Thursday, August 24, 2006

Well, we met up with the bus and had 4 days on the Somme with some 30 members of the project. As well as adding some 10,000 photo's of gravestones to the server, it was moving to follow in the footsteps of those who served there, especially as two of them were my grandfathers (who survived obviously, or else I wouldn't be here, as it says in tractate Sanhedrin that whoever destroys a single life is as if he destroyed an entire world). On the Sunday we even climbed the Butte de Warlencourt where the 12th Battalion London Regiment saw action in November 1916 and my grandfather was there as a lieutenant. From a Jewish point, we were asked about placing pebbles
on headstones, luckily I knew the answer, for those who aren't sure, it's at

http://www.askmoses.com/article.html?h=118&o=1309

so now there are some 30 Brits who every time they see a Jewish grave, place a pebble on it. We never felt bad vibes from anyone on the bus, (apart from us middle-eastern types always being late, as they were super-punctual…).
At the Fribourg German cemetery we saw First World War graves of German soldiers with Jewish graves interspersed (see photo)

(That's the Mrs. and Me of course)
At this point, the guide told of Jewish-German soldiers who fought for the "Vaterland" in 14-18, won medals, and when the SS came for them, showed them their medals, and were dragged off to the camps regardless.

Anyhow, the full account will be published in the next newsletter, suffice to say that the sight of a busload of Brits descending on a cemetery is something not to be missed. The passion that they had for this had to be seen to be believed.



If anyone's interested, I have, from the CWGC, a list of all the Palestinians (Arab and Jew) who fell in the service of the British in World War 2. Any amateur historians will find it fascinating, that's a promise.

Continuing the above (Jew and Arab in the service of the Brits) and with special regard to Jerusalem Day, here's another interesting link:

http://zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=4507

Don't forget to look at the requests list at

http://www.britishwargraves.org.uk/newsite/Requests/countries/Israel.htm

So, until the newsletter comes out, it's good to be home, keep those photo's coming and don't forget the "mugshots" and potted biographies.

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