Zionism and Israel - Biographies
Biography- Joseph Trumpeldor
Biography- Joseph Trumpeldor
Joseph Trumpeldor (1880-1920) was born in Piatygorsk, Russia. He
enlisted in the Russian army in 1902, and fought in the Russian-Japanese war. Trumpeldor lost his left arm during the
siege of Port Arthur and was taken prisoner. He was awarded a medal for his gallantry and zeal, and was the most
decorated Jewish soldier in Russia. Because of his disability, he studied law. In 1912 he came
Aliya to Palestine and for a while lived at Kibbutz (Kvutzath) Deganyah. With the outbreak of the First World War, Trumpeldor, a
Russian citizen, was considered an enemy alien, and as he refused to take Ottoman citizenship, Trumpeldor was expelled
from the country and joined the Allied war effort. He was instrumental in founding the Zion Mule Corps in 1915 and saw
action in Gallipoli where he was shot through the shoulder. At the end of the war, Trumpeldor returned to Russia where
he experienced the Russian revolution. In 1918 he established He-Halutz, the pioneering youth organization that
prepared youngsters for settlement in Eretz-Israel.
Following his return to Palestine, Trumpeldor was involved in the
defense of Tel Hai, against Arab attacks. The area was disputed by the French and partisans of French and British
control incited violence. Trumpeldor was fatally wounded at Tel Hai and was killed together with seven other
defenders on March 1, 1920. Supposedly, as he lay on his death bed, he said, "Never mind, it is good to die for one's country."
Tel Hai became a cause celebre of the Zionist movement, and Trumpeldor became a Zionist hero.
Israeli and Zionist Biographies The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
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