Last Post for South Africa’s Machal 800?

by Maskil on 20 Aug 2008


This post will probably be of interest mainly to my readers in South Africa (or those with a South African connection), less so to my readers in other countries.

The South African Zionist Federation in Israel published the item below on its Telfed Online website under the heading “South Africa’s 800”. I haven’t seen it published in the SA Jewish press (I may have overlooked it), so I’ve reproduced it here on the off-chance that a visitor to this site may be able to assist.

Approximately 800 Southern Africans (see exact numbers below) took part in Israel’s War of Independence as members of Machal (Mitnadvei Chutz L’Aretz). According to the item on Telfed Online (posted on Thu 2008/07/03):

The book, South Africa’s 800 by Henry Katzew, (the story of South African volunteers in Israel’s war of birth), shows that 836 South Africans had participated. The editing team has successfully classified 799 of them, concerning their activities at the time, military units or Kibbutzim.

The following 37 names, with their 1948 home town or 1968 place of residence are still unclassified. Anyone who might have information concerning these person’s activities in 1948 are invited to contact of these emails:

doreen (at), or lanesman (at)

  • Aftergood, Fred – Sderot Wingate, Haifa
  • Benatar, Samuel – Elizabethville, Congo
  • Bernstein, Elana – Berea, Johannesburg
  • Braudo, Muriel – Gwelo, Rhodesia
  • Brener, Lily – Riviera, Johannesburg
  • Burman, Philip – Wynberg, Cape
  • Capelluto, Yacov – Elizabethville, Congo
  • Dawson, Edwin – Wakefield, Rhodesia
  • Durner, Alfred – Lancashire, UK
  • Herman, Robert Albert – Kroonstad, OFS
  • Herzfeld, Lazlo – Nairobi, Kenya
  • Hershowitz, Thelma – Berea, Johannesburg
  • Horwitch, Lydia – c/o Pioneer Press, Cape Town
  • Israel, Albert – Chilonga, Rhodesia
  • Israel, Itzhak – Wakefield, Rhodesia
  • Jackson, Joe – Doornfontein, Johannesburg
  • Jacobson, Monty – Yeoville, Johannesburg
  • Karanowitch, Baruch – Wandel Street, Cape Town
  • Katz, Joseph – Salisbury, Rhodesia
  • Kerbel, George – Sokolow Street, Tel Aviv
  • Kimmel, Joe,- Bloemfontein OFS
  • Lawrence,Rina- Birmingham, UK
  • Lipman, Robert -Wolmarans Street, Johannesburg
  • Matheson, Isaac – Berea, Johannesburg
  • Miller, Leslie – Hillbrow, Johannesburg
  • Potel, Joseph – Salisbury, Rhodesia
  • Rabinowitch, Percy Mark – Wakefield, Rhodesia
  • Sacks, Zvi – Obervatory Ext. Johannesburg
  • Shelley, George Thomas – Que Que, Rhodesia
  • Sher, Percy – Vredehoek Cape Town
  • Stark, Gerald – Glenwood, Durban
  • Stern Maurice – P.O.Box 203, Tel Aviv
  • Van Harn, Ferdinand – HaCarmel, Haifa
  • Wallace, David – Sunnyside, Pretoria
  • Weigert, Hans – Melbourne, Australia
  • Weinberg, Arthur – P.O.Box 3924, Johannesburg
  • Wilkes, Bernard – Salisbury, Rhodesia

The book “South Africa’s 800” referred to above was (perhaps unfortunately) self-published by Col. (Res.) David (Migdal) Teperson on behalf of the Machal Museum, and is therefore not available through the usual sources. I would be happy to publish details should there be any interest.

(On a personal note, my late Uncle Ron, late Aunt Sylvie and Aunt Doreen all served in Machal.)


Related posts:

The South African Machal Volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence

Previous post:

Next post: