אביגור Meyeroff Meirov Avigur, Shaul ben Yehuda

Birth Name אביגור Meyeroff Meirov Avigur, Shaul ben Yehuda [1] [2]
Birth Name Meyeroff (Meirov מאירוב‎), Saul
Also Known As אביגור, שאול

    Avigur אביגור means Father of the (Lion) Cub, in Hebrew.

    Shaul Meirov מאירוב‎ changed his name to Avigur אביגור, meaning Father of Gur גור, when his son, Gur Meirov גור מאירוב‎, was killed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Call Name Saul
Call Name שאול
Gender male
Age at Death 78 years, 2 months, 10 days


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth October 22, 1899 Daugavpils Dvinsk, Latvija  

Aliyah 1911   Shaul Meirov, age 12 years, left Latvia with his mother, Frieda Meirov, and sister, Zipporah

Event Note

In 1913, Shaul's father, Yehuda Meirov, joined the family, and they settled in Tel Aviv.

Education   הגימנסיה העברית הרצליה Herzliyah Hebrew High School HaGymnasia HaIvrit Herzlyiah תל אביב Tel Aviv, גוש דן, ישראל  

Membership 1918 קבוצת כנרת kvutzat Kinneret, עמק הירדן, ישראל  

Military Service 1920 הגנה Haganah  

Event Note

In 1940, Shaul Meirov and Reuven Shiloah were instrumental in forming SHAI ש"י‎, שירות ידיעות‎, the intelligence/information wing of the Haganah הגנה.
Until 1948, SHAI ש"י's primary objectives were:
* promoting of an independent Israeli state
* infiltrating British mandate offices in order to inform the Jewish and Zionist leadership of British attitudes and proposed actions
* collecting political information that could be used as propaganda
* penetrating Arab and anti-Zionist factions in Palestine and abroad
* providing security for the arms-smuggling and illegal immigration programmes of the Haganah הגנה.

Event Note

In 1922, Shaul Meirov מאירוב‎ was chosen to serve on the Central Committee of the Haganah.
Berl Katznelson and Eliyahu Golomb asked him to served as Member of the National Command; where he had two functions: a security role - as the "armory coordinator" of the Jewish settlements in the Galilee - and a semi-political role, as a participant in opposition to the HaShomer organization and their leader, Yisrael Shohat, who were opposed to operating under the command of the Histadrut haOvdim haClalit and the Haganah's leadership.
Arieh Boaz cites: "Many regarded Shaul as `Eliyahu's representative' in the Hagana and as a loyal advocate of Golomb's philosophy and outlook."
He ws the founder of Shai ש"י‎, Israeli Inteligence Service; Resh Nun Rigul Negdi, the counter intelligence service; Taas תע"ש. clandestine military industries; and Head of Mossad leAliyah Bet, and was responsible for arms procurement in Europe.

Military Service   מוסד לעלייה ב' Mossad leAliyah Bet Shaul Meirov served as Head, and reported directly to David Ben-Gurion

Event Note

In March, 1942, Shaul Avigur went to Baghdad to investigate the potential of the Shabab al-Inqad, who were interested in making contact with Palestine and exploring the possibility of emigration, to work on behalf of the yishuv in Palestine, and found them sufficiently well-organized.

Event Note

In December, 1943, Shaul Meirov went to Izmir and complete arrangements for transport of the Greek Jews hiding in that city.
Rafae Barki arranged a meeting between Thomas, Shaul Meirov, and the Commander of the Greek boats, in which it was decided that the partisans would receive food, clothing and medicine in exchange for the transport of the refugees.
At the arrival of each group, Shaul Meirov, or his man in Izmir, would take their documents to Istanbul to obtain Palestine visas from the British.
The refugees were taken care of by the Jewish community until the date of their departure for Palestine.

Event Note

In 1944, Shaul Meirov returned to Izmir, and appointed Moshe Auerbuch Agami to direct the job in his place.
When he finished his work in Turkey, Moshe Auerbuch Agami was transferred to Romania.

Event Note

Arieh Boaz cites: "Shaul [Avigur] was regarded as one of those individuals whose very personality constituted ethical authority. Those who worked with him accepted his authority as something that was self-understood, even when they did not see eye to eye with him on some of his decisions or even when his decisions were difficult to put into practice. The reason why they accepted his authority was that they clearly comprehended that Shaul's decisions and demands invariably stemmed from an approach that was totally committed to a set of lofty values and which was neither biased nor in the service of personal interests."

[3a] [4a] [5] [6] [7a]
Boat October, 1946 SS Transylvania Transilvania Трансильвании SS Transylvania sailed to Marseille

Event Note

In November, 1946, Ruth Chaikin was sent to France on SS Transylvania.

