IDF’s 1st Fallen Paratrooper To Be Buried In Israel, 73 Years After His Death

By Times of Israel
Posted on 10/24/21 | News Source: Times of Israel

The body of Martin Davidovich, the man named by the Israel Defense Forces as the nation’s first fallen paratrooper, is set to be brought to Israel next week for burial, 73 years after his death in a training accident in Czechoslovakia.

A delegation from the Defense Ministry and the IDF will travel to Prague on Sunday to retrieve his remains before bringing them back to Israel for internment.

Davidovich was born in 1927 in Częstochowa in Czechoslovakia.

He was active in the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, until World War II when he was sent to Auschwitz in April 1944 and then to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Many of his family members were killed in the Holocaust.

After the end of the war, Davidovich returned to Czechoslovakia and joined the Czech Brigade, a military unit established with the aim of training future soldiers for the State of Israel.

According to the Chaim Herzog Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II, the brigade was founded in July 1948. The Jewish volunteers underwent military training by the Czech army, in coordination with Israeli officials.

According to testimonies at the time, Davidovich was killed during a training exercise in August 1948 which aimed to practice taking over a sentry post.