Surprise on the Midtown Greenway

On my last full day in Minneapolis, I decided to rent a bike and take a spin along the Midtown Greenway. This is an old, abandoned railway in the middle of the city that stretches for miles and miles. In fact, the young man who rented the bicycle to me said it’s the longest bike path in the Midwest. I only had an hour to ride before I was to meet a friend, so I headed towards Calhoun Lake. Minneapolis is known as the City of Lakes. I had no idea I was in for a BIG surprise!

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Then my head did a double-take.  I stopped my bike and walked back to check.  Did I really see Palestine out of the corner of my eye?

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Yep, in the middle of the Midwest USA is a memorial to the Massacre at Deir Yassin in Palestine on April 9, 1948.  Read about it here.

Early in the morning of Friday, April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate. The village lay outside of the area that the United Nations recommended be included in a future Jewish State. Deir Yassin had a peaceful reputation and was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and one plan, kept secret until years afterwards, called for it to be destroyed and the residents evacuated to make way for a small airfield that would supply the beleaguered Jewish residents of Jerusalem.

Nicholas Eoloff was responsible for erecting this memorial to the Deir Yassin Massacre.

Nicholas and Mary Eoloff

Nicholas and Mary Eoloff

“Nick was a founding member and long-time supporter of Deir Yassin Remembered, and was responsible for Mordechai joining the DYR Board of Advisers. Nick commissioned and dedicated a memorial to Deir Yassin, a bronze statue of an uprooted olive tree adjacent to the Midtown Greenway Bike Trail in South Minneapolis.”

A painting of the Midtown Greenway hanging in the old Sears building.

A painting of the Midtown Greenway hanging in the old Sears building.

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3 Comments

Filed under Nakba

3 responses to “Surprise on the Midtown Greenway

  1. I wish I’d met Nick Eoloff. He sounds like a real friend of the Palestinians. He died last year at the age of 84.
    http://m.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/14089270/?fullname=nicholas-eoloff

  2. April 12, 2015 – Minneapolis, MN – Some 30 people braved rain, sleet, hail and snow for a protest to build the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and to remember the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. The Minnesota Anti-War Committee (AWC) organized a bannering at the busy Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue intersection, complete with Palestinian flags, signs and a new banner that read, “Boycott Israeli apartheid, boycott Coke!”

    As part as the ongoing international BDS movement, the campaign to boycott Coke was initiated last fall by the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN). Coke is produced in settlements built on stolen Palestinian land and it supports Israel as it commits crimes against the Palestinian people. Palestinians have called for an international boycott of Israel – from companies like Coke, to ending U.S. military aid to Israel.

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    “The Minneapolis Deir Yassin memorial was commissioned by Nick Eoloff, who died in May 2014. Nick and his wife Mary Lou adopted Israeli prisoner of conscience, Mordechai Vanunu, and dedicated their lives to the struggles of the Guatemalan and Palestinian people. Their family members were present at Thursday’s protest and commemoration, including grandniece BethAnne Nelson Stolp, who shared memories of the Eoloffs.”

    http://m.fightbacknews.org/2015/4/12/minneapolis-commemorates-1948-massacre-palestinians-promotes-boycottcoke-campaign

  3. Thanks to my wonderful friend and sleuth extraordinaire, Elizabeth Hurtz-Waitz who found this information about the Deir Yassin Memorial in Minneapolis.

    “Nick (Eoloff) was a founding member and long-time supporter of Deir Yassin Remembered, and was responsible for Mordechai joining the DYR Board of Advisers. Zionists forces ethnically cleansed Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, by massacring/expelling the 750 Palestinian residents. This was the first of more than 500 villages to be destroyed in the establishment of Israel. Nick commissioned and dedicated a memorial to Deir Yassin, a bronze statue of an uprooted olive tree adjacent to the Midtown Greenway Bike Trail in South Minneapolis.”

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