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  • BJHC

This Was Their Finest Hour // Closed exhibition

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Male khaki military shirt, with half sleeve and two pockets on its front. On the left pocket hangs four medals, above which are attached four signs of war and above which are attached three pins. The medals were given in recognition of participation in the battles of World War II. The map of the United Kingdom is against a yellow background with a ribbon adorned with tassels at the edges.
A military shirt with medals, and a hanging map. The shirt - was made in Israel by Lahav company, on loan from Gila Ben Zion; The map - is of Britain, late 40s of the 20th century, made of silk, cotton, silk threads and printing. On loan from Moshe Sofer in memory of his father Ovadia Sofer.

Curator: Ginat Salman

World War II, which broke out on September 1, 1939, changed the face of the world. David Ben-Gurion, the chairman of the Jewish Agency, supported a policy of collaboration with the British, which encouraged many people from the Jewish community in pre-State Israel to volunteer for the British army in order to participate in the large-scale campaign against Nazi Germany. Surprisingly, young Jews from Iraq, who due to their Zionist convictions had illegally immigrated to pre-State Israel, joined those military units as well.

Over the years, artifacts, photographs and documents have been added to the collection of the Babylonian Jewry Museum, opening a window to the personal and heroic stories of those soldiers – stories that the general public was not acquainted with until now.

The name of this exhibition is taken from a speech that was delivered on June 18, 1940 by Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The exhibition features unique artifacts that shed partial light on the stories of the Jewish soldiers originally from Iraq who fought on the different fronts together with the Allied forces and the Jewish Brigade.


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