Friday, May 23, 2008

Finding a Picture

Remember the picture of Miriam posing on the beach with the Altalena burning behind her? Here's the story of another picture from that same Haaretz picture supplement of ordinary people in the national story. This one is of the Breuer family (mother and daughter on the right) who accompanied Leonard Berenstein on a tour he took through Israel in April 1977. This particular snapshot was taken on the Jordanian border.

It's a bit odd, in that from the perspective of the cameraman the officer is the center of the picture, yet the supplement identified him merely as "an accompanying soldier" since the Breuer family didn't recognize him.

The supplement was published on the morning of Wednesday, May 7th, which was Memorial Day for our fallen soldiers. As the Zahavi family was on their way to the military cemetery to visit the grave of their son Nir, killed in battle with PLO forces in June 1978, they began receiving phone calls from friends: "Go look at page 32!"

And so, 30 years after his death in battle, the family stood around the grave of captain Nir Zahavi with a fine picture of him they'd never seen before. "It was highly emotional; sad, but also good".

(The follow-up story was published in the Haaretz magazine of 16 May)

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