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War of Independence



Leaving Germany in 1948, I fought in Israel's War of Independence. It was a difficult decision to make after surviving Hitler's concentration camps. My chances in this bloody war were slim at best. Five regular Arab armies converged on tiny, practically defenseless Israel. It would take a miracle to win the war, and yet we did.

I helped to establish the State of Israel, thereby ensuring that the Jewish people will never be defenseless again, and what it is more important, ensuring that there will never be another Holocaust.

Playing a small role in this cause was the single most satisfying act in my life.



Army Group, 1948



On the Syrian front in September 1948, with a group of volunteers from England.

I am in the middle standing up.

My good friend Herbert Neuman stands next to me to my left.



After Israel's War of Independence I joined the Israeli Merchant Marine and travelled the world.

This photo was taken in 1956 while I was taken measurements of the Sun with my sextant for navigational purposes.

At the time I was a second officer. However, the reason I started out to sail the seas was not to become a career officer.

I wanted to get acquainted with the world and find out why? Why did the Holocaust take place? Why did they hate us so much? Why were we so blatantly abandoned by the Western World to the mercies of Hitler and his henchmen? What was the source of anti-Semitism?

New York Harbor, 1958


As an officer on deck watch on the SS Zion, while entering New York Harbor in 1958.

If you see pride in my face it is not only because I wear the uniform of a young officer. Not even because I wear the uniform of an Israeli officer.

The pride comes from a small Star of David on my officer's cap, the same Star of David that the Nazis made us wear as a symbol of shame.

German Book Cover



Another source of pride is the diary I kept as a child during the war. Fifty years later it became an internationally read book on the Holocaust.

"Light One Candle," was first published in English in 1995 by Kondansha America, It was later translated into German and published as "Das Andere Leben," by Fischer Verlag.

The German version of the book is now being used in many German high schools as part of their Holocaust curriculum.

An additional source of pride is the publication of my book in Japanese, by Kodansha Japan. Japanese high school students have even turned portions of the book into a play. Very few books on the Holocaust have been published in Japanese.

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