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194   David Ben-Gurion Autograph Letter Signed  $200 $528 $581 11 You must login to place a bid.
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#194 - David Ben-Gurion Autograph Letter Signed Estimate: $1,000+

ALS in Hebrew, signed “D. Ben Gurion,” penned on the reverse of a 5.75 x 3.75 postcard, March 6, 1955. Handwritten letter to Israeli historian and politician Ben-Zion Dinur, in part (translated): “On the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the ‘Zionist Mule Corps’ by Joseph Trumpeldor and his friends, the youth should know more about the personal example set by the members of the Second Aliyah, whose actions and heroism have become the personal educator of the people…” Reverse bears a postal cancellation that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the formation of Trumpeldor’s famous Zionist Mule Corps. In fine condition.

After announcing his intention to leave public life, Ben-Gurion moved to the newly founded Negev Kibbutz Sde-Boker in early 1954. He never completely abdicated his leadership role, however, and in February 1955 Ben-Gurion returned to public life, first as minister of defense, in which capacity he penned our letter. Following his tenure as defense minister, he was reelected prime minister in November 1955.

Born in the Russian Empire, Dinur (1884-1973) became involved in Zionist activities around the turn of the century. He immigrated to Palestine in 1921 where he continued his academic career as a scholar of Jewish history. At the time of our letter Dinur was a professor at Hebrew University as well as a member of the Knesset and Minister of Education and Culture, succeeding Ben-Gurion in that post and serving from October 1951 until November 1955.

Born in Pyatigorsk in the North Caucasus, Joseph Trumpeldor (1880-1920) abandoned his training as a dentist to join the Russian army in 1902, losing an arm during the Russo-Japanese War. He returned to active duty, as quickly as possible, but was taken prisoner by the Japanese. After regaining his freedom, he became the most decorated Jewish soldier in the Russian army and the first Jew to be offered an officer’s commission. However, because of his disability, Trumpeldor, resigned from the military to study law. Increasingly interested in Zionism’s goal of establishing a Jewish homeland, Trumpeldor, immigrated to Palestine (Erez Israel) in 1911, then part of the Ottoman Empire, where he lived and worked on several collective farms, while helping defend Jewish settlements in the Lower Galilee.

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Russian-born Trumpeldor became an enemy alien in Ottoman Palestine and was deported to Egypt where he organized his fellow deportees into a military organization created to assist the British liberation of Palestine from the Ottomans. In 1915, Trumpeldor established the Zion Mule Corps or Jewish Legion, part of the 38th and 42nd Battalions of Royal Fusiliers and the subject of our letter. Most of the Jewish volunteers were sent to the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli Campaign, where they fought heroically against the Turks. They returned to Egypt and the corps disbanded in 1916.

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