In 1949, a special committee to develop the first version of the military doctrine of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) was headed by Lieutenant-General Haim Laskov. One of the main points of this doctrine states that the neighbors of the Jewish state are not interested in resolving territorial and political problems, but in destroying Israel. Unfortunately, this item is relevant today.
WITH “GALUTE” FAMILY
Lieutenant-General Haim Laskov entered history as the fifth chief of the General Staff of the Israeli army. He headed the central military authority of the country in 1958 – 1961. Israeli First Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion three times demanded that General Haim Laskov, a native of the city of Borisov in Minsk region, that in Belarus, change the name to Hebrew, but every time he refused to submit to the prime minister. The last time at a government meeting, the angry Ben-Gurion asked Laskov to step out the door, to think and come back with a new surname. However, Laskov continued to persist. Returning to his seat at the meeting table, he said: “I was born Laskovym and Laskovym will die. I don’t even change the letters in my last name. ” Struck by such persistence, the head of government noted: “I see that you are as stubborn as I am. Well, stay gentle.
This story was told to me by Mikhail Alshansky, the chairman of the Belarusian community in Israel, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Naum Alshansky, who after moving to Israel in 1975 for many years was friends with Haim Laskov.
Recreating the Jewish state in 1948, the leaders of the country actually led the struggle on two fronts. They mobilized the population to oppose numerous enemies who dreamed of throwing Israelis into the sea, and they, in an effort to create a single people, demanded that the citizens of the revived Jewish state abandon "ethnic" languages, otherwise called "Galut languages", in favor of Hebrew, formed on the basis of Hebrew dialect. Therefore, the government opposed Yiddish and Ladino - languages, respectively, of European Jews and that part of the Sephardic people, who were forced to leave Spain and the Strait at the end of the XV century. For the same reason, the Zionist leaders encouraged the change of names that sound in German, Polish, Russian or Hungarian. Thus, the President of Israel, Isaac Shimshilevich, became Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, and Zalman Rubashov - Zalman Shazar. Prime Minister Isaac Ezernitsky went down in history as Yitzhak Shamir, and the long-term leader of the Israeli Foreign Intelligence Agency, Iser Harel, was born under the name Halperin.
As for the first Prime Minister of Israel, he still during the time of the British Mandate, that is, before the re-establishment of the Jewish state, changed his “gutter” surname Green to Hebrew Ben-Gurion. But not all the political and state leaders of Israel were ready to abandon the names of their ancestors. And among these "refusers" were natives of Belarus - the first president of Israel, Haim Weizman and Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
Of course, the Israeli military leader Haim Laskov went down in history not only as an ardent defender of his, frankly, not often found in modern Israel surnames.
PREFERRED ARMY UNIVERSITY
Chaim Laskov was born 14 on April 1919 of the year in the same Borisov on the banks of the Berezina River, where in late November 1812 was shipped after Napoleon’s army retreated from Moscow. As a child, little Chaim, of course, heard a lot about the courage of Russian soldiers who defeated the army of the great Corsican, which, perhaps, predetermined his choice - a military path. I note only that General Laskov was the second “Russian” chief of the IDF General Staff after the native of Odessa Yaakov Dori, whose name and surname at birth sounded like this: Jacob Dostrovsky (stood at the head of the IDF General Staff in 1948 – 1949).
In addition to Chaim, three sons and a daughter grew up in the family of Moshe and Yata Laskovy. In 1924, the whole family moved to Palestine, to the territory where the British were then hosting. Life in a new place was difficult. In 1930, Moshe Laskov was killed by Arab terrorists, and his widowed wife had to raise children alone. Chaim and other children helped their mother and at the same time had a good time at school. The future head of the IDF General Staff graduated with honors from the Haifa Real Gymnasium, in whose senior classes he became the commander of a group of enhanced physical education. He was predicted to have a good future in secular society, but instead of university education, he preferred to join HAGANA (translated from Hebrew as “Defense”) - an underground Jewish militant organization that fought against British rule.
