|Machal Statue at Latrun|
Machal Overseas volunteers in the War of Independence
A Machal Statue has been erected at the Armored Corps Museum at Latrun. This statue was the bequest of the late Reuven Huber, a soldier in the Givati Brigade. At the end of one of the many bloody battles fought at Latrun, Reuven carried an injured Machal fighter from the battlefield on his back. At dawn, when they reached Kibbutz Hulda, Reuven discovered that the wounded soldier had died. The identity of that Machal soldier remains unknown. The statue is dedicated to Reuven and the Machalnik. It is made of bronze and is over two meters high.
ABOUT REUVEN HUBER
Veteran of Latrun
Reuven Huber was born in Poland in 1923; his family emigrated to Mexico in 1926, and in 1930 he emigrated to Palestine with his mother and brother, Josef. They lived in the Neveh-Zedek neighbourhood in Tel Aviv.
In 1947 Reuven joined the Israeli army. At first he took part in the battles of Latrun, where he served with the Machal volunteers. One day, he carried a wounded Machalnik back to the field hospital, but when he got there he discovered that the unknown soldier had died on the way. A bronze statue was erected in their memory, and Huber was cited for bravery for his act.
He also took part in the battles which prevented the Egyptians from advancing towards Tel Aviv, as well as in other battles in the Negev until the end of the war. After leaving the army he worked as the 3rd Engineer on the cargo ship "Tel Aviv."
In 1953 he opened a workshop for assembling machines in Petach-Tikva. He married Aliza in 1954. In 1961 they traveled to Mexico to visit his father and uncles. Reuven became interested in the production of plastics, and decided to remain in Mexico, where he worked as an advisor in the plastics industry. In 1966 he and three Mexican partners set up two factories for producing plastic, employing some 700 workers.
The family returned to Israel in 1975. Their decision was influenced by the Yom Kippur War in October 1973. Their eldest daughter Ruth had been in Israel since 1973, and had served in the army. Reuven retained his interest in the factories and commuted between Israel and Mexico. Their two daughters, Ruth and Orna, were born in Israel, and their son, Oded, was born in Mexico.
Reuven was an honest, courageous, loving man; and above all, he was reliable. He died of cancer at the age of 79 on 10th December, 2002.
Author: Aliza Huber (Reuven’s widow)
Source: AVI newsletter: Winter 2004