General Edmund Allenby Commemorates His Victorious Entrance Into Jerusalem One Year Later

December 18, 1918

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General Edmund Allenby Commemorates His Victorious Entrance Into Jerusalem One Year Later
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 595

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      Background

      Jerusalem, which had been fought over, razed and rebuilt, besieged, attacked, conquered and recaptured for millennia, may be said, in brief, to have been captured for the first time by King David in 1000 BCE and for the last time, by General Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, on December 11, 1917. But whereas David conquered the city for the Jews, Allenby captured it for the British. He did this, not insignificantly, on foot - out of respect, he said, for the Holy City.

      Almost exactly a year later, Allenby here writes humbly of that epic feat, in a letter datelined "Palestine" and just five weeks after Armistice Day, in which he commemorates the Allied victory:

      I thank you sincerely for your very kind letter, just received. Your words of good will and of sympathy are very welcome to me. And I, for my part, congratulate you on the great feat of arms which have led your Nation to Victory, a Victory in which we have been proud to assist.

      Allenby's capture of Jerusalem was, for the Jews in Palestine and Zionists around the world, not merely an ending, but a beginning. With the oppressive Turks gone, the British, it seemed, would not want to stay. Although it took another three decades, and yet another war, the British left, defeated. The Jewish State of Israel was declared, finally, on May 14, 1948.

      Autograph Letter Signed, as General, 1 page, quarto, Palestine, December 18, 1918. To "Dear Madam."
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      Palestine.

      18. XII. 18.

      Dear Madam,

      I thank you sincerely for your very kind letter, just received.  Your words of good will and of sympathy are very welcome to me.  And I, for my part, congratulate you on the great feat of arms which have led your Nation to Victory, a Victory in which we have been proud to assist.

      Y[ou]rs faithfully

      EDMUND H H ALLENBY

      General