The Brigade

Seymour Chwast (Cover Design) New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968. Second Printing. Hardcover. [10], 246 pages. Occasional footnotes. DH has some wear, soiling, and sticker residue on front. Hanoch Helfgott (Bartov) was born in Petah Tikva in 1926, a year after his parents immigrated from Poland. He attended a religious school and then the Ahad Haam gymnasium. After working in diamond polishing and welding for two years, he enlisted in 1943, at the age of 17, in the Palestine Regiment of the British Army. He spent three years in the Jewish Brigade, first in Palestine and then in Italy and the Netherlands, where he served as a medic, caring for Holocaust survivors in DP camps. After World War II, Bartov studied Jewish and general history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the War of Independence he served in field army units and the Israel Defense Forces in Jerusalem. He lived for four years on Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh, working as a farmhand and a teacher. From 1966 to 1968, Bartov served as a cultural advisor in the Israeli embassy in London. Bartov published his first story in 1945, when he was a 19-year-old soldier in Europe. In his writing, as a journalist and novelist, Bartov describes his first contacts with survivors of the Holocaust. The Brigade is a fictionalized account of the operation of the Jewish Brigade. Derived from a Kirkus review: Israeli author Bartov has written a novel of some humor and considerable honesty that probes and affirms the meaning of honor. In a tranquil field in early May, on the northeast slopes of the Apennines, Elisha Kruk, nineteen, of a religious home in Israel, learns that the war has ended. But for the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, with whom he serves and who have yet to engage the enemy, the war is not over. They are sent to Germany, where an incident--near murder and rape of two women by two members of the Brigade, determine their choice. The patient Tamari reminds the men that they are there to save as many survivors as possible. Giladi wants blood for blood. Elisha, fighting his own battle against the purity and ultimately rejects the vengeance for which he came.
The Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, more commonly known as the Jewish Brigade Group or Jewish Brigade, was a military formation of the British Army composed of Jews from the Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine commanded by British-Jewish officers that served in Europe during World War II. The brigade was formed in late 1944, and its personnel fought the Germans in Italy. After the war, some of them assisted Holocaust survivors to emigrate illegally to Mandatory Palestine as part of Aliyah Bet. On July 3, 1944, the British government consented to the establishment of a Jewish Brigade with hand-picked Jewish and also non-Jewish senior officers. On 20 September 1944 an official communique by the War Office announced the formation of the Jewish Brigade Group of the British Army and the Jewish Brigade Group headquarters was established in Egypt at the end of September 1944 (the formation was styled a brigade group because of the inclusion under command of an artillery regiment). The Zionist flag was officially approved as its standard. It included more than 5,000 Jewish volunteers from Mandatory Palestine organized into three infantry battalions of the Palestine Regiment and several supporting units. Overall, in the course of World War II, the Jewish Brigade's casualties were 83 killed in action or died of wounds and 200 wounded. Another 78 of the brigade's soldiers were mentioned in dispatches, and 20 received military decorations (7 Military Medals, 7 Order of the British Empire medals, 4 Military Crosses, and 2 US awards).
Condition: Very good / Good.

Keywords: Jewish Brigade, Vengeance, Elisha Kruk, Brothels, Sexual Assault, Shlonsky Prize, Military Occupation, Displaced Persons, Nazis, Criminal Investigation, Prisoners, Hanoch Helfgott

[Book #73367]

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