Jewish RAF Veteran Testimony - Martin Hauser





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Published on Apr 4, 2012

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With the rise of the Nazis to power in 1933, Martin Hauser left Germany for Eretz Israel. In 1940 he joined the British Air Force, serving first in its Cairo headquarters, and later in Italy, where he worked for British intelligence. In the vanguard of the fighting units, he was among the first to comprehend the extent of the Jewish catastrophe.

In Italy, Martin initiated the collection of information from synagogues, prisons and other sources so he could contact and help Jewish refugees. The information was relayed to the Jewish Agency and to the Joint Distribution Committee. Soon Martin was responsible for providing food and shelter to the masses of refugees reaching Italy. With the arrival of the Jewish Brigade in 1944, Martin established Hamerkaz Lagola (The Diaspora Center), responsible for educational and cultural activities and for placing multitudes of refugees on boats for Eretz Israel.

Martin was later sent by the Diaspora Center to camps in Germany and Austria, referring thousands of refugees to the Jewish Agency emissaries and helping to organize their emigration to Eretz Israel.

On his return to pre-State Israel, Martin joined the Jewish Agency's department of absorption, continuing to help immigrants settle in their new homeland.

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