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Eugene man's photographs of Yom Kippur War resurface after 45 years

Nathan Fendrich's collection has been accepted into The National Library of Israel’s archive.

Posted: Oct. 18, 2018 6:26 PM
Updated: Oct. 18, 2018 6:40 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- In the 70s when one Eugene man with ties to KEZI 9 News left for Israel to make a change for himself, he ended up caught in the middle of a war. Decades later, his collection of photographs has been accepted into the National Library of Israel.

Nathan Fendrich initially went to Israel in 1973 to work as a junior archeologist, and he received a KEZI press pass from his friend to gain access to different places in country.

Five days after he arrived, the Yom Kippur War broke out on one of Israel’s holiest days. Fendrich wanted to be a part of the war, no matter what role he played.

He managed to get himself to the front lines, which was not common for journalists in those days. He said he wanted to be involved in the war because he felt for the first time in his life that he was a part of something.

When he returned to Eugene after the war ended, he said the pictures were headed for the garbage can.

“I pulled them out in 45 years maybe 15 times --12 or 15 times -- that’s all. I mean, who’s really interested? There was nobody interested," Fendrich said.

That all changed when he met Avi Naiman, who produced a documentary about the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. Once Naiman saw Fendrich’s pictures he knew they must be shared.

Then, Avi got in contact with someone he knows who works at the National Library of Israel, and they immediately wanted the collection.

The library said Fendrich's perspective -- a foreigner trapped in the war -- was different from anything they had seen, and it intrigued them.

Historians and researchers are now going to use his collection to try and fill in pieces that are missing about what happened in the Yom Kippur War. They also will now be able to identify the soldiers in the pictures.

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