Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

1948 War for Independence

How you, how you got in and then got involved in the war.

In the war. Okay uh, the economic situation then got bad. So after some time the economic situation caused by the British uh, curfew and so on uh, led to that the factory for bookbinding where I was working at that time had only work about two days out of a week. So I was looking for alternates. Now on the one hand I did sing as a cantor in Jerushen Synagogue on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah 1946. Um, they paid me exactly what it cost me to pay in the hotel where I was spending the night. I was very, very disappointed there. Around the same time I also was looking for somewhere to go, such as a kibbutz, 'spe...in particular one where there would be Dutch members. So I ended up in Kibbutz Kvutzat Yavneh, where there were lots of Dutch uh, youths. Um, I stayed there from oh, beginning of 1947. Uh, in the, in the, before the Independence War in '47 I was one of ten members of the kibbutz. We were trained by the Haganah. We were called Polom. This is not the same as Palmach, but the same letters. We were like the local storm troops. If any action was called for, we would be sent out. We were uh, we went out in front of the buses to make sure that no bombs had been planted. And uh, also there were some actions against the neighboring Arabs, who were causing trouble. We were the ones who did it. So ten days training altogether. And uh, when Independence War came uh, our ten members of the Polom, plus also from other kibbutz in the area were all uh, told to volunteer and we became part of the Tzahal at that time, the beginning of Tzahal. We saw action in several places, and one occasion uh, out of the ten members of our kibbutz, one got killed, one got seriously wounded, and one got lightly wounded. So I was one of the surviving seven. And um, I was in Negba at the moment that an Egyptian gun--artillery shell hit the water tower and the water came streaming out. So I was there during the Independence War at various locations and at various times.

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