Title: Lone Wolf in Jerusalem
Author: Ehud Diskin
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2018
It’s the old story about partisan soldiers who must act as killing machines in guerilla warfare but somehow transition back to sons brothers husbands fathers in peacetime.
Learning to become and acting as a heartless killer leaves a permanent effect on the psyche.
David Gabinsky was a survivor of the city of Minsk, his family obliterated by the German Wehrmacht which eradicated the Jews from most of Poland in their march to control almost all of formerly civilized Europe. His family had sent him out to join the other partisans in the forests, and there he trained, and became a killing machine with the one objective of taking out as many German soldiers as possible – partly in communal self-defense and partly for retribution.
After the hostilities ceased, and his visit back home confirmed that he was one of the only people from his community who survived the Holocaust, his journey took him to Israel, where he first acted as a “Lone Wolf,” taking out one British soldier after another as he learned of those who were threatening the Yishuv as well as his other immigrant friends and compatriots.
Diskin paints with a historical brush, using historical names, places and facts to back up a richly embroidered fictional account that proves to be a page-turner one can’t put down. The action proceeds from the beach landings of the immigrants of Aliyah Bet to the bombing of the King David Hotel to the clandestine transferal of illegal immigrants via the Galilee.
Through the movements of Diskin’s hero, David Gabinsky, we’re there when the Stern Gang did atrocious acts to force Britain’s hand into departing Palestine in order to allow the Jews to declare Israel an independent state. We also feel the difficulty of Gabinsky’s metamorphosis back to once again becoming a civilized and compassionate person.
Lone Wolf in Jerusalem, a historical novel, would certainly make a very good Hollywood action film, with enough twists and turns and cliff-hangers to keep you on the edge of your seat, and right now it’s an entertaining and utterly absorbing read that captures a sense of history in the establishment of our State of Israel.