IDF and Israeli Defense Ministry Bring Remains of Paratrooper from Prague for Burial | JNS

The Israel Defense Forces and the Families, Remembrance and Heritage Division of the Israel Defense Ministry sent a delegation to Prague to bring the remains of IDF paratrooper Martin Davidovich back to Israel for burial, the Israel Defense Forces said. army Monday.

Davidovich was killed in a training accident in 1948 during a parachuting course organized by the Czech Brigade and has since been buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague.

“At the request of the family… and in coordination with the IDF Military Attaché in the Czech Republic, the Israeli Embassy in the Czech Republic and the Czech Ministry of Defense, the operation was carefully planned over the three past years, ”the IDF said.

Davidovich’s remains were exhumed and transferred to a coffin due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday. A monument brought by the Israeli delegation will be placed at the original burial site, he added.

On Wednesday, an Israeli Air Force plane with soldiers and commanders of the Parachute Brigade will fly to Václav Havel Airport in Prague to retrieve the coffin. A military ceremony will be held at the airport, led by the chief military cantor, Lt. Col. (res.) Shai Abramson, after which the delegation will return to Israel with the remains.

Davidovich was 21 when he was killed in the crash. Born in 1927 in the city of Zdenova, Czechoslovakia, he studied at the city’s Jewish school and participated in sports. He loved to read and joined a youth movement, the IDF noted.

Martin Davidovich. Credit: Courtesy of the IDF Spokesman’s Unit.

After Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, Davidovich was sent to Auschwitz.

“From there he was sent to Mauthausen, where he worked as a tailor. During World War II his two sisters perished, ”the IDF said, while Davidovich survived with his three other siblings.

After his release from the camp, he returned to his hometown and traveled with most of the Jews to the Sudetenland. He then joined the Zionist Youth Organization and volunteered for the Czech Brigade, which included around 1,300 Jewish and Christian volunteers from the Czech Army who trained in the Czech Republic and planned to immigrate to Israel. to join the Haganah, the forerunner of the Israeli army.

The training included raids and parachuting exercises. “The parachuting training was carried out in the utmost secrecy at a facility in communist Czechoslovakia which was used by the Nazis during World War II,” the IDF said.

On August 8, 1948, Davidovich was killed in an accident during a secret parachuting course on Czech soil.

He was secretly buried due to the unit’s covert activity. In 2001 Davidovich was recognized as an IDF victim.

“His name is immortalized in the monument to the paratroopers near the Tel Nof air base,” the IDF said.

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Berta D. Wells