Berek Joselewicz
Persons, originating from Poland

Berek Joselewicz

Born 1764 in Kretinga, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Died 1809 in the Battle of Kock (Poland)
He was a Jewish-Polish merchant and a colonel of the Polish Army during the Kościuszko Uprising. Joselewicz commanded the first Jewish military formation in modern history.

Joselewicz initially served in the Polish militia before forming an all-Jewish unit. Joselewicz, along with the Jew Joseph Aronowicz selected 500 men wto form a cavalry regiment. They were allowed to keep their religious customs. They took part in the 1794 defense of Praga, in which the unit was wiped out, with only few men (including Joselewicz) surviving the battle.
After the defeat of the Kościuszko Uprising, he joined the Polish Legions under Henryk Dąbrowski. As a commander of a sabre company in Polish cavalry units he fought in various battles of the Napoleonic period. He was killed in the
Death of Joselewicz in the Battle of Kock      
          Painting by Henryk Pillati
Battle of Kock in 1809 during an encounter with a unit of Austrian hussars, and today his grave has become a popular tourist attraction.
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Polonica stamps:

Israel 2009, 22 IV