THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, November 10, 1967-17
Israeli Board of Inquiry •to Probe
Circumstances of Elath's Sinking
(JTA Correspondent in Israel)
(Copyright 1967, JTA Inc.)
JERUSALEM—The Deputy Chief
of Staff, General Chaim Bar Lev,
has been appointed chairman of a
Committee of Inquiry into the cir-
cumstances of the sinking of the
Israel destroyer Elath by Soviet-
built sea-to-sea missiles of the
Egyptian Navy. The Israel warship
was hit by the Egyptians in inter-
national waters, 141/2 miles outside
Of Port Said, but the establishment
of an inquiry in itself is a normal
routine matter. What points to the
special importance attached to this
investigation is the appointment of
the Deputy Chief of Staff to head
The sinking of the ship cost the
Israel Navy 19 dead and 28 mis-
sing as well as scores of wounded
—a total reaching to almost ten
per cent of all the casualties suf-
fered in the entire Six-Day War.
The incident also gave the Egyp-
tians the largest military morale
booster in a very long time.
It is to the credit of the matur-
ity of the Israel public that des-
pite the pain of the disaster, it
began to ask questions about
several aspects of the tragedy
and was able to separate the is-
sue of Egypt's grave responsi-
bility from the questions raised
about its circumstances. It is
also to the credit of the military
that despite the sensitivity of the
subject, no attempt was made to
silence or muzzle such ques-
Some of the points raised con-
cerned the immediate events be-
fore and after the Egyptian at-
tack. Others referred to the broader
matter of the relative status of the
Navy in the Israel Defense Forces.
The immediate questions refer-
red to the fact that a destroyer
daily per pers.
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was used for anti-infiltration pat-
rolling, something for which such a
ship is generally considered un-
suitable. Additionally, the destroyer
was sent to the vicinity of enemy
coastal waters without any smaller
vessels accompanying her, as is
customary. The first missile hit
the ship at about 1730 local time
but she went under only after an-
other full hit that came about two
hours later—and before airborne
assistance reached the spot. That
first hit destroyed the main engine
room, made the ship totally immo-
bile, cut off the electric supply and
made the ship's communication
system inoperative. It also turned
out that the base did not notice
the lack of communications from
the ship because it operated on a
Against 5 Ex-Nazis
(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)
JERUSALEM — Two survivors
of the Nazi massacre of Jews in
Galicia in 1942 supplied Wednes-
day eyewitness accounts of the
tragedy of three judges from West
Germany who came here to gather
evidence in the cases of 15 former
Gestapo and SS men now facing
trial in Stuttgart.
The judges, along with the West
German prosecutor and the de-
fense attorneys, attended a hear-
ing Wednesday presided over by
an Israeli magistrate, Judge M.
One -of the witnesses, Yosef
Hoch, who was a member of the
Judenrat of Lwow (Lemberg) in
Polish Galicia, told the court how
his colleagues on the Jewish com-
munal body were driven by the
Germans along the main street of
the Lwow ghetto and hanged, one
by one, from nooses previously
strung from balconies. The other
witness described how the concen-
tration camp commander near
Tarnepol, Paul Fuchs, forced a man
to watch his son being hanged.
Altogether, some 350,000 Jews
were executed by the Nazis in
Galicia. The defendants are
charged with complicity in this
crime. Additional survivors are ex-
pected to testify.
This led to the more basic ques-
tions: though it may be customary,
under normal circumstances, to
maintain contact only once every
four hours, why was routine pro-
cedure followed when simple pru-
dence should have dictated other-
wise? Was not the Israel Navy,
or at least major sections of it,
extremely tradition and routine
bound—in complete contrast to all
other arms of the Israel Defense Hochhuth Asks Erection
Forces? Was the fact that much of of Memorial to Jews
what the ship did or did not do on
WEST BERLIN (JTA)—The con-
that fateful day was explained by troversial playwright, Rolf Hoch-
"routine" an indication that the huth, has called upon the mayor
Navy was out of step
and the senate of Berlin to estab-
But the most fundamental ques- lish a memorial to the Jewish vic-
tion concerned the fact that the tims of Nazism at the villa on
destroyer involved was an anti- Grosser Wannsee street where, in
quated ship, built a quarter of a January 1942. Nazi leaders pre-
century ago. Nobody in the Israel pared the blueprint of the "final
Defense Forces would dream of solution," the destruction of
sending, for example, for a simi- European Jewry.
