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Heavy Military Guard Escorts Funeral of Barazani and Feinstein to Mount of Olives

April 23, 1947
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Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein, who committed suicide in their cells at Jerusalem Prison a few hours before they were to be executed, were buried this morning in the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, near the graves of Jewish victims of the pre-war Arab riots. Their bodies were placed in a common grave with Aboud Mizrachi, 45, a father of ten, who was killed in Jerusalem last night by British soldiers, who charged he was violating curfew regulations.

Although Barazani and Feinstein took their own lives, they were buried in consecrated ground under a dispensation granted by Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog. The only mourners allowed were the immediate families of the three men, including Barazani’s and Feinstein’s parents, and the brother and fiancee of the latter youth, Also Mizrachi’s widow and children.

The funeral cortege, which consisted of two buses, one of which served as a hearse, was escorted by two heavy armored cars mounting cannon, a light armored car, three armored scout cars, an armored half-track, a police car and four motorcyclists. It started from the mortuary of the government hospital here and proceeded rapidly to the cemetery.

Outside the cemetery the procession halted, while the mourners and the men carrying the bodies continued up the stony path to a slope where a grave had been prepared. The soldiers and police waited near the vehicles. The traditional services were brief and then a rabbi and Feinstein’s brother Benjamin eulogized the two youths.

FEINSTEIN TOLD FIANCEE: “MARRY AND REAR SONS LOYAL TO OUR PEOPLE”

Rabbi Jacob Goldman, a former resident of Rochester, New York, who was summoned to the prison a few hours before the executions were scheduled to be carried out, said the two doomed youths were in high spirits. After they had been confessed, they talked at great length, declaring that they did not consider themselves terrorists or gangsters, but patriots who were dying for the freedom of their people. They added that it was “better to die with a gun in your hands.” They asked that the first two male children born in the Jewish community here after their death be named for them. Feinstein requested Rabbi Goldman to tell his fiancee to marry “and rear sons loyal to our people.”

One of Feinstein’s lawyers revealed today that when the curfew in Jerusalem was announced last night, he called the Acting Commissioner of Prisons and asked whether that meant the two men who were under sentence of death were to be executed, since he wanted to arrange for their families to pay a farewell visit. He was assured that no orders for the executions had been given.

According to one report today, the explosives with which Feinstein and Barazani committed suicide were smuggled to them in hollowed-out oranges brought by their last visitors, all of whom are being investigated. Another report said the explosives had been hidden in the cell for some time, perhaps placed there by Dov Gruner.

The dead youths were eulogized tonight by Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv, addressing a meeting of the city’s municipal council. Rokach also paid tribute to the two refugees who were killed aboard the Theodor Herzl last week. “The Palestine Government remains deaf to the Yishuv’s demand,” he said. “No increase in the number of gallows, but opening of the gates of Palestine will halt the disturbances.”

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