maandag 21 mei 2012

Dagboek 1948: een staat wordt geboren 21 mei 1948

De door Arabieren opgeblazen Hurva synagoge 1948
MAY 21st A small party of Syrian troops came into Christ Church in the early morning and wanted to search the premises. They said that they believed that somebody was firing signals from this area. They seemed very suspicious and wanted to station some men on the premises to watch. We were most anxious not to allow any armed men on the premises and suggested that they should station a couple of unarmed men. They said that they could not do this and as they were very insistent we reluctantly gave way and urged that if they did come they would not fire from the premises. This seemed to allay their suspicions somewhat and they went away saying that they would let us know later what they decided to do, but they never returned.

Later in the morning a Swedish correspondent from St. George’s turned up. He said they were getting a very noisy time in that area and a good deal of firing between Jewish and Arab armoured cars in the vicinity. I gave them a little description of our experiences up to date and showed him an array of various missiles picked up on the premises residing on my mantle-piece. He seemed quite impressed and said, “That is a better collection than the Cathedral has!”

Fearing possible fires (there have been several in the vicinity) we took up all carpets and cushions from the Church and placed buckets of earth at convenient places in the Compound.

In the afternoon we had another visit from armed men, this time including an Arab Legionary who said that a couple of Jews had been reported to be seen escaping towards Christ Church and he wanted to have a look inside the premises. He seemed very suspicious and entered several rooms but we satisfied his curiosity by showing him round everywhere and finally he departed, apparently satisfied that we were not harbouring armed Jews.

Another very noisy night with the Arab Legion continuing mopping-up operations in the Old City. Considerable damage was done to the large Synagogue, the dome of which was practically demolished.

Gerestaureerde Hurva synagoge in 2010