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!
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?
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.
“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.”