Perfect Heroes: The World War II Parachutists and the Making of Israeli Collective Memory
Univ of Wisconsin Press, Jun 15, 2010 - History - 282 pages
During World War II, the British military dropped several dozen parachutists from Palestine, including three women, behind enemy lines in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. These young soldiers, most of whom had fled Europe only a few years earlier, faced a double challenge: their British mission was to find pilots who had jettisoned over enemy territory and assist them in returning to Allied-occupied lands; their Zionist mission was to contact Jewish communities, assist them in rebuilding the local Zionist movement, and, when necessary, help their members escape from the Nazis. Seven of the parachutists lost their lives in this effort.
In Perfect Heroes, an expanded and updated English adaptation of her Hebrew book Giborim le-mofet, Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz recounts the history of these parachutists' wartime escapades and also analyzes the ways that various segments of Israeli society—military, political, legal, educational, youth, literary, and artistic—used the parachutists' story over the course of fifty years to build a nationalist narrative and to promote their own partisan and, at times, contradictory agendas. Baumel-Schwartz also offers broader comparative discussions of how individuals were commemorated as WWII heroes and heroines in many countries, in service of national mythologizing and collective memory.
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Abba Berdiczew activity Archives Aviv Beit Beit Oren Ben-Gurion British Budapest ceremony chutists cofﬁn collective memory commemoration Communist comrades cultural Davar difﬁcult educational emissaries Enzo Sereni ethos Europe ﬁelds ﬁgures ﬁle ﬁlm ﬁrst ﬁve funeral Giv’at Brenner Giv’at Haviva Ha’aretz Hahoterim Haim Hermesh Hakibbutz Ha’artzi Hakibbutz Hameuhad Hannah Szenes Hashomer Hatzair Haviva Reik Hermesh heroes heroism Holocaust Hungarian Hungary immigration included inﬂuence interview Israel Israeli society Jerusalem Jewish Agency Jews Kasztner Kasztner trial Katherine Szenes Kibbutz Kibbutz Sdot Yam kibbutzim Knesset letter Ma’agan Ma’anit Mapai military Ministry mission Moshe Mount Herzl myth Nazis ofﬁce ofﬁcers ofﬁcial operation Oren Palestine Palmach parachute parachutists parachutists’affair parachutists’operation political Raﬁ reﬂected Reiss rescue Romania Sdot Yam Sept Sharett Slovakia soldiers symbol Szenes’s Tel Aviv tion ultra-Orthodox uprising World Ya’akov Yad Hannah Yishuv Yishuv leaders Yitzhak Yoel Palgi youth movements Zionist Zvi Ben-Ya’akov