Prominent Israeli historian Professor Michael Harsegor died at the age 87 Thursday. He will be most remembered by the Israeli public as the host of the "historical hour" program at the Army Radio.
Harsegor was born in Romania in 1924 and made aliyah in 1949. He taught history at the Tel Aviv University and was an expert on Late Middle Ages European history.
Liad Modrick, his radio program co-host, described his as "a gentleman in every sense of the word."
"He was an incredibly funny and kind man. He welcomed any question, no matter how foolish it was," she said.
Harsegor's family moved to France in the early 1920s but returned to Romania in 1933. Most of his relatives died in the Holocaust. Romanian authorities sentenced him to 20 years of hard labor for his membership in the HaShomer HaTzair movement. He was released from prison in 1944.
Harsegor. Honored by French government (Photo: Yariv Katz)
In the late 1940s, on his way to Israel, his ship was captured by British forces and all passengers were sent to jails in Cyprus. During this time there he changed his name from Goldberg to Harsegor.
In Israel, he was member of Kibbutz Zikim, which he also named.
Over the years, he worked as a reporter in Moscow where he met his wife Tamar, with whom he had a daughter, Niva. He also spent time in Portugal in the 1970s.
In the 1960s he received an honorary doctorate from the French Republic, a title which is rarely bestowed on foreigners.
Harsgor wrote many books, including on such topics as the Carnation Revolution, the renaissance, European society in the 18th century and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
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