'We Saw Jews With Hearts Like Germans': Moroccan Immigrants in Israel Warned Families Not to Follow

Thousands of letters written in the early years of the state by immigrant soldiers to their families in Morocco reveal a gloomy picture. Most wanted to go home

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Go to comments
Moroccan immigrants arriving at Haifa Port, in 1954.
Moroccan immigrants arriving at Haifa Port, in 1954.Credit: Fritz Cohen / GPO
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

In 1949, in the midst of the War of Independence, an Israel Defense Forces soldier wrote a letter to his family who remained in Morocco. “We came to Israel and thought we’d find a paradise here, but regrettably it was the opposite: We saw Jews with hearts like Germans.” He also had a word of caution for his relatives: “If you want my advice, stay in North Africa; it’s better than the Land of Israel.”

Comments