Sarona NeighborhoodSharona was born in the second half of the 19th century, as a colony established by the German Templars. In fact, this is their fourth colony in the Land of Israel. At the time, the settlement was located a few kilometers north of Jaffa, but today it is located in the center of Tel Aviv and is one of the most popular and important places of entertainment in the city.
At that time, the agricultural areas of the moshava spread eastwards, on the two banks of Wadi Musrara, where today the main axis of Tel Aviv, Ayalon Highway, is located. At that time they crossed the river on the Sarona Bridge, which was exactly where the Peace Bridge now stands, and the path of peace.
During World War II, the Templar residents of the moshava were expelled because of the identification of some of the inhabitants with Nazi Germany. After the residents hung swastika flags on their homes and some of them went to Germany to volunteer for the German army against the Allies. After the war, the British did not allow the Templars to return to their homes. The British Army itself settled in the areas of the colony and upon the establishment of the State, many of the institutions of the State of Israel settled there. The area was nicknamed the "Kirya" and until a few years ago many government and military installations were located there.
In recent years, the southern part of the moshava has become a restored recreation site crowded with people. This was followed by the completion of conservation and restoration work, which also included the moving of entire buildings to expand the nearby Kaplan Street. All these made the German Colony of the past a beautiful and fashionable place and a favorite entertainers. It was also surrounded by luxury towers, one of which opened the prestigious Sarona Market.
Today, in the northern part of the moshava, there are many military installations. The base of the Kirya that belongs to the IDF will be evacuated in the coming years.
Note that the central settlement streets, Kaplan Street and the contemporary David Elazar Street, stand together and form a cross. This is a form that characterized the planning of the Templar colonies, since the Templars were devout Christians.
What did the German Templars do in Eretz Israel?The Templars who were devout Christians came from Germany in the middle of the 19th century. Together with the Christian faith in their duty to settle the Holy Land, they brought with them the modern technology of Europe. In every field they dealt with, including agriculture, production and construction, they renewed and increased their productivity and success. The Templars built exemplary settlements in Israel and succeeded in bringing about momentum in all these areas between the Arabs of the country and the Jews in it. Many imitated them and thus the Israeli economy progressed and was greatly improved by their right.
The Templars left seven settlements, such as Sarona, the German Colony in Haifa and Jerusalem, and several settlements that became the moshavim of Bnei Atarot, Bethlehem of Galilee and Alonei Abba.
During World War II, the third generation of the Templars identified themselves in the colonies with the Nazis. Many of them hung the swastika flags on their houses. Some of the young Templars went to Germany to volunteer for the German army and fought against the Allies. The British responded by putting all the Templars into closed camps. During the War of Independence, the Palmach expelled the Templars from their homes and were not allowed to return.
What is Sarona's Treasure?For years the Templar deportees kept the secret of the gold hoard hidden in the wall of one of Sarona's houses. In 1941 the Templars were expelled from Palestine by the British. They were Germans and the great majority supported the Nazis and the British saw them as a threat to their rule here. Various espionage affairs in favor of the Germans, which were discovered at the time in Israel, also seemed dangerous.
One of the deportees from Sarona, the Templar settlement near Tel Aviv, Hugo Brengel, hid a treasure of gold coins in his wall before leaving. Some of these coins were a gift received by Brengel's father from Lawrence of Arabia, the mythical man. He planned to return in the future to pick it up but never did.
No less than 62 years later, several Israelis did an investigation and discovered the treasure. They returned it to the older owner, a 102-year-old man who, according to the value of those coins, must have made a good deal.