a bit of history, part 1

Since some of you don't know what a Kibbutz is and for those who would like to know more I will write from time to time about the history of our Kibbutz- the place I am living today.
I plan to go to the archive of the Kibbutz one day (when I will find time...) and maybe get more pictures...
If you have any questions just contact me and I will be happy to answer to my best knowledge.

The Beginning

In the year 1933 the first pioneers who later would form the founders of Kibbutz Dalia came to Israel from Romania, Transilvania and Germany. They had studied agriculture and industry and worked in their first years in exactly those sectors.
On the 1st of May 1939 the group built over night a temporary settlement. They used the settlement method called "tower and stockade". The land was bought from the neighbouring Arab village of Daliat-el-Ruha. (later more about this village) The settlers lived for their first year in tents and I can imagine that life was not easy for them. Amongst those first settlers were also the grandparents of my husband.

the temporary settlement 1939
The more permanent watch-tower is still standing today. We call this place today "Migdal HaDvorim"- bee-tower. It is a lovely place surrounded with Eucalyptus trees and Avocado orchards to the east and west.

the tower today (picture taken during the 70years celebration in 2009)
When those first settlers came, there was only a lonely fig-tree on a hill- otherwise not more than lots of stones covered the hills.
In the summer of 1940 the permanent settlement was built on a nearby hill near Daliat-el-Ruha. The group had at this time 160 members and 14 children. The pioneers planted 600 dunams (600,000 m2) of forest- mostly pine, cypress and carob. They tried agriculture- which was not easy- the ground being so rocky and stony.
The first time I came to the Kibbutz on a December day in 1998 I saw those barren hills covered with stones and someone told me that soon the fields would be covered with wheat. I did not really believe him- being only used to the rich and almost stone-free earth in Swizterland… but not even a month later I saw it with my own eyes.

The pioneers tried to grow wheat, they planted orchards with apples, pears and plums. They planted a vine yard and grew chickens, sheep and bees.
They very fast came to the conclusion that agriculture alone would not give them a future- so they built a blacksmith's shop and a soap kettle. The blacksmith's shop turned into a water meter factory- "ARAD"- my working place today. The soap-kettle developed to the "Zohar"-factory - a soap and detergents factory.

And- what can I say- what a success they had!

read part 2 and part 3.


Liebe Rahel, sehr interessant, wie Du über die Entstehung Eures Kibbutz schreibst! Ich bin schon gespannt auf mehr ;-) Liebe Grüße! Eri
This is interesting to read about! It's also a topic that raises many questions. The whole Israel-versus-Palestine debate and all. You've told us before about the gasmasks. Is it a relatively safe place to live? Everybody here in Holland used to be very pro-Israel, but lately it's changing. It must be hard to be confronted with this sort of things, living there. I think it's not about choosing on which side you are, everybody wants to live in peace with their loved ones. It must be a scary thing to be so much closer to violence and threath than we are. Love to read more about your life in Israel. (I've studied history because of people telling their stories. It's an accepted way of being nosy.)
Liebe Rahel,
vielen Dank für deine Einblicke. Ich freu mich auch schon auf mehr. Das ist super interessant. Leider ist mein Englisch nicht allzu gut, aber ich denke, das Wesentliche hab ich verstanden.
Liebe Grüße
polwig said…
Great story thank you for sharing it with us. I love how a group of people can go back to working the land and then making it very succesfull.

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