Updated: Jan 25
This artifact is another small tribute to Zalman’s lifetime of service, friendships and recognition by various high-ranking officials visiting Israel’s Labor Union headquarters around the late 1940s and beyond.
Enclosed is a rare mid-nineteenth century Israeli Labor Union guestbook (aka Zalman’s Memorable Words by Visitors of the Histadrut House). This guestbook contains important personal notes about the history of Zionism. Each page captures the visitor’s name who supported the foundation and reveals their involvement in the establishment of a Jewish state from across the globe.
“It’s amazing – people like your grandfather made the wonder called the State of Israel happened!” —Dr. Eran Tal, Lavon Institute Archive Director
This autograph guestbook contains dozens of warm greetings, best-wishes and appreciation in honor of Zalman. Enclosed are sample pages of identifiable historic people to the best of our knowledge.
1. David Remez - First person to sign Zalman’s book. Was an Israeli politician, the country's first Minister of Transportation, and a signatory of the Israeli declaration of independence.
2. Golda Meir (earlier Golda Meyerson, born Golda Mabovitch) - Devoted Zionist. She was Zalman’s boss, when serving as forging minister to USSR. Became the first female prime minister of Israel.
3. Moshe Sharett (born Moshe Shertok) - Zalman’s boss and much more. He was the second Prime Minister of Israel (1954–55), serving for a little under two years between David Ben-Gurion's two terms.
4. Walter Reuther - An American leader of organized labor and civil rights activist who built the United Automobile Workers (UAW) into one of the most progressive labor unions in American history. A powerful ally of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. The National Committee for Israel Labor gave Reuther the Histadrut Humanitarian Award in 1958. See enclosed thank you note (bottom of blog link) to Zalman, from the American Trade Union on behalf of the Reuther family. Enclosed is a link to a photo of the two together.
5. Yisrael Galili - Was an Israeli politician, government minister and member of Knesset. Before Israel's independence in 1948, he served as Chief of Staff of the Haganah.
6. Mickey Marcus - Was a United States Army colonel who assisted Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and who became Israel's first modern general (Hebrew: Aluf). He was killed by friendly fire, when he was mistaken for an enemy infiltrator while returning to Israeli positions at night.
7. Morton R. Bearman, Rabbi?
8. Yaakov Levinson - A native of Tel Aviv, Mr. Levinson rose in the labor movement's economic establishment. He earned a reputation as a financial wizard when Bank Hapoalim, under his leadership, became a major banking institution.
9. Jacob (Yakov) Blech
10. Schwartz - Perhaps from the International Refugee Organization IRO, worked with JDC.
Click on the link below to view many more visitor pages, spanning multiple languages including, Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Yiddish, German and more. We are pleased to publish and share the full manuscript of Zalman’s Histadrut guestbook. Please enjoy!
All while Zalman was dealing with secretive activities that extend beyond the traditional concerns of the labor union, the dates of these personal gratitude notes, didn’t take place while Zalman was in Israel. As we’ve learned, Zalman was on various missions in Europe and further demonstrated in one of the autograph pages, dated August, 1948 by a fellow colleague who wrote “I’ll see you in Israel.”