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Prof. Aharon Katzir-katchalsky, Head of Polymer Dept. of Weizmann Institute, Killed in Lydda Massacr

June 1, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Funeral services will be held Friday for Prof. Aharon Katzir-Katchalsky, an Internationally famous scientist, head of the Polymer Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science In Rehovoth, who was killed in the Lydda Airport massacre last night while returning from a scientific conference in West Germany. Dr. KATZIR-KATCHALSKY was 58.

He was fatally wounded by a Japanese gunman as he was walking towards the customs barrier where his wife, Rena, and his son were waiting to greet him. Mrs. Katzir-Katchalsky was slightly wounded. His body will lie in state at the Weizmann Institute where the funeral services will be held. President Zalman Shazar, Premier Golda Meir and other top ranking Israeli government officials will attend. In addition, leading scientists from all parts of the world are expected to be present at the burial ceremonies. The services were scheduled for Friday to enable them to reach Israel.


Prof. Katzir-Katchalsky was born in Lodz, Poland in 1914, came to Palestine in 1925 and was educated at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry. His specialty was the thermo-dynamics of irreversible processes and their application to biological membranes. His special field of research was the brain. Prof. Katzir-Katchalsky and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute were credited with a major scientific breakthrough recently when they developed a process to convert chemical energy directly to mechanical energy without an intermediary process.

Prof. Katzir-Katchalsky headed many Israeli and international scientific bodies, was holder of the Weizmann Prize and the Israel Prize in exact sciences and of many international honors. Last year he was elected a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington. D.C. and was also a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and a member of the American Chemical Society, Colloid Division. He was also a visiting professor at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley; Herter Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and Forester Lecturer at the State University of New York.

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