Ernst Gruenewald (Yaari) 1920 – 1998

Ernst Gruenewald

Ernst Gruenewald (Yaari) was born in Rheinböllen, Germany in 1920 and died in Israel in 1998.

He joined his brother, Herbert, as a volunteer in the South African Defense Force and was called up to join the Pretoria Highlanders in 1940. As part of the Engineering Corps he saw active service along the East African Coast, the Red Sea and then North African ports as far as Tripoli and even further north up to Italy. After discharge he and friends, aboard a fishing trawler called the ‘Drom Afrika’, entered Palestine illegally and he became a founding member of Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch.

After a number of years there he became somewhat disillusioned with kibbutz life and. together with other ex-South African families, started Kfar Monash, not far from Netanya. Here he had cows, chickens and orchards and was never happier than when he was farming. He married Meena from the U.S.A while they were on Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch and raised his family of 1 daughter and 2 sons on Kfar Monash and watched his seven precious grandchildren grow up there.

(Kfar Monash was a moshav (cooperative farmers village) founded in central Israel in 1946 by Australian World War II ex-servicemen. The moshav was named after General Sir John Monash, who, among his many other notable achievements, was the first president of the Zionist Federation of Australia.)


Written by Ernst Gruenewald’s niece, Barbara Rosman and nephew Simon Gruenewald, who also kindly provided the photograph.