Event Note

In November, 1946, Shaul Meirov Avigur sailed on SS Transylvania, with false papers, along with nine Palmachnikim, who boarded as stowaways, and were quickly discovered at sea, and were locked in a hold and badly beaten up, during the voyage, which lasted seven days.
Ruth Cheikin served as a go-between between the prisoners and Shaul Meirov Avigur, and later to a member of the Recanati family who was on the ship on his honeymoon.
They all went to the refugee camp near Marseille.

Boat 1947 הברק Yildirim Yilderam haBarak Yilderim haBarak הברק was prepared in Marseille, for her voyage

Event Note

Shaul Meirov and Nachum Carmeli prepared Yilderim haBarak הברק in Marseille, for her voyage.

Boat   עצמאות Pan Crescent Atzmaut פאן קרסצנט MI6, attempted to sabotage Pan Crescent פאן קרסצנט before she sailed from Venezia

Place Note

MI6, despite the covert operations and efforts made to evade detection, became aware of Pan Crescent פאן קרסצנט, and the substantial refitting carried out in Venezia, to accommodate the anticipated 7,500 passengers.
British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), working with with the American National Security Agency (NSA), spotted the transaction for the ship's purchase in the United States, and followed the operation, planning to stop her voyage, and her lmission.
Harold Perkins, a senior MI6 officer, devised the plan to sabotage the ships, and the Kent Corps Specials, headed by Fredrick Vanden Heuval, were assigned to destroy Pan Crescent at its berth.
Posing as smugglers, the team of Kent Corps Specials approached the vessel in a small boat, attached mines to her hull beneath the waterline, and rowed away.
Pan Crescent פאן קרסצנט did not sink after the mine detonated, due to quick action of those on board, who immediately manned the pumps, and luckily, the sabotage took place in shallow waters, rather than on the open sea.
Palyam sent Motti Hod and Haim Winkler, to investigate the explosion, and they found the Italian foreman who had collaborated with the British Intelligence; he confessed that had saved the ship by shortening the detonator fuse, so that the mine would explode in port, rather than on the open sea.
Shaul Meirov, who was in Switzerland, decided not to scrap the mission, ordered Pan Crescent פאן קרסצנט be repaired.
The hole from the explosion was temporarily blocked, and Pan Crescent פאן קרסצנט was towed the shipyard where it was properly repaired.
Shaul Meirov cites another attempt to sabotage was made when “..a mysterious fire caught on the motor room which was hardly extinguished.”

Military Action April, 1948 SS Lino  

Military Service 1953 לשכת הקשר Liaison Bureau Lishkat haKesher נתיב Nativ Shaul Avigur was appointed the founding head

Honor 1973   Shaul Avigur was awarded the Israel Prize, for his special contribution to society and the State

Death 1978    

Person Note

Yehiel Duvdevani cites: "We regarded Shaul [Avigur ]as the conscience of the ["illegal" immigration] organization, as an individual whose every move was in conformity with a highly-principled conscience."



Father meirovitz Meyeroff Meirov, Yehuda Leib ben Shmaryahu
Mother meirovitz Meyeroff Meirov, Frieda Frida
  1. Meyeroff Meirov, Tzipora Zipporah bat Yehuda


Married Wife Tulchansky, Sarah bat Avraham
  1. מאירוב ‎Meyeroff Meirov, Ruth Ruta bat Shaul
  2. מאירוב ‎Meyeroff Meirov, Gur ben Shaul


In describing Shaul Meirov Avigur, Natan Alterman cites: "עלום ונוכח בכל"

Source References

  1. עלום ונוכח בכל: סיפור חייו של שאול אביגור Unseen Yet Always Present: The Life Story of Shaul Avigur
  2. Every Spy a Prince
  3. Escaping the Holocaust: Illegal Immigration to the Land of Israel, 1939-1944
    1. Page: 14
  4. From Catastrophe to Power: Holocaust Survivors and the Emergence of Israel
    1. Page: 41
  5. חץ בערפל Arrows in the Dark: David Ben-Gurion, the Yishuv Leadership and Rescue Attempts during the Holocaust
  6. Commander of the Exodus
  7. Blind jump: the story of Shaike Dan
    1. Page: 164


  1. meirovitz Meyeroff Meirov, Yehuda Leib ben Shmaryahu
    1. meirovitz Meyeroff Meirov, Frieda Frida
      1. Meyeroff Meirov, Tzipora Zipporah bat Yehuda
      2. אביגור Meyeroff Meirov Avigur, Shaul ben Yehuda
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