Hochhuth, whose play, "The
lar aerial patrol mission planes of
World War II vintage. Yet, when Deputy," created a storm of con-
it came to the Navy, its budget was troversy over its charge that Pope
of such low priority that orders for Pius XI failed to intervene with
modernization were placed only Nazi authorities against the de-
two and three years ago, with portation and slaughter of Jews,
much of the equipment yet to be proposed the memorial in a letter
delivered. True, the tasks and res- to the acting mayor, published in
ponsibilities of the Israel Navy be- the newspaper, Welt am Sonntag.
He pointed out that, except for
fore the Six-Day War were secon-
dary compared to the Air Force or obolisks at the death camp sites
the Armor. True also that the of Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and
lightning victory of the Air Force Buchenwald, there is no monu-
and Armor in the Six-Day War ment in all of West Germany to
justified the thesis that the war remind the nation of the "final
for Israel's survival would be de- solution" and what it was.
He suggested that the Villa, now
cided in the air and on land and
not at sea.
used as a recreation center for
children, be converted in part to
Nevertheless, it is now asked a center for documentation and
whether this conception did not go historical research into the Nazi
too far when budgetary allocations period. He said sufficient space
for the Navy were debated. Being would remain to maintain the
badly hurt because of being badly facilities for children.
unprepared is not something the
Israel Defense Forces can afford,
even if the enemy scored its suc- German Jewish Council
cess by a treacherous violation of Honors Jordan Memory
the United Nations armistice
BONN (JTA)—The Central Coun-
agreement. The tragic history of cil of Jews in Germany has post-
the Elath now focuses attention humously awarded the annual Leo
on the relative neglect of the Navy Baeck Prize to the late Charles H.
and particularly the disproportion Jordan, director of the American
between its size and force and its Jewish Joint Distribution Com-
greatly enlarged tasks while Israel mittee, who mysteriously disap-
holds on to all the occupied terri- peared in Prague last August and
tories — and coastlines — pending was later found drowned.
Arab readiness to sit down and ne-
The prize was presented to Mr.
Jordan's widow with 3,000 marks
($750) which she will donate to
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Long Beach Nears Goal
LONG BEACH, Calif. (JTA)-
The Jewish Federation of Long
Beach, which had previously re-
ported that its current campaign
had fallen short by some $48,000,
reported that an emergency ap-
peal had produced contributions of
$35,000 in eight days.
Dr. Gilbert G. Lapid, president
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Aron Bacher played for the
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Historic 'No Entry' Stone
Now Administered by Jews
beyond the fence of the Temple.
Trespassers caught will be killed.
By their fault they will cause them-
The slab discovered in 1935 was
found at the Gate of Lions—the
spot through which Israel's para-
troopers first entered the Old City
of Jerusalem on June 7.
This is how the Herofian "No
Entry' 'sign was among the aspects
of historical prohibitions that were
negated by the Six Day War.
Special to The Jewish News
JERUSALEM—In 1935, a stone
with a threatening "No Entry"
warning was found in excavations
in the former British mandated
Palestine. It was part of the group
of warnings that were erected at
the entrance to the ancient Temple
of Jerusalem that was re-erected
by King Herod.
This stone had been placed in
the Rockefeller Museum in the Old
City. It could not be viewed by
Jews in the last 19 years. Now the
Rockfeller Museum is part of the
Israel of New Jerusalem Museum
and is being administered by the
Josephus. Flavius, the only his-
torian of the era of the Second
Commonwealth, recorded that
Herod had erected signs that
read: "Strangers are not allowed
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