David Ben-Gurion’s love letters to young mistress set to be auctioned

David Ben-Gurion at a conference in Tel Aviv on Dec. 15, 1947. (GPO)

David Ben-Gurion at a conference in Tel Aviv on Dec. 15, 1947. (GPO)

(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.

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