Auction 68 Jewish and Israeli History and Culture
Thursday, 19.9.19 (Your local time)
Israel
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 48:

Desktop Ashtray Made of Stone – Latrun Detention Camp, 1946

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Start price:
$ 600
Auction house commission: 23%
VAT: On commission only
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A chiseled stone ashtray and cigarette holder from the detention camp in the Ayalon Valley (Latrun). Latrun, Palestine, 1946.
An ashtray and a cigarette holder cut into a stone, decorated with a pair of chained hands alongside the Hebrew inscription "Latrun 22.VIII.1946, to Shifra from Yosef".
During the late 1930s, the British established a network of detention camps in the area of Latrun, which at first served mainly for imprisoning citizens of enemy countries, civilian war prisoners and Arabs arrested during the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine. In 1942, the British started to use the Latrun camp to imprison members of the underground organizations – at first, members of the Lehi and the Irgun, and later also members of the Haganah, Revisionist Party activists and Jewish soldiers who were released from the British Army yet due to their military past were constant suspects in the eyes of the British of participating in underground warfare. In the summer of 1946, after the "Black Sabbath", the camp reached its full capacity – 600 prisoners, including leaders of the Yishuv who held positions in its official institutions: Moshe Sharet, Dov Yosef, David Remez, Yitzchak Greenbaum, Rabbi Y.L. Fishman-Maimon, and others. In August 1947, after the Sergeants affair and the Exodus affair, several mayors of Jewish cities were imprisoned in the camp, among them Israel Rokach and Avraham Krinitzi. The camp served as a detention camp until February 1948, when the British transferred its prisoners to the Atlit camp. During the time it served as a detention camp for members of the underground organizations, several hundreds of them were exiled to internment camps in Africa.
The prisoners of the camp organized lessons and sports activities; they busied themselves with handcraft, put on shows and even operated a coffee shop. The authorities of the camp permitted these activities believing they might prevent the prisoners from planning their escape or a rebellion.
Approx. 16X20.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and minor blemishes. Traces of glue on the base of the stand.
Literature: The Detention Camps in Latrun during the British Mandate (Hebrew), by Tal Misgav. In Alei-Zayit VeCherev, volume 9. Jerusalem: Carmel, 2009. pp. 158-185.
Provenance: The Rimon Family Collection.

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