Solomon (Shlomo) Buchbinder, son of Kalman and Rosa (Raizele), both born in Poland, was an only child. He as born on April18, 1931(1 Iyar, 5691) in Paris, France
Solomon (Shlomo) grew up in a warm family atmosphere. He studied at a school in Paris and was a good student. When he was eleven, he passed his exams with flying colors. While attending an educational institution after World War Two, he wrote: “The day that I received my diploma was the 16th of June, 1942. Who could have dreamt of the terrible tragedy that would take place a month later, on the morning of the 16th of July, 1942? Loud banging noises came from the front door of our apartment, accompanied by shouting: 'Open the door, in the name of the law'. Two policemen entered…and said: 'You have one hour to pack your bags for the journey. My father was then arrested.'"
Later on, it became known that Shlomo’s father was brought to a transit camp, where he remained until he was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he perished.
Shlomo witnessed terrible atrocities during the war. Together with his mother, in an attempt to cross to the southern side of France that was “free”, both were arrested. His mother was imprisoned in a local prison, and later was moved to transit camps before finally ending up in Auschwitz, where she perished. Through the auspices of the Red Cross, Shlomo was sent to live with a woman to care for him.
From the end of 1942, Shlomo began wandering from place to place because of the persecution of the Jews. At the end of the war, he was handed over to the “OPEJ” (Oeuvre de Protection des Enfants Juifs), an organization for the protection of Jewish children, which was established right after the World War Two to care for children whose parents had lost their lives during the War.
When he was 13, he wrote: “I will learn a trade and my dream is to get to Palestine”, or as was stated in his personal file at the institution: “He will learn a trade and when the opportunity arises, he will be sent to Palestine----the land of his dreams.”
On April 26, 1946, when he was exactly 15 years old, Shlomo emigrated from France to Palestine together with a group of young boys and girls through the services of Youth Aliyah (“Aliyat Hanoar” was an organization that rescued thousands of Jewish children from the Nazis during the Third Reich and arranged for their resettlement in kibbutzim and youth villages that became both home and school). Shlomo and his friends were sent to a youth village on Kibbutz Deganya Bet. They remained there for about two years, studying Hebrew and learning about the importance of working. Shlomo was remembered by his friends as a scholarly person, who was interested in the theater and acting. During his free time he enjoyed writing poetry.
In mid-1948, Shlomo and his friends were sent to Kibbutz Gevim in the south (south of Sderot), a settlement that was established the year before, and was frequently attacked by Arabs ever since the beginning of the War of Independence. The headquarters of ”Chativat Hanegev” was situated there (formerly the “12th Brigade”, an Israeli infantry brigade). The group became well absorbed in the life of the kibbutz and, like all the members there, they were recruited into the “Palmach”, (acronym for “Plugot Maḥatz”, the elite fighting force of the “Hagannah”, the underground army of the “Yishuv” during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine). Until the end of the War of Independence, Shlomo and his friends were actively involved in protecting the area.
On October 22, 1948 (19 Tishrei, 5709), the day after the town of Beer Sheva, which served as a base for the invading Egyptian Army, was captured by the Israeli Army, Shlomo and a friend from his kibbutz travelled to the freed city. A short while after they arrived there, both were hit during an Egyptian aerial strike. Asher Hershkowitz, Shlomo’s friend, was killed immediately. Shlomo, though fatally wounded, was taken to nearby Kibbutz Ruchama; however, he soon died of the injuries he sustained. Shlomo was 17 when he fell. He was buried in the cemetery of Kibbutz Gevim. He was the last surviving person of his family since all others perished during the Holocaust.
Partial details of Solomon (Shlomo) Buchbinder’s life appear on the “Yizkor” website of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
His story was researched and completed in 2017 by volunteers from “Giving a Face to the Fallen.”