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Purity of Arms

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Carl Rolfe Asman  E-mail
Carl Rolfe AsmanThe son of Helmut and Anna, Carl Rolfe Asman was born in Leipzig in Germany on 18th January 1927.  He was six-years-old when Hitler came to power.

On the eve of the outbreak of World War II, he was saved with the help of Aliyat Hanoar (Youth Immigration) organization when he was brought to relatives in the UK.  His parents were rounded up from their home and were expelled to an extermination camp in Poland.

Carl studied at a technical high school in London.  In 1944, liable for military service, he chose to join the British army’s Jewish Brigade from Eretz Israel, and became a member of a tank crew.  After the war, while serving in the British Occupation Force in Germany, he vigorously investigated the fate of his parents and learned that they had perished in the Holocaust.

On completion of his service, he returned to London.  He was employed in his trade until Israel’s War of Independence broke out and he decided to reach Israel and join the army.  He traveled to France where an uncle was living, and he obtained an Israeli entrance visa on condition that he would not participate in the war.  He signed the application for the visa with this proviso, but he broke his undertaking when he reached Marseilles and joined the Haganah.

He arrived in Israel in the second half of May 1948, and after three days he went into battle, serving in Israel’s first tank battalion, the 82nd.  He earned a special commendation from his commanding officer, recording his courage and determination in action.  He took part in the clash at Yehudyia when he was sent there with his tank.  He tank was hit and burst into flames, and he died in the inferno on 11th June 1948.  

He was laid to rest on the same day at the Nachlat Yitzhak military cemetery, only three weeks after his arrival in Israel.

His younger and only brother, who had left Germany with him for London, immigrated to Israel in 1949, and also served in the IDF.

Source:  Translated from the Yizkor website by Joe Woolf