Memorial Day 2000

  • Issue: May 2000
  • Designer: Daniel Goldberg
  • Stamp Size: 25.7 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 408
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

During the Second World War 30,000 men and women from the Jewish Community in Eretz Israel, which at the time numbered about 500,000, volunteered to the British Army. They served in combat units and in support and service units of the ground, naval and air forces, and took part in the war against Nazi Germany. The Pioneer Corps, Artillery Corps and other units fought in Greece and Crete and a Commando unit fought in North Africa and the eastern region. 250 man and women volunteered to the Paratroopers and 32 of them were sent on missions in occupied Europe.

In 1944 Britain declared the establishment of an independent Jewish Brigade - the "Jewish Brigade Group". The Brigade participated in the attack against the German army on the Senio River front in Italy in the spring of 1945. The Brigade, the R.A.S.C. and other units serving in the area made contact with Holocaust survivors to assist and care for the survivors. The presence of soldiers from Eretz Israel in the camps lifted the survivors' spirits and was the major impetus behind the decision most of them made to immigrate to Israel. The encounter with the remaining Jews was an event of national significance and was a crucial factor that paved the way to the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel.

When the Brigade disbanded in the summer of 1946, 120 of its soldiers remained in Europe under an assumed identity of refugees ("the doubles") and continued to operate in the refugee camps to transfer survivors to Eretz Israel.

The military experience acquired by the Brigade members and the soldiers serving in the other units of the British army, made a significant contribution to the establishment of the IDF and its organization, during the turmoil of the battles of the War of Independence, in addition to supporting our victory in that war.

The Monument for the Fallen Volunteers of the Jewish Community to the British Army during the Second World War

The monument stands in the National Military Cemetery on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. A  large rock of Jerusalem stone from the Castel quarries, with a Star of David carved in the center, designed as the emblem on the flag of the Jewish Brigade Group, and alluding to the Yellow Badge, honors the Jewish Community volunteers. Below the monument there is a paved square. The two walls surrounding the square are coated with slabs of polished Jerusalem stone. The following words are carved on the central wall of the monument: "Memorial for the Volunteers of the Jewish Community in the Second World War Fallen Abroad and not Buried in Israel" and the words of Isaiah "Here am I, send me" (6,8).

The names of the commemorated, 700 male and female soldiers, are carved on the wall beneath the rock, according to their units: The Jewish Brigade Group, the Palestinian Regiment, the R.E. (Royal Engineers), the R.A.S.C, the A.T.S (Auxiliary Territorial Service), the Pioneer Corps, the Royal Artillery, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force), the R.E.M.E. (Royal Electric and Mechanical Engineers), R.S.C. (Royal Signals Corps), R.A.M.C. (Royal Army Medical Corps), Military Intelligence, Commandos and Paratrooper Corps, those who fell on special missions and as emissaries of the British Army and the Jewish Community in Eretz Israel. The monument was erected in 1973 and was
designed by architect Asher Hiram and sculptor Mordechai Kafri, who served in the Jewish Brigade. In 1980, the names of the fallen were carved in the stone.

Arie Pinchuk
Chairman Israel War Veterans League

Yossef Seltzer
Chairman Memorial and Events Committee

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Memorial Day 2000