Eliezer Kaplan Dies in Italy; Israel Stunned; Funeral Tomorrow
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Eliezer Kaplan Dies in Italy; Israel Stunned; Funeral Tomorrow

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Eliezer Kaplan, Israel’s Deputy Premier who recently resigned his post as Minister of Finance because of ill health, died today in Genoa. He was on his way to Switzerland where he intended taking a three-month rest.

Mr. Kaplan was 61 years old. He came to Palestine in 1923 from Russia where he graduated as a civil engineer. Born in Minsk, he received his general education, including college training, in Moscow. For many years prior to the establishment of Israel, he was treasurer of the Jewish Agency. He was one of the active leaders of the Histadruth and for many years a member of the Tel Aviv Municipal Council.

The news of his sudden death reached Premier Ben Gurion’s office early this morning. A special meeting of the Cabinet was convened immediately at which the Premier eulogized the late minister. The Cabinet then named a special committee to arrange for Mr. Kaplan’s funeral which has been fixed for 11 A.M. Tuesday.


A special El Al airplane was ordered by the Cabinet today from here to fly to Genoa and will return tomorrow afternoon with the body. Meanwhile, Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, who is now in Paris, left today for Genoa and may escort the body from Italy to Jerusalem.

The news of Mr. Kaplan’s sudden death stunned the people all over the country. Government institutions lowered the national flag at half mast. The Israel Parliament tomorrow will hold a special memorial meeting to be addressed by Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the H use and Deputy President of Israel. A special memorial session was held today by the Histadrut executive.

Plans for the funeral were being worked out this afternoon by a special committee named by the Cabinet. The committee includes Premier David Ben Gurion; Communication Minister D.Z. Pinkas; Education Minister B.Z. Dinaburg; Berl Locker, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive; Dr. A. Granott, head of the Jewish National Fund; and Dr. Arthur Hantke, director of the Keren Hayesod.

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