|Sol Baskin - Artist and Machalnik|
Sol (Shalom) Baskin, a native Chicagoan, served almost three years in the U.S. Army as a rifleman with the 34 Infantry Division in Tunisia and throughout the Italian Campaign. In the course of 18 months of combat, he was involved in some of the most difficult battles, such as Casina, Anzio and the fight over the mountains in the Po Valley. In the course of his service he was given a combat commission, and served as an officer in the same unit for the duration of the war.
Coming from a Zionist family, he contacted the then Palestinian units of the British Army serving in Italy, and soon became involved in the clandestine activities prior to the establishment of the State of Israel.
Following the war, after a short visit home, he returned to Europe and became deeply immersed in the activities surrounding “Aliya Bet”. He took a leave of absence from this work, and traveled around the world as a merchant seaman. It was in China that he heard of the U.N. Resolution of the partition. He headed back to the States, and after an adventurous round-about trip, arrived in Israel in the late April 1948.
He immediately became part of the Haganah which later became the IDF, entering the ranks of the 3rd Alexandroni Brigade, first as platoon commander, then as company commander, and ending his service in the brigade as the CO of the 37th Reconnaissance Battalion. Active in Israel’s military and defense posture, he has not severed his relationship with the IDF to this day.
Printed with the kind permission of the artist and author Sol Baskin, a Machalnik from the USA and veteran soldier of World War II.
Excerpt from his art book “Mosaic of a Lifetime” 2007
Produced and printed by Total Print Ltd. Israel, 03-689-4333