Arnold Krammer - The forgotten friendship
Israel and the Soviet Bloc, 1947-53
Arnold Krammer is Professor of History at Texas A&M University. A highly praised teacher for more than three decades, Krammer has written a number of books in both English and German about POWs, among them Nazi Prisoners of War in America and Hitler's Last Soldier in America (with Georg Gaertner), Undue Process: The Untold Story of America's German Enemy Aliens, and more than forty articles ranging from World War I, through the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Holocaust.
In May, 1947, after supporting the Arabs for thirty years, the Soviet Union astonished the diplomatic world by endorsing the Zionist aspirations for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. This opened a remarkable two-year period of Soviet-Zionist cooperation, during which Russia supplied Israel with considerable military aid.
Krarnmer examines in depth the events leading to Russia’s decision and the tremendous impact of this two-year period. He bases his account on information from official and private archives and interviews with most of the surviving participants of the 1948 Israeli mission to Prague, former diplomats, and military leaders, as well as newspapers and memoirs.
Thoroughly examining the Kremlin’s complex motives, Krarnmer provides new insight into the role of international power politics in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He furnishes the first detailed examination of the Haganah’s activities in Czechoslovakia, especially the purchase of weapons and their transport to Israel. Russia not only supplied munitions and fighter planes to repel the impending Arab attack, but also secret training areas for Israeli troops in Czechoslovakia and even a brigade of Czech “volunteers.” In tracing Stalin’s change of outlook in the fall of 1948 and Russia’s gradual return to support of the Arabs (from 1949 to 1952), Krarnmer emphasizes Soviet press reports and broadcasts as signs of deteriorating relations, and details Israel’s growing disillusionment with the Soviet bloc.
" ... covers fully the amazing story of deliveries of Czechoslovak military equipment to Israel ... Since the developments themselves were rich in meaning and action, the central part of the manuscript is full of drama which is undoubtedly a rare case for a scholarly work. ... a significant contribution to scholarship. "
Josef Korbel, University of Denver.
Arnold Krammer - PDF