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Purity of Arms

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Louis (Arie) Ball (Ludwig Smargad)  E-mail

Louis BallLouis Ball, the son of Leah and William, was born on 10th March 1922 in Vienna, the capital of Austria.  His father was an American-born sculptor.   Arie studied bookkeeping at a commercial school, and when the Germans invaded Austria, he and his brother succeeded in escaping to Switzerland and from there to New York.  His brother Shimon reached Israel, and their.  parents remained in Vienna where they were murdered.  In New York, Ludwig (now Arie) completed his studies and was accepted to university, where he studied optics.

At the age of 21 he became an American citizen, changed his name to Louis Ball, and joined the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of sergeant.  His last place of service was with the American Occupation Army in his country of birth, Austria.

After his discharge he decided to make aliyah to Israel, in the footsteps of his brother Shimon (Sam), a pioneer and an officer in the Haganah and the IDF.   He volunteered for Aliyah Bet, and served as one of the crew on the “Geula.” The “Geula” was intercepted by the Royal Navy and Arie was interned in Cyprus, and eventually arrived in Palestine in December 1947.  He was a talented and easy-going fellow. His brother brought him to Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch to learn the language and to aid his integration.  From there he moved to Kibbuz Degania where he joined the Palmach.  He fought on various fronts, the last one in the Hanegev Brigade, in the Negev.
On the night of 8th /9th July 1948, Palmach fighters attacked the Iraq-el-Suweidan police fortress, an Egyptian stronghold, in an attempt to open the road to the Negev; it was the fifth attack on this fortress.  The Palmach succeeded in breaking through the fences, but with the heavy Egyptian return fire, and when they had run out of ammunition, they were forced to withdraw.  It was in this battle that Arie was killed on 9th July, 1948.

On 14th September 1948, his brother Shimon (Sam) Smargad was killed at Kfar Malcha. On 23rd January 1951, Arie was re-interred in the Nahalat Yitzhak Military Cemetery in Tel Aviv.

Translated from the Yizkor website