Auction 68 Jewish and Israeli History and Culture
Sep 19, 2019 (Your local time)
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
The auction has ended

LOT 33:

Collection of Letters and a Zionist Flag of the Palestine Regiment – 1943-1946

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Sold for: $1,500
Start price:
$ 1,500
Auction house commission: 23%
VAT: On commission only

An embroidered flag, approx. 300 letters and 26 photographs which had belonged to Ya'akov Bernstein, a soldier of the Palestine Regiment of the British Army. Various places in Palestine, North Africa and Europe, 1943-1946.
The Palestine Regiment was established in August 1942 as a mixed unit of Palestinian Jews and Arabs. In contrast to the volunteers' expectations, they were forbidden to carry national or Jewish symbols and its members were employed on guard duty far from the battlefield. In protest, the soldiers of the "Hebrew Battalion" of the Regiment (the unofficial name of the second battalion, which was composed of Jewish volunteers only) decided to raise the blue-and-white flag above the soldiers' tents, disregarding the British orders. The soldiers of the battalion were arrested; eventually, however, the British decided to comply with their demands, train them for combat and establish a Jewish force with national symbols – the Jewish Brigade. Before us is a collection of items which had belonged to a soldier of the regiment:
1. A Zionist flag – two stripes and a blue Star of David on white background. Embroidered on the flag in golden lettering: "The second Hebrew battalion, PLH, the Palestinian infantry" (Hebrew).
Approx. 100X134 cm. Good condition. Fold lines, stains and several small holes.
2. Approx. 300 handwritten letters (Hebrew), sent by Bernstein to a woman named Yael Judenfreud in Haifa, between the years 1943-1946. Most of the letters deal with personal matters, and some refer to military, national or historical matters: Jewish holidays, military activity, the establishment of camps, the ship voyage to Italy, the local population and the cities after the war, and additional subjects. Several letters were written on official regiment stationery.
Size and condition vary. Good-fair overall condition. The letters have punch holes and are bound together with string (some are detached). Creases, stains, blemishes and minor tears.
3. 26 photographs: military vehicles, tent camp, military cemetery, sites and figures in the Middle East and other sights.
Approx. 6.5X4.5 cm to 6X8.5 cm. Good overall condition.

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