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75th Anniversary of Tiberias Massacre – 21 Jews Slain , Worst Since ’29; Synagogue, Homes Razed

Before there was a State of Israel or "Settlements", Arabs massacred 21 Jews in Tiberias on October 2, 1938.
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Tiberias Massacre

Photo Credit: YidwithLid Blog

Today, October 2,  is the 75th anniversary of the massacre of 21 Jews in Tiberias by Arabs.  

Below is an original news report from 1938:

An invasion of ancient Tiberias on the shore of the Galilee, in which at least 21 Jews — including an American citizen and his wife — were massacred by an arab band wielding bomb, rifle and torch, sent a wave of indignation surging through Jewish Palestine today. The massacre was the worst since the Hebron onslaught in 1929.

While the Government clamped a 22-hour curfew on the town and searches of ruined houses went ahead — an official communique predicting that more victims would probably be found in the debris – troops pursued the arab band and was reported to have contacted it at Lubia village.

a general work stoppage was staged by central Jewish organizations from two to four o’clock this afternoon during the funeral services for the seven men, three women and eleven children slain in last night’s two-hour assault, termed the worst onslaught since the riots of 1929.

The victims were mourned as martyrs by Jewish leaders who went to Tiberias from Jerusalem for the services. Those attending the funeral included Moshe Shertok, of the Jewish Agency, representatives of the Jewish National Council, the religious Agudath Israel and other groups.

“Palestine Jewry is deeply horrified at the Tiberias massacre and sacrilege,” declared Palestine’s chief rabbis, dr. Isaac Herzog and Dr. Jacob Meir, in a cable to colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald. “In God’s name, we appeal to you to end the terror.”

Ghaffirs (supernumerary police) reported hearing the bandsmen speak English during the raid. it was officially announced that while the casualties total among the raiders was not yet known, six bandits were killed by Jewish constables who were rushing to Tiberias from the Mizpah settlement when they met another band also bound for Tiberias. The constables seized one german and four english rifles and a quantity of ammunition.

The attack was launched at nine o’clock last night, according to the official account, when an armed band entered Tiberias in two parties, from the north and from the south. They cut telephone lines, then, at a signal of shrill whistles from the hills around the town, began to shoot, attacking first the government district offices and police billets. They wrecked the district offices, the Central Synagogue and six houses.

Police reinforcements arrived within 25 minutes from Samekh after being heavily fired upon on the road. gunfire in the town continued until eleven o’clock, when police, British troops and a detachment of the Transjordan Frontier Force drove off the band, taking the situation in hand.

According to supplementary unofficial details, the local police force was taken by surprise and was unable to prevent the raid. the new Jewish quarter of Kirit samuel bore the brunt of the onslaught.

Two of the Jewish victims were not immediately found. The others were as follows:

Joshua Ben-Arieh, his wife, Shoshanah, and a son, Arieh, stabbed and burned to death; another son, Moshe, one-and-a-half years old, shot dead.

Rivka leimer, 10, and her brothers, Chaim, 12, and ezra, 8, stabbed and burned to death. Both families were in the Ben-Arieh house at the time of the attack.

Rachel Mizrachi, 26, and her five children, Ezra, Miriam, Yochebed, Samuel and Hephzibah, aged 12, 5, 3, 2 and I, respectively, killed while the father, Shimon Yochanan Mizrachi, was on guard duty in a distant part of the city.

Menachem Kabni, an American citizen, and his wife stabbed and burned to death. His sister escaped. what part of the united states kabni came from was not ascertained immediately.

ezekiel katz, 42, killed when the synagogue was burned down.

Two Jewish constables, Israel Bookman and Zvi Chatzkelevitz, killed during the shooting, and also Jacob Gross.

The wounded are Hanka leimer, 37, in serious condition; Rahamin Halevy and Hanna Sabach, slightly injured.

The massacre climaxed a weekend of disorders in which three Jews were killed in various attacks, 70 Arab rebels were slain in engagements with troops and an Arab family of six was wiped out by a land mine explosion in the Manshieh quarter of Jaffa.

A Jewish railway worker, Meir Woronski, 38, an immigrant from Poland, was shot and killed by snipers in Haifa. leo Seidner, 35, a Public Works department engineer was shot dead while riding in his car on the Nazareth-Tiberias road. a Jewish-owned truck struck a land mine near Kfar Syrkin, fatally wounding Gita Goldenberg, 26, and injuring Zev Pokroisky, 26.

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One Response to “75th Anniversary of Tiberias Massacre – 21 Jews Slain , Worst Since ’29; Synagogue, Homes Razed”

  1. Nice to see the pictures and the discovery of the massacre from a two-year-old blog were so appreciated http://www.israeldailypicture.com/2011/09/does-anyone-know-about-massacre-of-19.html

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