Two stories, two heroes and one research: Y. H. Brenner’s story “Injustice” and the private book of the British pilot Evens were found in different places on earth and were written from different prospective, but are basically two versions of the same story. How are the two books connected?
Dr. Dov Gavish, a geographer and a researcher of Israel’s aviation history, travelled to a library in Australia for a research purposes 27 years ago. On one of the shelves stood a book by a British pilot, Alfred John Evens, unfolding his life story. To his astonishment, the story described by Evens was very familiar.
His wife, Dr. Haya Gavish, a historian and a popular literature researcher, was a young student when she first read the story “Injustice” by the famous author Y.H. Brenner. “Brenner used to write about things that actually happened”, she says. The mystery around “Injustice” has caught Dr. Gavish’s curiosity from the moment she finished reading the book. “After leafing through the British pilot’s book in Australia, I noticed that it very much alike Brenner’s ‘Injustice’. I called Haya immediately”, recalls Dr. Dov Gavish.
The two researchers found the stories nearly identical. Is it an amazing coincidence, or is there a true connection between the stories?
All Roads Lead to Brenner
After the surprising discovery, Dr. Dov and Dr. Haya Gavish started investigating and eventually found out that the books do in fact refer to the same story, unfolding a fascinating chapter in the history of aviation in Palestine. “When Dov called me, I said ‘bingo’”, says Dr. Haya with a smile.
They understood that Brenner wrote down Evens’ life story without knowing him. The book “A British Pilot on Brenner’s Wings” written by the doctors was published a year ago, shedding light on the connection between the British pilot and the Jewish author Yossef Haim Brenner.
A Story of Principles and Dilemmas
Brenner’s book and Evens’ book both revolve around the story of a handing over of a pilot. During the First World War, a British pilot who was taken captive by the Ottomans has escaped, fled to a village in north Palestine and was handed over by the residents. Brenner refers to this action as an injustice, while Evens seems to be more understanding and claims that the people were simply defending themselves.”We are dealing with a universal dilemma. The issue of handing over a man and the way we treat each other”, says Dr. Haya.