During World War II, HAGANA formed an alliance with the British army. Nevertheless, the British, despite the proclaimed alliance with the Palestinian Jews, actively opposed the military and police organizations, seeking to re-establish an independent Jewish state. On the other hand, London and the political leadership of the “Yishuv” (translated from Hebrew - “inhabited place”, so before the Israeli proclamation on May 1948, the Jewish population of Palestine was called) doubted that HAGANA was essentially a militia, not a regular the army will be able to stop the African Corps under the command of the eminent German warrior General Erwin Rommel. For example, the leaders of the Palestinian Jews believed that the British would not stand up under the blows of the Germans in North Africa and retreat to India. In this case, the “Yishuv” would have been face to face in confrontation with the Nazis and their numerous Arab allies. Therefore, the General Headquarters of the then HAGANA by its order of 15 in May 1941, exactly seven years before the re-establishment of the Jewish state, formed nine companies of a very efficient and practically cadre army called Palmach (an acronym for the phrase “plow from Mahach” - “shock companies”).
"Panfilovtsy" - an example for the IDF
Ideologically, Palmach was very close to the Zionists, the socialists and the communists. The modern Israeli military historian Uri Milstein in one of his studies writes: "Palmachnikov was brought up in selfless faith in Stalin and in Soviet Russia, in reverence for the Red Army." Moreover, in the Palmach, and then in the IDF printed materials, mandatory for the study of military personnel, was the Soviet propaganda and fiction. In particular, after the war, the book “Panfilovtsy” by Alexander Beck was very popular, which in 1946 was translated into Hebrew by a native of Minsk Shlomo Even-Shoshan (real name Rosenstein). In Hebrew, the book was called “Ansha Panfilov”; in the exact reverse translation into Russian - “People of Panfilov”.
What can you say about the pro-Soviet sentiments of the Palmahovs and their commanders, if the already mentioned future First Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Israel David Ben-Gurion was so ardently enthusiastic about the Soviet leaders that this affected not only his political views, but also his wardrobe? Michael Bar-Zohar, author of the political biography of Ben-Gurion, published in 1975 in Tel Aviv in Hebrew, draws attention to the following fact: for many years, Ben-Gurion wore a semi-military jacket and thick, thick khaki wool pants that were popular. the Soviet leaders.
The Israeli military doctrine states that there is no Jewish state in the Middle East. Reuters Photos
SOLDIER COMBAT, NOT POLICY
Later, Laskov recalled that he was also thinking of joining the Palmachs, but he was not close to paramilitary units that were directly subordinate to certain parties. Therefore, when the British 28 September 1944 began to form a "Jewish Brigade" to be sent to the European theater of war, Haim Laskov joined one of these army units, consisting entirely of volunteers. For the sake of accuracy, it should be noted that the first recruitment of Palestinian Jews to the British army took place as early as 1939. And next year, Jewish soldiers in parts of the British army participated in battles with the Nazis in Greece. However, London was afraid for a long time to create a full-fledged military unit out of Palestinian Jews, who considered the British to be colonizers. And only after the opening of a second front by the Western allies and long negotiations between the Yishuv leaders and representatives of the British government, was the Jewish Brigade finally established. It is indicative that not a Palestinian, but a Canadian Jew, Toronto-born general Ernest Frank Benjamin, a graduate of the Royal Military Academy in Great Britain, was appointed its commander.
It is important to note that even before joining the Jewish Brigade, the future Chief of the General Staff of the IDF already had substantial military experience. Back in 1939, he was appointed deputy commander of a special response squad established in response to armed Arab attacks, and in 1942 – 1943, Laskov served in the 2 battalion of the Royal East Kent Regiment (KVKP). The servicemen of this battalion were called “buffs”, that is, “buffaloes”. In addition, in English, “buff” also means a yellowish-brown color. This is exactly how the edges of uniforms and lapels of leggings of KVKP soldiers were painted according to tradition, which dates back to the 17th century. Interestingly, along with Laskov in the 2 battalion of the KVKP, Mordechai Maklef also served, who in the future also became Chief of the IDF General Staff, the third in a row. In general, it was a very prolific formation for generals. As for Laskov, after graduating from officer courses, he was seconded to the 6 battalion of the KVKP, which was considered international, in which Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians and other nationalities also served.
