Cover image for The Jewish brigade : an army with two masters, 1944-45
The Jewish brigade : an army with two masters, 1944-45
Beckman, Morris.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Rockville Centre, NY : Sarpedon, 1998.
Physical Description:
xvi, 159 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, 1 map, portraits ; 24 cm
General Note:
First published in the UK in 1998 by Spellmount Limited.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D760.J4 B43 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Although over a million Jews were estimated to be fighting for the Allies by the middle of World War II, the British government (which controlled Palestine) refused to allow the formation of an independent Jewish unit. Finally, in the face of public pressure and horrific reports of the Holocaust, the Jewish Brigade was created in 1944. The Brigade fought against the Germans in Italy during the last year of the war, distinguishing itself in action, and gave Jews across the world pride at seeing, for the first time, soldiers fighting under the flag of the Star of David.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

In the latter stages of World War II, the British government authorized the recruitment of a Jewish brigade, to be staffed primarily by Palestinian Jews, many of whom had fled Europe a step ahead of the Nazis. Beckman, a veteran of the British navy during World War II, shows how the brigade fought courageously and effectively in Italy in 1944^-45. This is not a uniformly uplifting story, though. Many brigade members, outraged by Nazi persecution of Jews, took part in brutal reprisals against captured Germans. After the war, some members formed small "revenge cells" that hunted down and executed Nazis they believed had committed war crimes. Beckman effectively illustrates the ambivalence of these fighters; they had to fight in a British unit while anticipating the coming fight against British forces supporting the Arab position in the Palestine Mandate. Eventually, many brigade officers rose to prominence in the Israeli Defense Forces. This is a very readable, compact, and informative survey of an obscure episode in Jewish history. --Jay Freeman