Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 14:57 UK

Jewish troops 'sent to far north'

Dounreay
The Dounreay nuclear complex now stands where the airfield was

A document sold on the internet is believed to have belonged to one of more than 200 Jewish soldiers sent to Scotland to be "screened by MI5".

A worker at the Dounreay nuclear power plant in Caithness found the paper, dated May 1947, on a memorabilia site.

Markus Cukerbera, 51, was posted to Dounreay when the site was an airfield.

During World War II, he had served in Palestine, which by 1947 was the scene of clashes between British forces and the Jewish underground.

Bryan Dods, who works for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), came across the document on Israeli military memorabilia website, The Historama.

Part of its background story has been published in the latest edition of the nuclear site's in-house newspaper Dounreay News.

According to the Tel Aviv-based online dealership, Cukerbera was among 245 Polish Jews sent to Caithness having completed service with the Palestine Group set up by Britain to fight the war against Germany.

Undisclosed sum

Following the surrender of Hitler's forces in 1945, Jewish underground movements became increasingly active in Palestine.

Its members fought against British control, and also Arabs, in the region.

Britain eventually pulled its soldiers out of Palestine in 1948.

The Historama said that after the end of World War II, the British government and the security services were suspicious of Jews who had been trained in wartime now wishing to return to the Middle East.

There were concerns they would join the underground, or join campaigns in UK.

Cukerbera and other soldiers were sent to the Engineering Training Centre at Dounreay's naval airfield to keep them away from London.

There is no suggestion that he intended to take up arms against Britain.

However, while in the far north it is claimed on the Israeli website that the soldiers were "security screened" by MI5.

The document, which sold for an undisclosed sum, shows that Cukerbera saw service in Palestine from 1942 to 1943.

He later saw action in Italy between 1944 and 1945 and was awarded the Monte Cassino Cross and Italy Star medal.

Dounreay was built on parts of the airfield - called HMS Tern II - in the 1950s.



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