Sunday, February 3, 2019

David Krakow z"l

Betari Dan Krakow sent us this:

David Krakow was born in NY in 1926.  He served on Netsivut Betar with Moshe Arens and others in the ‘40’s.  He was a member of the Irgun and active in arm shipments, demonstrations, lobbying and more.  He edited the English Etzel news bulletins and assisted in the publication of Triumph on the Gallows.  He spent time at the nascent settlement Mavo Betar.

David was among a small group that began the struggle for Soviet Jewry before it was embraced by the wider community.

A life-long Zionist he leaves behind Miriam, his wife of 67 years, four children in addition to son Jonathan who died at age 25, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. One son and four grandchildren have served or are currently serving in the IDF.

יהיה זכרו ברוך

One of Dave's last projects was contained in a note he sent to the list of American Betarim which I copy below:

Pleased to inform you that our meeting last week with the Herut leaders, Karma Feinstein and Moshe Phillips, went very well. We share the same concerns and can work together.One of the projects proposed was a nationwide essay contest to be conducted among students in Jewish secondary schools focused upon the legacy of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, with monetary awards for the best of them. Originally conceived by Herb Zweibon, and implemented in the secondary schools in Israel, this proved to be a great success. Since some years ago, we put the Lone Wolf into every library in every JCC and Jewish secondary school in the U.S. Perhaps this will assure us of readers.More to follow, Dave Krakow

L-R: Herb Zweibon, Dave Krakow and Misha Arens, Sept. 2008 

Dave z"l was very concerned for the history of North American Betar to be preserved and met with some of us here  and handing over archival documentation and photographs.  In addition, he was on the board of the Nordau Circle and indeed, is buried now there, close to where Jabotinsky was interred between 1940-1964. He was Misha's brother-in-law.

Pictures Dan Krakow sent:


David Krakow, z”l, was born in 1926 to Rose Feurstein and Benny Krakow. He grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan, speaking only Yiddish until he started school. From his teen years until the time of his death at the age of 92 on January 23, David was devoted to the Jewish people and to our homeland, Israel.
As a teen, David became painfully aware of the tragedy unfolding in Europe. He joined Betar, an organization founded by Vladimir Jabotinsky, who sounded the alarm on the threat to Europe’s Jews long before others were aware or concerned. David became a member of the national leadership of Betar and editor of Hadar, the organization’s publication. He devoted himself to educating people about the desperate situation for Jews in Europe and the urgent need to get them out. David joined the Irgun and, as a member, he actively assisted in efforts to rescue Jews and establish the State of Israel. He was editor of the English Etzel news bulletin. In later years, David was one of the founders of the Center for Russian Jewry and its offshoot, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. In 1980, Menachem Begin presented David with the Jabotinsky Centennial Citation for his efforts on behalf of the Jewish people and Israel.
He was part of the group of Betarim who made a signifiant ontribution to Ariel University.
The plaque:



Moshe Phillips said...

I'd like to express my condolences to the Krakow family and to all of David's friends who read this blog.

I think it is well worth noting that one of David's many contributions to the Jabotinsky movement (that many here may not know about or recall) was his work on the 1950 English language edition of Itzhak Gurion's book Triumph On The Gallows.

The book tells about the IZL and LEHI soldiers who fought to liberate Israel from British rule in the 1940s and includes stories of the heroes who were hanged by the British.

He is thanked in the preface as follows: "Acknowledgement is due to Mr. David Krakow for valuable assistance in preparing the manuscript for publication..."

David would have been just 23 or 24 when he worked on the book.

The book had a profound impact on me and I must mention that my 13 year old son has read my copy to tatters. I am very pleased that I was able to tell David just that last year.

I'd like to invite those who would like more information about the projects that David discussed with Herut to contact me through the Herut website at

Moshe Phillips, Herut North America

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