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Remains of IDF’s first fallen paratrooper brought to Israel

CM 27/10/2021

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The remains of the first IDF’s first fallen paratrooper, Private Martin Davidowicz were transferred to Israel on Wednesday, the IDF spokesperson unit reported. The coffin was flown in an air force plane and escorted by a joint delegation of the Defense Ministry’s Commemoration and Heritage Families department and the IDF.
The plane landed in Prague earlier in the day, and a ceremony was held by IDF Paratroopers to transfer the coffin to the plane. Leading the ceremony were the delegation leader, deputy director-general and head of the Defense Ministry’s Commemoration and Heritage Families Department Ariyeh Mu’alem and the delegation’s military commander colonel-captain Itay Brinn.
Also participating in the ceremony were soldiers and commanders from the Paratroopers’ Vipers Battalion, the IDF’s cantor lieutenant-colonel Shai Avramson and others. At the end of the ceremony, the soldiers carried the coffin to the plane to be flown back to Israel.
A burial ceremony will take place on Thursday afternoon at the military cemetery in Har Herzl. The ceremony will be led by Deputy Defense Minister Alon Scheuster and head of the Manpower Directorate Major-General Yaniv Asor. The delegation members will also take part as well as the Paratroopers commander colonel-captain Yoav Bronner and Davidowicz’s family.
“The ceremony we held on the ramp of an Israel Air Force plane in the Czech Republic shows our value and dedication of the memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers as a people,” said Mu’alem. “Seeing the paratroopers with their red berets carrying the coffin is an emotional moment that affords great respect to the journey to Davidowicz’s new burial in the Har Herzl Military Cemetery.”

 The remains of Private Martin Davidowicz are brought to Israel. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) The remains of Private Martin Davidowicz are brought to Israel. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

“With great emotion I stand across from Martin Davidowicz’s coffin today and say a thanks for the major privilege that I have to command the operation to bring his remains to Israel for burial,” said Brinn. “It’s a privilege that connects me to our people’s magnificent past, our country’s present and our future as human beings. The more I learned about your personality, the difficulties you faced, the decisions you made and the strength and faith you showed at your young age turns you into an inspiration to me. 
“The soldiers of the Paratroopers Division, the one Davidowicz strove to reach, have come to carry his coffin in an air force flight.”
Martin Davidowicz was born in 1927 in Czechoslovakia. At 16, Davidowicz was sent to Auschwitz where he remained until the end of the Holocaust. Having survived the Holocaust, Davidowicz joined the Czech Brigade. 
During the War of Independence in 1948, Czechoslovakia provided much help to the IDF, and the IDF’s first paratroopers training course was opened in an abandoned base in Czechoslovakia.
In the third week of the course, Davidowicz was shot at point blank during an exercise by a Czech officer who claimed that he thought the gun was empty. The next day he was secretly buried in a Jewish Czech cemetery without a military ceremony. In 2001, he was formally recognized as the first fallen soldier of the IDF Paratroopers.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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