Hanukkah lamp - olive wood, carved by hand. The detention camp in Latrun, mid-1940s.
An impressive menorah symbolizing the underground struggle in the British army. In the center of the menorah is a figure of Matthew the Hasmonean (or Judah the Maccabee), with one hand waving a torch, and the other raising in victory. The canes of the menorah are in the shape of clenched fists (reminiscent of the Atzel symbol) which have been released from their shackles. The back of the menorah is in the shape of the rays of the rising sun.
We know of several similar examples that were made in the Latrun detention camp. One of the most famous of which was prepared in the camp by the detainee Ron Peled in 1946 in the Latrun detention camp at the age of 16. The menorah he designed was displayed in the Underground Prisoners Museum in Jerusalem. see here
A menorah with very similar motifs was prepared in the camp by the daring and respected Etzal commander Haim Ben Ya'akov (who commanded the organization in Rishon Lezion), who was imprisoned in Latron in 1944 and stayed in the camp until the establishment of the state. The menorah he designed and his fascinating story see here
Apparently the idea for the base of the menorah, the ranking of the canes, and the back in the shape of the rising sun was created by Yitzhak Gurion, who was in charge of the legal department at Etzel. Gurion was arrested several times by the British due to his activities, and was taken several times to the Latrun detention camp. The menorah he designed in the camp is housed in honor in the underground prisoners' museum in Jerusalem. see here
As can be seen this model was common among the prisoners in the Letrun camp. In some of the models made by the prisoners, the menorah also included a small flag which was waved by the left hand of Matthew.
The detention camp in Latrun was established by the British Mandate authorities at the beginning of World War II and was used to incarcerate the Atze'l and Leh'i soldiers, who took part in the resistance to British rule in the country. The prisoners had many free hours in the camp, where they engaged in writing, sports activities, and works of art that expressed the fighting spirit and the desire for freedom of the detainees.
Height: 16 cm; Length: 21 cm; Width: 8 cm. Good condition.