(JTA) – Thirty-eight letters and nine telegrams written by David Ben-Gurion to his lover in the 1930s will be auctioned off with a starting bid of $20,000.
Israel’s Kedem Auction House will auction the Yiddish and Hebrew notes on Dec. 2, the Times of Israel reported.
Ben-Gurion, who declared Israel’s statehood in 1948 and served as its first prime minister, was in his 40s and married to his wife Paula when he corresponded with Rega Klapholz, a 26-year-old Jewish Viennese medical student he met in the early 1930s.
“Dear beloved Rega … It’s hard for me to accept the fact that I am in Europe, and so far away from you,” Ben-Gurion wrote in one letter, dated September, 1934. “However much you want me to come to Vienna, maybe I want it more.”
Their affair ended in 1934, when Klapholz showed up at Ben-Gurion’s house in Tel Aviv and was greeted by his wife.
In later years, historians have noted that Ben-Gurion had two additional mistresses in New York and London.
Klapholz died in 2007 at the age of 100, according to the Times of Israel.