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Beit Lechem Haglilit -Bethlehem of the North

18 February, 200918 February, 2009 0 comments Geography Geography
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Last weekend we traveled northward scouting sites for a bat mitzvah location. We opted for a return visit to Beit Lechem Haglilit, an idyllic village situated in the hills of the Galilee. Beautiful calanit flowers were in abundance throughout the countryside with cars after cars parked in the endless fields allowing visitors to access the many trails throughout the hilltops where they could admirethe new spring blossoms. The village of Beit Lechem Haglilit is easy to explore by foot or bike and the local historian, Kobi Fleishmann (04-953-2901), will gladly take around tour groups for a two hour stroll through the village by pre-arrangement. Kobi and his family live in a beautiful historic old Templar home and have converted a portion of it to a bed and breakfast as well as a local museum, chronicling the Templar roots of the village as well as the rise of the local Hitler Youth movement, which rose to prominence in this town during the 1930's. Photographs on display in the local museum chronicle this dark period of local history and provide visual evidence of the Nazi Youth parade that occurred in the village to mark Hitler's birthday. The museum showcases much of Kobi's collections of historic Nazi memorablia including flags, pictures and other artifacts, that were from the area. During the war the British rounded up the local "enemy" German-sympathizing residents and put them into local interment camps where they remained until they were deported. Some 222 of the local prisoners were swapped with 222 Dutch prisoners of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. During our tour, Kobi showed us the actual list of the prisoners released from Bergen-Belsen and we, coincidentally, found the names of our relatives on the list.

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