Sunday, May 20, 2012
Farewell to historian David Littman, z''l
David Littman with his wife Gisele and baby Diana on a secret mission in Casablanca, June 1961
Point of No Return deeply regrets to report that Jews from Arab Countries today lost one of their great champions, historian David Littman, aged 78. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, he was an energetic spokesman for Jewish human rights, regularly confronting the UN in Geneva, and the author of several pamphlets, articles and book chapters. Married to the pioneering researcher into Dhimmitude, Bat Yeor, Littman gave his wife unstinting support in her work.
David Littman was born into a wealthy family in the UK and was educated at Canford School and Trinity College Dublin. He and his brother Louis, founder of the Littman Library, married two Egyptian-born refugees, Gisele and Colette Orebi, in the 1950s.
Just before he fell ill with leukaemia, Littman co-wrote with Professor Paul Fenton an 800-page book called L'Exil au Maghreb. The book, which features original documents casting a spotlight on the harsh treatment of Jews in Morocco before 1912, was enthusiastically received.
Littman will probably be best remembered, however, for his part in the 1961 rescue of 530 Moroccan-Jewish children in Operation Mural, a secret Mossad mission. He posed as a tennis-playing, Christian English gentleman living with his wife and baby in Casablanca. He was working on a book on Operation Mural at the time of his death. The details of the operation only came to light in 1986, when a documentary was made. Littman was granted public recognition by the Israeli government when he was awarded the coveted 'Hero of Silence' medal in 2009.
David Littman is survived by his wife Bat Yeor, his daughters Ariane and Diana and three grand-daughters.
Obituary by Raphael Israeli (Jerusalem Post) (with thanks: Lily)
Obituary by Dr Andrew Bostom
Obituary in Israel National News
Obituary by Michel Garrote (Dreuz - with thanks: Dominique)
Obituary in New English Review, with article by Guy Milliere (with thanks: Eliyahu)
PoNR Articles about David Littman