Soon after midnight, guards at old Acre Prison, near Haifa, entered his cell and shook Dov Bela Gruner until he woke up. Sleepy-eyed, bewildered, he was taken to a large, dimly lit room. There stood a gallows. There also stood three other men of Palestine's Irgun Zvai Leumi terrorist organization. This was their first notice that death had come for them.

A prison official asked the Jewish prisoners if they had any final requests. Yes, they wanted a rabbi to be with them in their last minutes. Said the officer: "You'll have to do without; we can't get one for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!