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A Day To Remember

Hadassah Medical Convoy Massacre Memorial
Hadassah Medical Convoy Massacre Memorial

The fourth day of the month of Nisan marks the yahrtzeits of 79 Hadassah doctors, nurses and medical personnel who were killed in the Hadassah Medical Convoy Massacre. Following the 1947 U.N. partition plan, the Palestinians blocked access to both Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus. Dr. Chaim Yassky, Director General of Hadassah Hospital, led a convoy of trucks, ambulances, cars and buses—including 105 people—to bring medical and fortification supplies and personnel to the besieged Hadassah Hospital.

The only access to the hospital was a narrow road, which led the convoy into a Palestinian ambush 600 feet from a British military post. When firing began, a Jewish Haganah liaison officer pleaded with the British Mandate officials to send in a Haganah relief force. The British forces refused to intervene until the attack ended, seven hours later, for fear that it might interfere with a ceasefire negotiation. Among the dead were Dr. Yassky and Dr. Moshe Ben-David, who had been slated to head the new Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School. Most of the bodies were burned beyond recognition.

On the 60th anniversary of the massacre, the city of Jerusalem named a street in honor of Dr. Yassky. The annual "Hadassah Convoy" memorial ceremony was held yesterday at Hadassah Mt. Scopus, 66 years after the massacre took place. In attendance were family members, representing three generations of the fallen and Hadassah Medical Organization past and current employees.

Hadassah remembers these brave medical professionals every day at the Hadassah Medical Centers as physicians and patients of all religions and nationalities heal and are healed. We honor their commitment to the founding of Israel and the spread of healing, even under the most difficult of circumstances. Y'hi Zikhronam Barukh—may their memories be for a blessing.

See photos from 2012 memorial event


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