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News Brief

September 10, 2004
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A French Catholic soldier who headed an elite commando unit in Israel’s War of Independence was honored by the Jewish State. At a ceremony near Paris, Israel’s ambassador to France, Nissim Zvilli, posthumously awarded a medal Thursday to Thadee Diffre in recognition of his service in the French commando unit of the Mahal foreign volunteers’ service. Diffre served as a captain in the French armored division that assisted in the liberation of Paris in 1944 before volunteering for Mahal in February 1948. The highest ranking soldier among some 400 French volunteers in the unit, Diffre took the name Teddy Eytan. He died in France in 1971 at age 59.

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