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Lost Birth Certificate Reveals David Ben-Gurion’s Twin

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, had a twin brother who died soon after birth, according to a document recently found in Plonsk, Poland, his native town. The document — a birth certificate — was given last week to the head of Ramat Hanegev Regional Council, Shmuel Rifman.

Rifman was visiting Plonsk with a youth delegation from the Negev, the southern desert region where Ben-Gurion made his home after retiring from politics in the 1950s.

Neither Ben-Gurion nor his relatives ever mentioned a twin in the family. Nili Oren of Ben-Gurion University, who has been working on setting up a museum in Plonsk and was with the delegation, said:

This is a document that was requisitioned by Plonsk Municipality from the district archives. It is written in old Russian, but as far as we can understand, it says that on a certain day, a man by the name of Victor Green turned up and reported the birth of a son. As far as we understand, he was talking about one of the twins. In any event, it requires looking into. There is also a problem with the dates.

As far as is known, Ben-Gurion was born on October 16, 1886, but the document is dated February 1887. “Nevertheless, date discrepancies are common with such documents,” Oren said.

“The document is fascinating material from a research point of view,” said Rifman, the Negev official. “It raises the question — did Ben-Gurion know or not?”

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