Auction No. 096

Rare Books & Manuscripts, Rabbinical letters, Zionism, Erez Israel, Judiaca objects & art, numismatics & archeology

November 29, 2016

Auction: Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at 17:00.

Exhibition Schedule:

Thursday November 24, 2016, from 12:00 to 20:00

Sunday, November 27, 2016, from 12:00 to 20:00

Monday November 28, 2016, from 12:00 to 20:00

Opening $1,000
Estimate $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for $1,220
Including buyer's premium

Hundreds of letters written by Chagai Lev, the intelligence officer of the Etzel and Lechi exiles in Africa, 1946-8.
Over one hundred letters in original envelopes with Palestinian stamps. Sent from various locations in Africa, according to the locations where the writer was exiled: Latrun, Eritrea, Gilgil and more.
First, rare, historical evidence about the lives of the Etzel and Lechi exiles in Africa, as written in real time by one of the high ranking exiles. The letters, which were sent to his family, contain many details about the lives of the exiles in Africa, as well as hints to secrets. In some of the envelopes the stamps were ripped off by the British to check that no information is being hidden, and others are complete, a rare phenomenon in this type of communication.   
Chagai Lev [1924-2010], born in Poland, immigrated with his family to Israel in 1936 and joined Betar. He served in various intelligence positions and was arrested a number of times by the British, who finally exiled him to Africa. Even in the various camps (in Asmara, Gilgil, Kenya and others), he collected a lot of information from the local newspapers, and in the role of unofficial intelligence officer came up with various escape plans and even escaped himself through a tunnel. In the 1950's he joined the Mossad and played a central role in bringing the Jews of North Africa to Israel. He took part in a number of documentary films about the Etzl, including: "Hem Lo Yishbaru Otanu [They wont break us]" and "Chamishim Shana L'Shuvam Shel Golei Africa L'Aretz [Fifty years to the return of the African exiles to Israel]". 
Sources:
Yaakov Meridor, "Aruka HaDerech L'Cheirut", Cheirut Newspaper, August 14, 1949.
Shulamit Eliash, "Golei Etzel V'LechiL B'Machanot HaMa'atzar B'Africa, 1944-1948", published by Bar Ilan University, 1996.
The hundreds of letters and envelopes were very carefully saved by the family in a wooden box, very fine condition. 

Category
Historic Documents