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Avraham David Stavsky



Brest-Litovsk, Poland

Date And Place Of Death

Date And Place Of Death

June 23, 1948 - Tel Aviv

Security Unit

War / Battle

War of Independence

Resting Place

Nahalat Yitzhak Cemetery, Tel Aviv

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Aliyah Date


Life Story

Avraham David Stavsky was born on January 5,1906 in Brest-Litovsk, Poland to Ita and Aharon-Zvi. When he completed high school, Avraham attempted to immigrate to Palestine, without papers, but was caught and turned over to the Polish authorities by the Romanians, and returned home. He was then drafted into the Polish Army. After completing his army service he dedicated his efforts to the Betar movement and in 1933 he again immigrated to Palestine - this time legally - and was active in Betar activities. On the night of June 16, 1933 Haim Arlosoroff, a leading member of the Palestine Labor Party (Mapai), was murdered on the north Tel Aviv beach. Stavsky and two other Revisionists, were arrested and charged with the crime, which was assumed to have been a political assassination. The other two were acquitted but Stavsky, protesting his innocence, was found guilty and condemned to death. Of the three judges, one dissented vigorously stating that in his opinion, Avraham Stavsky was equally innocent and the crime was not political at all. The death sentence was protested by many prominent voices and July 19, 1934 the verdict was overruled by the Court of Appeals. Stavsky was released and exiled. In Poland he was active in 'illegal' immigration and with the outbreak of World War II he succeeded in escaping to the United States where he applied for citizenship. In the US, he worked hard and continuously for the 'illegal' immigration of Jews to Palestine. Stavsky served with the War Refugee Board which saved numerous lives from the Nazi Holocaust and was involved in refugee work in Ankara and Switzerland. After the war he returned to Poland where he was one of the main organizers of the 'illegal' ship 'Ben Hecht' which reached Palestine on March 9, 1947. After the State of Israel was proclaimed, Stavsky helped organize the 'Altalena' which carried weapons and men for the war against the Arabs. David Ben-Gurion, fearful that the ship would aid the Etzel opposition, refused to allow it to land and ordered that it be fired upon. Avraham Stavsky was fatally wounded aboard the Altalena June 22, 1948 off northern Tel Aviv- quite close to the spot where Arlosoroff had been killed in the very same month 15 years earlier. He died the following day and was buried in Nahalat Yitzhak Cemetery in Tel Aviv.
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