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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
June
June 10, 1945 - Italy, refugees in the Bericha Movement and soldiers from Eretz Israel

June 10, 1945

Italy, refugees in the Bericha Movement and soldiers from Eretz Israel

During the summer of 1944, even before the end of World War II, the mass movement of Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to the west and Eretz Israel began. This movement, partially organized and planned and partially spontaneous, is known as the “Bericha” (The Flight). Approximately a quarter of a million Jews participated in the Bericha.

Nechama Brochson was one of the survivors who joined the Bericha. Nechama told her daughter Safira: “We reached Tarvisio, Italy… Soldiers of the Jewish Brigade took us off the trucks – Armed soldiers from the Land of Israel wearing the Star of David on their khaki uniforms, not as a degrading badge or a sign of disgrace but wearing them with pride, as a military badge of identification. They carried us, the weak yet exhilarated, on their shoulders, wiped the tears from our cheeks, kissed us, gave us chocolates and sang in our honor “Hatikvah”. There we heard for the first time the Hebrew of native Israelis, a living language…”

“That was the most emotional and beautiful moment, the moment for which it was worth surviving!” (Safira Rapaport, A Proud Jewess (Hebrew), p. 118)
In the photo, on the left, appears Nechama Brochson; next to her is Chaim, a soldier in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, who apparently participated in the Bericha. The second man in the photo is probably also a soldier in the Jewish Brigade.

For more information on the “Bericha”, click here.
For more information on the Jewish Brigade, click here.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives 5025/23