woensdag 6 juni 2012

Dagboek 1948: een staat wordt geboren 6 juni 1948

JUNE 6th Another noisy day with distracting bursts of firing during morning and evening Services.

Mr. Brice from the British Legation came to the morning Service and brought some mail from abroad. He operates the transmitting set at the Embassy and therefore had quite a lot of information to give. He said that the Cathedral had had two more shells; one entered the nave and demolished the pulpit and a second demolished a room in the Hostel. There were no casualties. He also said that the Shelleys on Doir Abu Tor were safe in their home and the Rev. Clark Kerr at the Scottish Hospice, but that his two Arab men servants, the only other people on the premises, were removed by Haganah. Amongst other bits of information was the following gruesome story, which gives some idea of the grim side of things that are going on in Jerusalem these days.

A certain madman, a familiar landmark in the streets of Jerusalem, a tall, gaunt figure who strides about in a sack cloth, used to walk up and down Suliman Road, between the Notre Dame and the Damascus Gate. This is a stretch of no-man’s-land with the Arab Legion entrenched in the neighbourhood of the Damascus Gate and the Haganah in the Notre Dame building. For several days this madman strode up and down this road unmolested, then one day he was shot in the leg and immediately afterwards received a bullet in the other leg. He fell to the ground but was not fatally injured. He was struck by other bullets but still lived, and at the end of two days was still lifting and dropping one of his legs. A mortar was dropped near him to try and put him out of his agony but without effect. Finally the poor fellow expired, but being a madman no one would touch him and he was left to decompose in the street.