buried in the military cemetery in Haifa.

Asher Negel
Son of Avraham and Chava, he was born in the village of Glinna in 1911. He was interested in Zionism and in pioneering. He worked in several preparatory kibbutzim until he immigrated in 1939 on the ship Tiger Hill. He immediately joined Kibbutz Na'an and spent 7 years there. When the British searched for arms in the kibbutz, he was arrested and brought with other members to Latrun. After some time he left the kibbutz and moved to Herzliah. He worked there in construction and later in agriculture. He was a member of Hagganah since he arrived in the country. His warm and calm disposition attracted many friends at work and in the Hagganah.

When the War of Independence broke out he volunteered to the IDF and proved himself a good and well-disciplined soldier. He joined a unit of sappers and took part in many battles. He fulfilled his dangerous assignments carefully and responsibly. He died during an operation while placing mines against terrorists near Ramat Hakovesh. He was killed in the explosion on 12/5/1948 and was buried in Natanya. He was awarded the rank of lieutenant posthumously.

Baruch Pinchuk
Son of Yosef and Miriam, he was born on 8/28/1915 in the village of Dort. Even as a youngster he was involved in working in the field and in the stable. When his family moved to Rokitno he studied in the Tarbut School. He loved the Hebrew language and taught it in adulthood to members of Hechalutz in town.

When his family's economic situation worsened, he began, at the age of 14, to work in the glass factory in order to help out. He was a member of Hashomer Hatzair and went to a preparatory kibbutz in Lublin.

He came here in 1939 and belonged to Kibbutz Asher in Natanya. From there he went with his friends to establish Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. During the War of Independence he defended the gates of his kibbutz. He was hit by an Egyptian bomb at the entrance to Yad Mordechai and he fell on 5/19/1948. He was buried in the cemetery in Yad Mordechai. He is remembered in the book “Yad Mordechai in Battle”.

Meir Finkelstein
Son of David, he was born in 1948 in Kibbutz Yagur. He was modest and did not speak much. He was proud of two facts in his short life: he was a member of one of the best units in the IDF and he was a defenseman on the Hapoel Soccer Team in Yagur.

When he came home on leave he never missed a game. He played with enthusiasm and great interest.

“He was lovable, modest and quiet”, said one of his friends on the kibbutz. He finished his studies on the kibbutz and went with his classmates to establish Kibbutz Yad Hannah Senesh. A year later, he joined the IDF.

On Thursday, 3/21/1968 he went with his unit to chase an Al Fatah group. He fell on this mission and was buried in Yagur on 21 Adar (3/21/68).

Haim Freger

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