Moshe Barazani

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Moshe Barazani

Moshe Barazani, also Barzani (June 14, 1926 – April 21, 1947),[1] was an Iraqi-born Kurdish Jew and a member of Lehi ("Freedom Fighters of Israel," aka the "Stern Gang") underground movement in pre-state Mandate Palestine, who fought the British during the Jewish insurgency in Palestine. He is most notable for having committed suicide with a hand grenade together with another Jewish underground fighter shortly before their scheduled executions, and is memorialized in Israel today as one of the Olei Hagardom.

Early life[edit]

Barazani was born in Baghdad to a Kurdish-Jewish family from Northern Iraq. The family moved to Jerusalem when he was six. At an early age, he began working, initially as a carpenter's apprentice, and then in a soft drinks factory.[2]

Underground activity[edit]

Barazani joined Lehi at an early age, following in the footsteps of his brother. Initially, he was a member of Lehi's youth division and posted propaganda leaflets, but later joined the fighting force. He participated in numerous sabotage operations, laying mines and taking part in an attack against the railways in the Jerusalem area.

On March 9, 1947, Barzani was sent on a mission to assassinate a senior British officer, Brigadier A.P. Davies, with a grenade. He was stopped and searched by a British patrol which found him near the Schneller Camp, a British installation in Jerusalem. A grenade was found in his pocket, and he was arrested. On March 17, 1947, he was tried before a military court on charges of illegal weapons possession and conspiracy to murder, convicted, and sentenced to death.

Suicide[edit]

While awaiting execution in the Central Prison in Jerusalem's Russian Compound, he met Irgun fighter Meir Feinstein, who had also been sentenced to death. On April 21, 1947, shortly before their executions were scheduled to be carried out, they committed suicide with improvised grenades which had been smuggled inside oranges. The story of Feinstein and Barazani became a celebrated tale in Zionism.[3] Menachem Begin requested in his will that he be buried next to them on the Mount of Olives, which he was.[4][5] To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Barazani's death, a state ceremony was held at the Museum of the Underground Prisoners in Jerusalem in 2007.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ izkor.gov.il
  2. ^ Moshe Barazani
  3. ^ The Good Jailer, Yair Sheleg, Haaretz, April 12, 2007.
  4. ^ 60 Years Later: Feinstein's Bible Returned to Family Begin Center Diary.
  5. ^ 07/04/2007 The good jailer, By Yair Sheleg Haaretz
  6. ^ 'The good jailer' returns Irgun hero's Bible 60 years later, Jerusalem Post, April 19, 2007

External links[edit]