As the commander of the 2-th company of fire support, Haim Laskov participated in combat operations in Libya, Egypt, Belgium, Holland. The Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Western Europe, Dwight Eisenhower, who later became President of the United States, wrote in his memoirs: “I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the fighters of the heroic Jewish brigade, whose brilliant combat past and contribution to the Allied victory will long remember their brothers in arms and the people of the State of Israel. "
Avenging the Nazis, the former and the present
Immediately after the victory over Hitler’s fascism, Laskov was demobilized and, with the rank of major, he joined the leadership of underground groups of so-called Jewish avengers operating in Austria and Northern Italy. "Avengers" hunted the former Nazis who participated in the executions of the Jews. The exact number of Nazis executed by clandestine groups is unknown. For example, Chaim Laskov directly said: "Unfortunately, we did not destroy much."
Simultaneously with the destruction of the Nazi bosses in post-war Europe, Laskov carried out another delicate mission - engaged in the purchase of military equipment for HAGAN. And on his return to Palestine, he received the post of the first officer officer school in the future of Israel, which played an important role in training for the Israeli army created on the basis of HAGAN.
Already during the war of independence in 1948, Laskov distinguished himself in battles for Latrun (geographical area 15 km from Jerusalem and 30 km from Tel Aviv) and Nazareth, as well as during the liberation of Galilee. A year later, in the rank of Major General, he headed the military training department of the General Staff. But the next year was a particularly significant event in the life of the future chief of the IDF General Staff. He meets with 19-year-old private Shulamit Hen, who soon becomes his wife. “Of course, we had an office romance,” Shulamit Laskov shared her memories with NVO, “but love was real.” It is curious that the parents of Shulamit, who was born in Holland, come from Vitebsk.
The vicissitudes of fate. In 1951 – 1953, Laskov, who was never a pilot, was entrusted to command the country's air forces. Later, for two years, he underwent military retraining in England and at the same time studied economics, political science and philosophy at Oxford University. And in the so-called Sinai 1956 campaign of the year, Haim Laskov led one of the two tank armies, which fought to break through to the Suez Canal. He also led the departure of troops from Sinai.
In 1958 – 1961, Haim Laskov is the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. It should be noted that, while in this post, Laskov paid great attention to studying the experience of the Soviet army. The strategic installation of the General Staff, led by Laskov, consisted in working out the interaction of all the armed forces. He considered it necessary to speed up the preparation of all forces and means for conducting large-scale operations in future wars. Military historians believe that the doctrine developed by Laskov played an important role in the victory of the Israelis in the Six Day War of June 1967.
After retiring in 1961, Laskov worked as the Director General of the Israeli Ports Authority. However, the authority of the former chief of the General Staff, who always stood apart from political squabbles, was so great that he was often invited to serve on various commissions and committees. In particular, it was he who was entrusted to head the complaints department at the Ministry of Defense.
Haim Laskov 8 died December 1982 year in Tel Aviv. He and Shulamit did not have children, but the cousin of Laskovy was not interrupted either in Israel or in Russia. In the Jewish state, it is continued by the children and grand-nephews of David Laskov, his uncle Haim’s uncle.
TREASURES REMAIN TREASURES
David Laskov is also a man of unusual destiny, about whom one can not say a couple of words. He was born in 1903 in Omsk, where his parents moved from Belarus. At the age of 25, David Laskov moved to Palestine, studied medicine and architecture at the Technion (Higher Institute of Technology) in Haifa. Just like his famous nephew, in 1940, David joined the British army as a volunteer, fought with the Germans on the fronts of World War II. It was he who for the first time created a division of research and development work in the engineering troops of the Israeli army. For his contribution to the country's defense, he won the Israel Security Prize three times. David Laskov died in 1989, while still on active duty, and entered the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest soldier.
A lot of Affectionate remains in Russia. During the Great Patriotic War, Boris Izrailevich Laskov, a military doctor of the 3 rank, showed himself heroically. He, like David Laskov, was born in Omsk into a family of doctors. Boris Izrailevich fought in the 7 th Airborne Guards Regiment. In 1942 – 1943, in battles on the North-Western Front, near Leningrad, he was twice seriously wounded. After the war, he devoted himself to scientific work, defended his doctoral thesis, became a professor, a famous neurologist, the author of numerous scientific papers. Since the father of David Laskov was the famous Siberian eye doctor, Yuli Izrailevich Laskov, I dare to suggest that the oldest Israeli military and Soviet guard military doctor was a cousin.
So the Israeli general, Haim Laskov, born in Byelorussia, turned out to be right: the Laskovs remain Laskovi. Add from yourself: wherever they live.