Asher Ben-Natan

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Asher Ben-Natan (center) with Maria Meyer-Sevenich (right) (1967)

Asher Ben-Natan ( Hebrew אשר בן נתן; * February 15, 1921 in Vienna as Artur Piernikarz ; † June 17, 2014 in Tel Aviv ) was an Israeli diplomat and his country's first ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany .


Born in Austria in 1921, he fled in 1938 during the annexation of Austria from Vienna to the League of Nations mandate for Palestine because he was Jewish. There he became a co-founder of the Kibbutz Dovrat . The Hagana charged him with secret intelligence missions. Immediately after the end of the war, he returned to Austria and, as head of the Beriha (Bricha) in Austria, helped numerous Jews to emigrate to Palestine.

For the newly founded State of Israel, he was the representative of the Defense Ministry in Europe and head of the purchasing commission in France between 1956 and 1959, and finally from 1959 to 1965 Director General of the Israeli Defense Ministry.

From 1965 to 1969 he was the first Israeli ambassador to the Federal Republic. In the second decade after the Holocaust , he shaped the beginning of German-Israeli relations . He then became the Israeli ambassador to France from 1969 to 1974 . From 1974 to 1978 he was an advisor in the Ministry of Defense, from 1978 to 1983 he was a member of the Tel Aviv City Council , where he also lived, and from 1984 to 1988 an advisor in the Foreign Ministry . He continued to accompany the special relationship as President of the Israeli-German Society in Jerusalem from 1980 to 2008.

Ben-Natan was married and had a son and a daughter. He published several biographical books.


  • Building bridges - but don't forget: As Israel's first ambassador to the Federal Republic (1965-1969), Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2005, ISBN 978-3770012107
  • The Bricha - from the terror to Eretz Israel , Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2005, ISBN 978-3-7700-1214-5
  • Asher Ben-Natan, The chutzpah to live , Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2003, ISBN 978-3-7700-1894-9

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary Asher Ben-Natan Israelisch-Deutsche Gesellschaft, accessed on June 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Newsletter of the Embassy of the State of Israel of June 17, 2014


  • John F. Oppenheimer (Red.) And a .: Lexicon of Judaism. 2nd Edition. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, Gütersloh u. a. 1971, ISBN 3-570-05964-2 , col. 81.
  • Alisa Douer : New territory. Israeli artists of Austrian origin. Picus, Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-85452-407-2 , p. 89f. (Book accompanying the exhibition of the same name).

Web links

Commons : Asher Ben-Natan  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files