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British War Office Favors Appointment of Jew As Commander of Jewish Brigade

September 22, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

While commanders of the projected Jewish brigade group have not been selected, a list of brigadiers from whom they will be drawn has already been prepared, the Evening Standard reports today.

Some difficulty may be encountered in transferring to the brigade those officers who are eventually selected since they are occupying important positions either in Italy or in the west, the paper says. It adds that the War Office would like to see a Jew as commander of the force.

The shoulder patch to be worn by troops serving in the brigade will be printed in English and Hebrew, according to the Standard. It states that one of the insignia under consideration would superimpose a Star of David on a blue-and-white background “so that the symbol of persecution would become one of liberation.”

The Jewish Agency today issued a statement hailing the British decision to establish a Jewish brigade group and emphasizing that three Jewish battalions from Palestine will form the core of this brigade. The entire Jewish community here is enthusiastic about the British decision.

“In the course of the past five years millions of our people have been powerless to defend their lives and have been the enemy’s prey,” the statement of the Agency declares. “Hundreds of thousands of Jewish troops have fought anonymously among the Allied armies. Thousands of volunteers from the Yishuv took part in battles on many fronts in the Middle East and Europe without the name of the Jewish people being associated with their service. Yet it is only now that we are privileged to witness the formation of a Jewish fighting group under its own name, flag and Jewish command.

“Three Jewish battalions from Palestine,” the statement continues, “will form the core of the Jewish brigade and henceforth will fight the common enemy on behalf of their people and homeland. Another unit has been added to the military growth of our structure. Our fighting sons will rally around them the suffering Jews of the Diaspora for whom they will bring the message of a warring, working Zion. The Jewish youth of Palestine will fill the ranks of the Jewish brigade.”

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