Arkivfoto: Hurum lokalhistoriskearkiv

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Gilbert Cranberg

NORWAY 1949

see JTA account of events here

For the celebration of the 50tth anniversary of the signing of declaration of independence the children of the signatories were invited to repeat the ceremony in the same hall, with the same furniture as in 1948. I was invited as well. It was a moving moment when we, the descendants, signed in the same order as our parents did.

 

During his diplomatic appointment, my parents very much enjoyed their time in Scandinavia. The Prime Minister at the time was Erlander. King Gustaf V had just passed away. As my father presented his credentials to the King Gustaf V’s eldest son king Gustaf VI, it happened to be on a Sabbath. My father walked to the palace on a Sabbath rather than drive in a carriage. This was sensational. Their relationship was very good. I took the opportunity to visit them. It was marvelous.”

 

“I remember Jerusalem only from the age of 3 or 4. My early images are from our neighborhood of Musrarra. I have vivid memories of how my father carried me out of our house during the devastating earthquake in 1927 that shocked the country. We later moved to Rehavia. We lived in a hi-rise building at the time. A hi-rise was a sensation in the 1930s. In fact, the building is still standing, Hechal Shlomo, which now houses the Wolfson Museum.

Jerusalem had no electricity until 1929. We experienced the magic of the first electric light. We were children. We were in awe of the first street lights on King George street, which was at the time built with cobblestones. There was no asphalt yet. The streets used to be lit with gas lamps. Neither did we have running water, so it had to be fetched from a cistern. This particular cistern we used still exists. In the same year, I recall seeing the Zeppelin flying over Jerusalem. "Graf Zeppelin" reached Jerusalem on March 30th, at 10 am, a gigantic and frightening thing appeared in the sky, a construct of aluminum filled with gas. This was one of Zeppelin's 590 flights.”

 

There were several larger than life elements in Dr. Schemuel Nissan’s story that blended the miraculous with the impossible. I was also surprised to learn during our conversation, of several aspects of his story that could hardly have been anticipated: Mr. Nissan’s affection for Scandinavia. Part of that could obviously be explained in that his much celebrated father Avraham Katznelson. (1888-1956) had been a diplomatic envoy to Scandinavian countries from 1950 – 1956, stationed in Sweden.

 

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Katznelson (second from right) with Abba Eban (middle) and Israel's United Nations delegation, 1950

AVRAHAM  KATZNELSON NISSAN

SCANDI

NAVIA & ISRAEL