Lot 155: "Altalena" - Collection of Items of an Etzel Fighter / a Bayonet and a Photograph from the Ship
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: A collection of personal items that belonged to Etzel fighter Pesach Ostashinsky, who sailed on board the Altalena to Eretz Israel. Five items that belonged to Etzel fighter Pesach Ostashinsky, "Second Front" member of Etzel (branch of the organization outside of Israel) in Italy, assisted in the preparations for the "Altalena" operation and sailed on board the ship: 1. Steel Bayonet, made by "Sandel". A small plaque is attached to the handle with the Hebrew inscription "Altalena", and above it image of the ship and the Etzel emblem. 58 cm, in a leather sheath. Fair-poor condition. Rust and substantial corrosion. The plaque in good condition. 2. Original photograph taken on the deck of "Altalena" while it was on its way to Eretz Israel. The photograph shows, most probably, Pesach Ostashinsky wearing a helmet with Etzel emblem, holding a gun, and behind him one of the ship's photographers holding a camera. Titled by hand: "Altalena 1948". 10.5X7.5 cm. Fair condition. Creases and tears to margins. 3-4. "Ot Hativat HaGolah", decoration (medal) with emblem of Etzel on the background of a globe, decorated with olive branches. Attached to a blue ribbon with two white stripes; a permit-certificate allowing to wear the badge "Ot Hativat HaGola" which was granted to Pesach Ostashinsky, signed by Menachem Begin, Eliyahu Lankin, Eli Tavin and Eitan Livni. 1966. Certificate approximately 30X23 cm. Diameter of decoration (medal): 3.5 cm. Framed. Unexamined out of frame. 5. Large portrait photograph of Menachem Begin, signed and dedicated to Pesach Ostashinsky from Menachem Begin. Photograph: 40X30 cm. Good condition. Framed. Unexamined out of frame. The ship "Altalena" sailed in June 1948, and was designated to carry weapons for the Jewish fighting force in the War of Independence. The sailing of the ship was one of the most complex operations carried out by the Etzel organization. When the ship reached the shores of Israel, harsh disputes erupted between the Yishuv leadership and the heads of Etzel, and following a failing attempt to negotiate and a short ultimatum granted to the staff, "Altalena" was attacked and drowned by IDF forces. In the book by "Altalena" commander, Eliyahu Lankin, Ostashinsky is mentioned in the list of fighters on board of "Altalena". Literature: 1. Story of Altalena Commander (Hebrew), Eliyahu Lankin. Published by "Hadar", Tel-Aviv, 1974, p. 333. 2. "Altalena", Shlomo Nakdimon. Published by "Idanim", Jerusalem, 1978.