web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Machon Ayalon – Pre-State Clandestine Bullet Factory


Littman-041213-Camp

Not all members of the kibbutz knew about the factory. Sometimes one half of a couple would not know that his or her counterpart was involved. Those in the “dark” were referred to as “Giraffes.” That’s because a giraffe’s long neck causes its neck to be so far above the ground it is oblivious to what is going on underneath it. So too these people lacked knowledge of the secret underground activities. Only after they were considered “trustworthy” were they informed of the “bullet” operation.

The industrial unit built 25 feet below ground took three weeks (22 days) to dig out. The underground chamber has 2-foot-thick walls and ceiling.

The concealment of the factory and the tremendous noise it made was nothing less then ingenious.

Above ground on one end was a laundry room. The large state-ring below.

Littman-041213-MachineBut, how much washing does one kibbutz have? To ensure there was enough laundry to keep the machine washing 24/7, a commercial laundry service was opened in Rechovot. The maternity facility in the city brought their dirty diapers to this shop. The laundry acquired for itself the name of a superb cleaner. Even British officials stationed in the area wanted their uniforms to be laundered in the kibbutz. To keep the soldiers away, the kibbutz members provided a pick up and delivery service for the enemy. The Brits never dreamed that the whole place was a cover-up that concealed a secret arms factory.

On the other side, there was a bakery. The huge 10-ton baking oven covered the shaft into which the necessary manufacturing machines had been lowered into the factory. In 1938, these twelve machines, (which had been used to make ammunition for WWI, 1914 -18), were purchased in Poland. In 1985 when Machon Ayalon was renovated into a museum, nine of the machines were returned. Three are still being used to make bullets today. Once upon a time, they made things to last.

The raw copper needed to manufacture the bullets was obtained from a makeup factory. When the importing authorities asked the owner why he needed so much copper, he said that women in Palestine use a lot of makeup and he needed to manufacture many kosher lipstick and powder cases to fill their needs. The explanation proved plausible especially as it was reinforced by gifts of lipstick and powder cases to British officials. Large import licenses were approved.Littman-041213-Rig

After the ammunition was produced, a way had to be found to smuggle it to the fighters. At first, the bullets were put in milk cans with a double wall. These proved too heavy. Later, secret compartments built in fuel trucks concealed them. Since the British did not expect explosive gunpowder-filled objects to be hidden in fuel trucks, the bullets could be dispersed without detection.

As the workers were underground so long, it was quickly realized that they would look suspiciously pale from being out of the sun. The doctor who was brought in suggested using a special sun lamp to tan the workers skin. They were also given extra portions of foods rich in Vitamin D.

The work was difficult. The place was dark, dusty and claustrophobic – and the penalty for engaging in such illegal activities during the Mandate period was death. To make sure they had no traces of their work on them, such as copper shavings or gunpowder, a thorough inspection of worker’s clothes, hair and shoes was made each day before they exited the factory. Many times copper shavings had to be scraped off the bottoms of their shoes.

There was also a risk of the bullets exploding and killing them (and their little children in the nursery school above ground). Yet these young people readily put their lives on the line. Before they had been conscripted to work in the bullet-factory they had been on the verge of creating a new settlement. Nevertheless, they agreed most readily to the Haganah’s plan and with meseerot nefesh produced bullets for three long years.

After the establishment of the State, the pioneer group from the Ayalon Institute decided to stay together and established a new kibbutz, Ma’agan Micha’el, by the sea near Zichron Yaakov in 1949.

About the Author: Originally from south Africa, Vardah has been living in Eretz Yisrael since 1974 and the more she learns about our glorious Holy Land the more she gets to love this prime property that Hashem has given to the Jewish People. She is studying to be a tour guide and hopes with the help of Hashem, through this column to give readers a small taste of the land.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Machon Ayalon – Pre-State Clandestine Bullet Factory”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Soldiers check Palestinian Authority Arabs for knives,explosives, guns, screwdrivers and anything else that can be used to murder.
Palestinian Authority Terrorist Tries to Kill Soldier at Checkpoint
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Vardah Littmann
Littman-112213-Flowers

Only half an hour’s drive from Jerusalem, the majestically beautiful Einot Tzukim Nature Reserve is a lush, green oasis surrounded by miles of flat arid, desert.

Littman-102513-Wall

The Kotel Hakatan is the “little sister” of the well-known Western Wall, and is reminiscent of the photos and drawings of the way the Kotel looked before 1948. It is located 200 yards further north of the Kotel, and is on the same level as Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount). Since its plaza is much narrower, and the majority of the wall is underground (thereby concealing much of its height), the Small Wall is less impressive than the Western Wall.

When we come to the Kotel we may be so engrossed in our tefillos that we don’t notice the numerous birds flying close by and the plants growing out of her stones. But the Kotel—spiritual home to millions — is built of stones that serve as the physical home for various animals and plants.

Although there are more direct and faster routes to Beer Sheva and Eilat and all the sites and towns in-between, the Basor River is one of the beauties of the Negev that defiantly justifies a diversion.

Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.

About four years ago a group of orthodox senior citizens from Bnei Brak arrived to tour the Ayalon Institute. One woman seemed to be exceptionally moved and cried a lot. Nearly two week later, she sent a letter to the Institute explaining why. She wrote that she was a Holocaust survivor and between 1943 and 1945 she had been a forced laborer making bullets to help the Nazi cause – bullets that were used many times against Jews. After the war, she had concentrated on raising a frum generation, suppressing all the terror of those horrendous years in order to do so.

We will start our tour at Agripas No. 12, exactly where the first round stone pot-plant of pansies stands, on the same side of Binyan Klal, but walking towards King George Street and opposite the traffic circle. Entering HaRav Chaim Elboher Alley, we find ourselves in Even Yisrael.

The crane is the king of the Hula Valley with welcoming squawks and shrieks of sheer delight from the thousands on the ground and the many hundreds in the skies above. They are surely calling out “Shalom aleichem, my friends, alechem shalom, so glad you arrived,” for it is known that cranes inform each other of favorable domiciles.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/machon-ayalon-pre-state-clandestine-bullet-factory/2013/04/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: