Dozens of Zionist Pioneers Committed Suicide When Their Dreams Shattered in Palestine. This Is One of Them

110 years later, Alexander Brekner's diary epitomizes the experience of Jewish pioneers in pre-state Israel

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Pioneers working in the fields of the village of Kinneret, 1912.
Pioneers working in the fields of the village of Kinneret, 1912. Credit: Leo Kahn
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

A short item in the newspaper Hapoel Hatza’ir (The Young Worker) in early November 1911 reported a “sad case” that had occurred in the Jewish village of Kinneret. “The shepherd Alexander took his life with a pistol shot. Two days earlier he didn’t go to work, claiming he was sick. The incident noted above happened in the morning, and he died in the evening.”