Born in Germany, Netanel Lorch (1925-1997) emigrated to Palestine in 1935. At age 16, Lorch joined the Haganah and, within two years, was in command of the Gadna (Youth Battalion) of the village where he taught school. In 1944, he served in the Jewish Brigade, part of the Allied Forces, in Egypt and Western Europe. After his release in 1946, he was a scriptwriter with the Palestine Broadcasting Service before reenlisting full-time in the Haganah. During the War of Independence, he served as Platoon and later Company Commander in Jerusalem. After the war he was appointed aide-de-camp to General Yigael Yadin, Chief of the General Staff. In 1952 he organized and directed the Historical Section of the Israel Defense Forces. In 1955-58, he was Israel’s consul in Los Angeles before establishing Israel’s consulate in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. Later Lorch founded and headed the African Division of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, served as Ambassador in Peru and Bolivia (1963-67), headed the Information and the Latin American Divisions at the Ministry before becoming Secretary General of Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset. He received his M.A. in modern history from the Hebrew University summa cum laude in 1951 and 35 years later, his Ph.D. He is the author of over ten books and hundreds of articles.
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