This year will mark 90 years since the end of World War I in the Land of Israel, which had a massive effect on the region. In the coming weeks we will bring you photos from an album which belonged to late archeologist Pesach Bar-Adon.
Pesach Bar-Adon (1907-1985) immigrated to Israel in 1925. During the 1929 and 1939 events, he was an active member of the Haganah organization in Jerusalem. He built roads and buildings for a living.
A chapter of his life was dedicated to living with Bedouins in Jordan and the Golan, in order to learn of their lifestyle. He later took oriental studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and wrote stories. In 1939, he married Dorothy Kahan, an American author who fell in love with the Land of Israel, and the two moved to the Blumenfeld house in Moshav Merhavia.
Pesach was involved in a large number of archeological excavations in the Land of Israel: Beit Shearim, Beit Yerach, and the Matmon cave in Nahal Mishmar. He engaged in archaeology till the age of 70.
The photo album presented here was delivered to me by Pesach's son, Doron, who does not know who gave the album to his father. Some of the photos are accompanied by a hand-written caption in German, but some of the photos and captions have faded after more than 90 years and are no longer recognizable.
I would like to thank Tuvia Rivner for translating the captions, and Prof. Benjamin Kedar who interpreted the captions and broadened our knowledge on the photos. Some of the photos missing a caption were sent to the war archive in the German city of Freiburg for help in identifying them.
1. German soldiers left for the Middle East by train to help the Ottoman army in the Land of Israel. In the photo: A train station in Turkey on the railway to Baghdad
2. Halab (Aleppo) – another train station on the railway to Baghdad, near a military encampment
3. German army unit arrives in Halab, Syria
4. Jamal Pasha, commander of the Syria district (which included the Land of Israel, Lebanon, Higaz and Jordan) and commander of the Ottoman Fourth Army during World War I, at a reception
5. In late January 1915, a large Turkish force made its way with camel and horse units towards the Suez Canal. They advanced for 10 days, carrying boats and rafts to cross the canal. They arrived at the eastern bank of the canal on the eve of February 3 and managed to lower the boats to the water, before being discovered by an Anglo-Indian force which caused them to flight, leading to the failure of the first Turkish offensive on the British army.
6. "Dr. Cnaan rides a camel for the first time, 1915"
7. "In my laboratory in Beersheba with Mrs. Dr. Hegler and Dr. Bader." (This is the only photograph pointing to the name of the album's owner, indicating that he was a member of the medical team)
8. "Dr. Cnaan on Jamal Pasha's vehicle, near Uja al-Hafir, 1915"
9. "Near the mosque in Beersheba. On the right: Dr. Safar, Mrs. Cnaaan, Dr. Cnaan, Dr. Krieger, 1916"
10. "The medical team leaves Uja al-Hafir on camels, 1915"
11. "A portable bakery and field kitchen"
12. "Field kitchen"
13. "Baking bread in the desert with Eberlein the engineer, November 1915"
14. "Major Ramsey Kikton, the staff doctor, near the mosque in Beersheba"
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