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My Hebrew name


My brother’s death
Uri Avnery Social activist
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In the middle, I forgot to mention: I had a brother. My brother was the kind of character who was very active, did not get on in life, could not hold down a position anywhere. And when war broke out he immediately joined the British Army, even before there were Jewish Legions and all those things. The first unit was called Chaparim.  He joined the second Pioneer Brigade still in 1939, just after the outbreak of World War II. They sent him to France where he witnessed the collapse of the British and the French armies in France and he was evacuated to England. From England they brought him all the way around Africa to Egypt. He was in the North African battles which went this way and that − sometimes the British had the upper hand, at other times the Germans. And at the end he was sent to Abyssinia, Ethiopia. Ethiopia was then an Italian colony. The British invaded to expel the Italians, and during one of the battles there my brother was killed near a place called Gondar, where all of our Ethiopians had come from. He was buried in Eritrea.

באמצע שכחתי להזכיר: היה לי אח. אח שלי היה טיפוס כזה אקטיבי שלא הסתדר, לא החזיק מעמד בשום מקום. וכשפרצה המלחמה הוא מיד התגייס לצבא הבריטי, עוד לפני שהיו הגדודים העבריים וכל הדברים האלה. היחידה הראשונה קראו לה "חָפָּרים", הוא התגייס לפלוגת החפרים השנייה עוד ב-39', מיד אחרי פרוץ המלחמה. ושלחו אותו לצרפת, והוא עוד ראה את המפולת של הצבא הבריטי והצרפתי בצרפת ופינו אותו לאנגליה, ומאנגליה החזירו אותו כל הדרך הארוכה מסביב לאפריקה למצרים. הוא היה בקרבות של צפון אפריקה, שזה הלך הלוך וחזור: פעם האנגלים כבשו, פעם הגרמנים. ובסוף שלחו אותו לחבש, לאתיופיה. אתיופיה הייתה אז מושבה איטלקית. האנגלים פלשו כדי לגרש את האיטלקים, ובאחד הקרבות שמה אחי נהרג ליד מקום שנקרא גונדר, שממנו באים כל האתיופים שלנו כאן. הוא נקבר באריתריאה.‏


Uri Avnery (1923-2018) was an Israeli writer, journalist and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. As a teenager, he joined the Zionist paramilitary group, Irgun. Later, Avnery was elected to the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, 'HaOlam HaZeh' from 1950 until it closed in 1993. He famously crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery was the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including '1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem' (2008); 'Israel's Vicious Circle' (2008); and 'My Friend, the Enemy' (1986).

Listeners: Anat Saragusti

Anat Saragusti is a film-maker, book editor and a freelance journalist and writer. She was a senior staff member at the weekly news magazine Ha'olam Hazeh, where she was prominent in covering major events in Israel. Uri Avnery was the publisher and chief editor of the Magazine, and Saragusti worked closely with him for over a decade. With the closing of Ha'olam Hazeh in 1993, Anat Saragusti joined the group that established TV Channel 2 News Company and was appointed as its reporter in Gaza. She later became the chief editor of the evening news bulletin. Concurrently, she studied law and gained a Master's degree from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Gondar, Ethiopia

Duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017