Monday, April 26, 2010

More about Jerusalem's ANZAC dead

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Let us continue yesterday's ANZAC Day commemoration post.

So many Commonwealth soldiers died in the battles to push the Ottoman Turks out of Eretz Israel (then known as Palestine) during World War I.

There are British military cemeteries in Gaza, Beersheva, Ramla, and Haifa, and several in Jerusalem.

In yesterday's post we saw the Australian Memorial just outside the gate of the Jerusalem War Cemetery.
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At the opposite end of the central avenue of the lovingly cared-for cemetery is a chapel.
Its interior is dedicated to the soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who fell in Sinai and Palestine, 1916-1918.
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"From the uttermost ends of the earth" indeed!

Above the lintel is St. George slaying a dragon.

The graves of 24 Jewish soldiers are grouped more or less together.
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This tombstone was the only one of the cemetery's 2,515 tombstones on which visitors had put a pebble, the Jewish custom for paying respects.
The Jewish graves had little wooden star of David markers with the symbolic Australian poppy on them.
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Rabbi Raymond Apple, rabbi emeritus of the Great Synagogue of Sydney, was at the ANZAC Day ceremony yesterday to read appropriate prayers and Psalms.
(I believe he made aliyah to Israel in 2006, following his retirement.)
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I like what this family had chosen to inscribe on the stone of Lance Corporal M.I. Trachtenberg, age 36:
"Scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge. Beloved by all."
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For That's My World , this week my heart has been much with the Australian world.
On the joyous extreme--the birth of an Australian granddaughter named Libby (meaning "my heart" in Hebrew) in Sydney, and on the solemn side--the commemoration of ANZAC Day in Jerusalem.
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21 comments:

red-bougainvillea said...

Thank you for these two posts. I had no idea people from Australia and New Zealand had fought in Isreal during WW1.

Rob and Mandy said...

Great series, Dina. Once again, it touches a personal place in my life... I worked as a tourist guide in Turkey, and took many tourist groups, mostly from down under, to Gelibolu, the old Gallipoli. I don't remember how often I went there, but it always left a mark in me, every single time. There are places like this, strong places.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter!!!!!

Is Libby a variation on the name Elizabeth? I know Elizabeth was the sister of Mary but not the meaning of the name.

The last gasp of the Ottoman empire. I've read that the Australian and New Zeland soldiers were fierce in battle. It's interesting that both (assuming christian) and jew share the same ground.

Another thing; as I was driving a freeway through Pasadena I saw on the freeway pedestrian bridge overpass a sheet demanding recognition of the Armenian genocide. Of course I didn't catch it on film

SandyCarlson said...

These are amazing and enlightening posts. You've taught me plenty.

Louis la Vache said...

Superb, Dina!

The sacrifices of the ANZAC troops in both wars are sadly overlooked by many North Americans. It is good to bring attention to what Australia and New Zealand contributed to the cause of freedom.

Mojo said...

I like the inscription as well. So often it's forgotten that these troops had other lives before the war. It is the same in any war.

Leif Hagen said...

More great photos and commentary on an important place to visit, reflect and remember!

noel said...

aloha,

i enjoyed your post today, a very interesting story - i didn't know about this either.

thanks for sharing your world today.

viva la france is going on in my sari blog today!

JM said...

Wonderful tours on both this and the previous post! You are a great guide, Dina!

J Bar said...

This has been so interesting to see and read. I've learnt so much. Thanks Dina.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Petrea said...

Thank you for these marvelous posts, Dina. You put such effort into them and we are rewarded.

I saw that sign, too, PA. I didn't catch it either. Didn't notice if it was there today.

Pietro said...

Both very meaningful posts, Dina.
The age of the universe is the time elapsed between the Big Bang and the present day. Current observations suggest that this is about 13.73 billion years: the 80/90 years of the man life is nothing, in comparison. We need peace, peace, peace.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful pictures. It's nice they buried soldiers of whatever religion together. They were comrades-in-arms so it's fitting they be together in death.

Louis la Vache:...

The term ANZAC *is* very unknown. Most USA N.Americans probably don't have a clue what it stands for. This is because the US GIs refer to them as Aussies & Kiwis. ANZAC is never used.

You're correct about most people in N. America overlooking the sacrifices of the ANZAC troops during WWI. Actually, most US Citizens, under a certain age-50-, aren't very familiar with WWI anyway. It gets a *brief* mention in History Classes.

However, this is not so true about their contributions in WWII, because a lot of US GIs were stationed in Australia, fought with the Australian troops, and were POWs along with the Australians. The US GIs also fought with the Kiwis.

I have an interest in reading personal journals/diaries from WWII and have noted that many US soldiers who took part in the Pacific Campaign had compliments galore for the Australians. They seemed to like the Australians the best.

Adira

Jedediah said...

Congratulations on the new granddaughter :)
I've leanred a lot fo these posts!

moneythoughts said...

Thanks again for a most interesting post. Some of this history I knew, but there is much you filled in for me. Thank you.

Sarah said...

BTW, Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter ;)

Sarah said...

That's so impressive. To me, Walking in a cemetery workes like a reminder ring. So I sometimes like that...

VP said...

Another interesting and touching post, the images are beautiful and impressive.

Kay said...

I remember learning something about this when we were in Australia some years ago.

I love the sound of the name, Libby. She'll be as beautiful as her name if she takes after her mom and grandmoms.

Jew Wishes said...

What wonderful photos, Dina. So poignant and filled with a humanistic element.

Dick said...

Very interesting, it makes me think about the war cemetery near my house.