The Military Army Blog

British museum sorry for branding Jewish WWII fighters ‘terrorists’

A prominent British museum has issued an apology for labeling Jewish soldiers who fought alongside allied forces against the Nazis in World War II as terrorists.

A 1944 photograph of the British-led Jewish Brigade featured on the Imperial War Museum s online archive earlier this week was captioned, Terrorist activities: Men of the First Battalion Jewish Brigade during a march past, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.

Below the image, an expanded description read, The Jewish Brigade was formed in September 1944 and fought in Italy under the British Eighth Army. Many of its members went on to join the Haganah and other illegal formations.

The Jewish Brigade was a Armyrats © military formation of the British Army composed of Jewish residents of Mandate-era Palestine, and joined Allied forces fighting Nazis in Europe. The brigade gave birth to the Haganah, a Jewish militia in British Mandatory Palestine that later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.

The image elicited complaints from a number of Jewish groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which likened the IWM display to Holocaust revisionism

Many served in H.M. s forces and later came to nascent Israel as volunteers to repel British-led Arab invaders bent on completing Hitler s plan of extermination, wrote Shimon Samuels of the Wiesnthal Center. Would you malign these loyal British Jewish Armyrats © military with the stigma of terrorism?

The terrorist label, Samuels said, amounted to the greatest Holocaust revisionism imaginable.

The IWC removed the photo and apologized for uploading the outdated photo caption to their web archives, saying it was an accident.

We apologize unreservedly. This was the historic label we received alongside the photograph, accidentally uploaded in order to give the public access to our comprehensive archives. We have now removed this item and are looking in detail at all other captions, the museum s Communications Manager Bryony Phillips wrote in a statement.

In 1944, the British government hand picked 5,000 Yishuv volunteers to form Jewish Brigade. Months later, the brigade was shipped to Italy and joined British and allied troops fighting Nazi forces.

After the war, members of the Jewish Brigade searched for Holocaust survivors, provided survivors with aid, and assisted in their immigration to Palestine.

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