April 21, 1947 — Militants’ Double Suicide Prevents Hanging

Moshe Barazani (left) and Meir Feinstein are buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. National Library of Israel.

Moshe Barazani, 20, of Lehi (the Stern Gang) and Meir Feinstein, 19, of the Irgun kill themselves with a grenade smuggled into their prison in Jerusalem to prevent the British from hanging them the next morning. Iraq-born Barazani had been caught with a grenade meant for the assassination of a British officer, and Jerusalem native Feinstein had been captured after participating in the sabotage of a railway station. They met in prison. 

April 22, 1948 — Haganah Seizes Haifa

 Jewish fighters patrol during the battle for Haifa in April 1948.

The Haganah executes a three-prong attack to secure control of all of Haifa except for the port, which the British hold, amid the violence ahead of the Israeli Declaration of Independence three weeks later. Up to half the city’s Arab population of sixty five thousand flees before the fighting, and an additional third thousand leave during the battle and its immediate aftermath, leaving only about four thousand Arabs in what was an ethnically mixed city of one hundred and thirty five thousand people.

April 23, 1943 — Warsaw Ghetto Commander’s Last Dispatch

A statue of Mordechai Anielewicz stands at the Yad Mordechai kibbutz near Ashkelon. By Avi Deror via Wikimedia Commons.

Mordechai Anielewicz, the commander of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) in the Warsaw Ghetto, writes his final message from a bunker to celebrate the ghetto uprising that began April 19, despite its certain defeat. “Jewish armed resistance and revenge are facts,” he writes to Yitzhak Zuckerman, who will read the letter at the Eichmann trial in 1961. “I have been witness to the magnificent, heroic fighting.”  

April 24, 1903 — Africa Is Proposed for Jewish Homeland

Joseph Chamberlain, the British secretary of state for the colonies early in the 20th century, proposed East Africa for a Jewish homeland.

In a meeting with Theodor Herzl, British Secretary of State for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain proposes a Jewish homeland in East Africa. Known as the Uganda Proposal, the plan actually involves the Guas Ngishu plateau in Kenya. Herzl, who had proposed Cyprus or El Arish in Sinai as temporary Jewish homes, sees the idea as an interim step. The Sixth Zionist Congress in 1903 accepts the plan; the Seventh Zionist Congress rejects it.

April 25, 1975 — Music Star Udi Davidi Is Born

Udi Davidi performs in 2009. By Matan Segev via Wikimedia Commons.

Singer-songwriter Ehud “Udi” Davidi, who raises sheep in the Judean hills when he isn’t making music, is born. He grows up in Kedumim, a settlement in the northern West Bank. He releases his first album in 2004 and achieves star status with his fourth album, 2009’s “Good Spirit.” He is known for incorporating religious melodies and lyrics into his music and for being influenced by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

April 26, 1881 — Pogrom Hits Kyiv

A drawing depicts the violence of Russian pogroms against Jews.

Anti-Jewish violence in the Russian Empire since the assassination of Czar Alexander II in March sweeps into Kyiv after a fight breaks out. Rioters loot and destroy Jewish shops and homes. The first post-assassination pogrom occurred April 15 in Elisavetgrad (now Kirovohrad), and Kyiv officials were warned to prepare for trouble. The police chief told Kyiv’s Jews to protect themselves, and they were warned a day earlier to stay inside.

April 27, 1955 — Uzi Is Unveiled During Parade

Old Uzi submachine guns are repurposed as a Chanukah menorah. Dan Hadani Collection.

The Uzi submachine gun makes its public debut as an IDF weapon during a Yom HaAtzmaut parade. Named for its inventor, Uziel Gal, the Uzi was first used in the field two months earlier during Operation Black Arrow, a paratrooper raid on Egyptian forces in Gaza. Although Gal completed the prototype in 1950, and the IDF adopted the weapon in 1951, it does not receive extensive use until the Sinai campaign in 1956.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.