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 David Daniel “Mickey” Marcus

David Daniel “Mickey” Marcus

Birth
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 10 Jun 1948 (aged 47)
Jerusalem, Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel
Burial West Point, Orange County, New York, USA
Plot Section 6, Row B, Grave 125
Memorial ID 3641 · View Source
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United States Army Officer, Israeli Army General. During World War II, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Born to immigrant Jewish parents, young David was nicknamed "Mickey." He grew up in a tough neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where he learned to fight for what he believed in. In 1920, he gained admittance to the United States Military Academy, and graduated in 1924, becoming the 7368th graduate of the academy. Initially appointed in the Infantry, he completed his mandatory service and resigned his commission in 1926 to attend law school, and during the 1930s, served as a Federal attorney in New York City. After bringing gangster Lucky Luciano to justice, he was named Commissioner of Corrections for New York City. When war became obvious, he rejoined the Army in 1940, where he served as the Judge Advocate to the military governor of Hawaii. Sent to England, he voluntarily parachuted into Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division on the eve of D-Day, and later helped draw up the surrender documents for Germany. After the war, he became part of the occupation Allied Military Government for Germany, and was considered one of the best, smartest, and most talented of the military's top soldiers. However, in late 1944, he was placed in charge of planning how to take care of the millions of starving and displaced persons in Europe, and with closing the Nazi Concentration Camps. In early 1945, he was named chief of the War Crimes Division, planning the legal procedures for the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Though never previous a Zionist, his experiences convinced him that the only hope for the European Jewry lay with a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In 1947, he resigned his commission again, and volunteered his services to David Ben-Gurion, to serve as military advisor to the fledgling Israeli government. Marcus arrived in Tel Aviv in January 1948, where the Israeli military faced the imminent attack by the Arab League Nations. Marcus designed a command structure for Israel's new army, and wrote manuals to train it. In May 1948, with the declaration of independence, the Arab armies attacked the new nation, and Marcus would break the siege of Jerusalem just before the United Nations negotiated cease fire. His efforts had seen Israel survive with its borders nearly intact. In gratitude, Ben-Gurion named him Lieutenant General, the first general in the Israeli Army in nearly two thousand years. Six hours before the cease fire began, Marcus went for an early morning walk, and an Israeli sentry challenged him. Not understanding his reply, the sentry then shot him, and Marcus was instantly killed. His body was returned to West Point, where his tombstone identifies him as "A Soldier for all Humanity." Actor Kirk Douglas later portrayed him in the movie, "Cast a Giant Shadow" (1966), which eulogized his life.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 2 Oct 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3641
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Daniel “Mickey” Marcus (22 Feb 1901–10 Jun 1948), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3641, citing United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .