Date Published: 1943-44
Binding: Hard Cover
3 hand written notebooks by a British military police officer, Y?. Norton about life, events, settlement, and crime in Mandatory Palestine during World War II in 1943 and 1944. “Mandatory Palestine” existed for almost two decades (1929 to 1948). As the day of May 14, 1948 came to an end, so did Mandatory Palestine. Mere hours earlier, a new document had been issued: the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
The first two notebooks are historically significant for the information that they convey about Mandatory Palestine during this period of World War II, including many police events with the Palestine, Jewish other others living 4 to 5 years before Israel was formed and during WW2.
Each notebook is bound in thick paper boards, cloth on the spine. 1943-4. 20 × 15.5 cm. Written in a clear hand. The author is articulate, insightful, and reflective. Collection stored in a custom made green cloth box, 7 x 8-1/2 x 2 inches to hold all three notebooks.
#1 Titled: Hebron by Y?. Norton. 182pp. + iii (index) pp. Topics covered in part I of the notebook include: trips to villages (Surit, Dwa, Yatta, etc.); disguise; smoking pipes; camels; the legend of Abraham; musical instruments; shoe-shine boys; glass making; building mud huts; slaughter house; pottery making; buses; Arab baker; explosion at Surit; water skins; metal workers; Arab cafes; mosque. Topics covered in part II of the notebook include: Christmas in Palestine; outrages by Jews; Jewish sergeant killed by grenade; shootings at Tel Aviv and elsewhere; Jewish refugee children reach Palestine; rewards for the capture of the Stern group members; the Palestine police force; manifesto of the Tel Aviv Council; and the Hebrew press. There are a number of pages with nice drawings of pottery and buildings. The entry on pp 108 is a Police reward for the Stern Group Members which leads to the capture of any of the six members Stern Group Members self-styled fighters for the Freedom of Israel. A newspaper with photos and descriptions is affixed to p180.
The entry on pp. 102-3 about Jewish refugee children begins: “Haifa Tuesday 3/5/44 A hundred & twenty seven Jewish refugee children from Romania most of them orphans whose parents had died or been killed in labour & concentration camps in Transylvania sailed happily for the first time after years of suffering when they arrived here this morning. Tired & travel-stained, clothed in rags & wearing wooden sandals, the children ranged in age from 4 to 16 years. Most of them came from Bucovina & Bessarabia. They were deported with their families to Transylvania & left Romania only four weeks ago.”
#2 Untitled: [1944 Palestine with some Jewish events] 178pp. + iii (index) pp. Pages 179-83 (“An Attempt to Kill H.C.”) have been torn out of the notebook. Topics covered in the notebook include: family feud in the streets of Jaffa; police clash with armed horsemen; Stern gang member gets seven years; bound for Egypt; shot dead by cattle rustlers; shopkeeper’s wife shot dead; speeches by Dr. Weizman[n] 1929; atrocities in Palestine; the Zionist movement under the Mandate; the Balfour Declaration; the Jewish national home and its scene; the Jewish people’s right to it national home land; etc. The entry for “12 Years for Member of Stern Gang” (pp. 36-8, 14 June 1944) begins: “A member of the Stern Gang (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) David Meir (25) alias Begin yesterday was sentenced by the Jerusalem Military Court to 12 years imprisonment for carrying arms, the sentence being subject to its confirmation by the G.O.C. Most of the morning session was taken up by a long political address which the accused read in Court from a manuscript written in prison.”
(3) Titled: Police Detection and Detection of Crime, pp. 87-187 + ii (previous notebook for pp. 1-86 not extant). This notebook deals with a variety of topics: technical examination and evidence, finger prints, inspection of a crime scene, wheel prints, foot prints, the use of dyes in the detection of thefts, firearms, poison, terms involved in sexual perversion, etc.
On consignment with LDRB.