Newbie Seeking Answers...

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Rachel-Ann Williams, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Rachel-Ann Williams

    Rachel-Ann Williams New Member

    Hello fellow historians,
    I'm hoping someone here could help me with some research...
    I recently found a long lost relative in South Africa who told me loads of interesting facts about my Great Grandad, he lived such an interesting life. I really want to put his story into a book (if I could ever do it justice) but there is a section of his life that doesn't have much detail. I know why, it's because he never spoke if it as it affected him deeply. But I need to know, good or bad.
    After WWII, he joined the Palestine police, and lived in Palestine for around 10 years. He also fathered children in that time and had a family. We know he was an interrogator for the majority of that time. Hence the wall of silence. But I cannot seem to find any information about goings on at that time that may possibly link my Grandfather. Was he still working for the Palestine police, or some other organisation? Who would have been his targets? Why did he leave his family so suddenly? Is there anyone here that is quite the middle east expert that could shed some light on the matter or point me in the right direction?? I know I cannot find out every aspect of his life but something would help.
    Much appreciated, Rachel :)
  2. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Welcome to the forum, Rachel-Ann!

    You're so right about your Great-Grandad's story being interesting! I'm not sure how I feel about digging for stories that veterans chose to keep quiet about.

    Well, scratch that... I do know. I have a family member who fought in Vietnam. As you said about your relative, those sections of his life don't have much detail because it is not talked about to his family, his friends, or... well, anyone. Sometimes those things are better buried, I feel.

    Maybe it's different when they're no longer with us, but even in those cases, I may choose to get a little background, but not specifics about a particular soldier. It doesn't feel right. I usually find that there are good reasons we don't find out all the details when war is involved.

    So your Great-Grandmother moved with him to Palestine? I assume not since you mentioned leaving his family? I wouldn't know how to even begin getting info or records from that part of the world. I would have to guess that some of the questions you asked are virtually impossible to be answered (i.e. who his targets were, etc. The "record keepers" will no doubt so no reason anyone should ever know that.)
  3. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Hello and welcome, Rachel.

    As I understand the history of post WWII Paletine there were three main factions -- British, Arab/Muslim, and Israeli/Jewish. And each of these may have sub-set factions. Given the limited information as to the origins of your GGF I must extrapolate that he worked for either the British or proto-Israeli factions.

    The British in the 1945-48 period were trying to keep the lid on a powder-keg. The Jews were using tactics which would today be considered as terrorism and insurgency to distablize the status quo political matrix in an effort to promote the Zionist ambitions of establishing a Jewish State with Jerusalem as a Capital. The Palestinians were trying to be patient but thought they were promised their own political automony, something which had been mumbled in the aftermath of the Great War (1918-20).

    Your GGF could have worked for any of these factions, as I said.

    After WWII there was a faction called the Jewish Legion which had worked for the Allies (British) during the war. It is concievable that GGF could have even been in British uniform but been a covert operative for another faction.

    I happen to be a trained interrogator (US Army). I do not know if that is even relevant to you investigation, a I do not know the establishment and protocols of that region and of that time. What I can say is that there are a variety of techniques and proceedures with different levels of sophistication and/or brutality, ranging from conversational interviews to beastial torture. GGF may have done anything in that wide spectrum; be wary.

    That he had his family close, initially, means he was stable and grounded. That he suddenly divorsed himself (is that what happened?) may indicate he himself was tramatized by what he was asked to do. Many interrogators are emotionally warped by their work if they "cross over to the dark side."
    Kate likes this.
  4. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Great post, @Interrogator#6 . There's always that fine line between being curious about the past and what our loved ones went through... and knowing that it's something we may end up wishing we'd kept buried.
  5. Turo Nieminen

    Turo Nieminen Member

    Welcome. Sorry to say i cannot help as i am not familiar with Palestine conflict enough to give you pointers. But rest assured i wish you the best of luck in your endevours. Nonetheless id be interested on whatever results you come up with. In any matters concerning Scandinavia im volunteering to assist in any way i can.

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