Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kibbutz Naan Mud House and Weapons Cache

Kibbutz Naan has opened the Mud House and the Weapons Cache for visitors. The mud house contains a permanent exhibition of the early life at the Kibbutz with a focus on security, and entry to the Kibbutz’ Weapons Cache.

Kibbutz Naan was established 87 years ago. 30 people settled here in 1943 on bare grounds with only one nearby orchard. They worked hard to build and the new Kibbutz that was surrounded by enemies.
Shielded car used by Naan Kibbutz – located in front of the Mud House
The story of the Mud House goes back to the time that everything in the Kibbutz was cooperative. Two couples asked to build their own houses. Their request had to be approved in the Kibbutz Assembly. It was approved, but conditionally – that the couples would build the houses without any direct funding and without any work time allocated for it. Thus, the couples built the house from free construction material – mud! Each evning, after everyone finished their work, with the help of their friends – they built mud bricks and dried them. It took them a whole year until they had enough bricks to start the construction.
The spot chosen for the houses was not random. There were a number of weapons caches, and the new houses were designed to cover one of them.  The mud house was very small, it had 2 rooms for the two families (the children were housed then in the children’s quarters, and did not sleep with their parents in the Kibbutz).  The mud house was a two family house and it is now a museum that has 3 sections:
1.      A room documenting 20 years of Kibbutz security between 1929 and 1949, including the war, the volunteering, the raid on Kibbutz Naan, the assembly, etc. During these years, Naan was highly occupied with security and survival. The Kibbutz was surrounded by 3 Arab villages.  There is also a part dedicated to the second world war – there was a massive volunteering here to the British brigades.
2.      A room reproducing the daily Kibbutz life.
3.      The Weapons Cache (between the houses/rooms).
The documentation in the Mud House is three dimensional, including models. The guide does an excellent job at telling all the stories and furnishing us with the history of the Kibbutz and the life there over the years, including rages, famous incidents, and people. I especially enjoyed that as a member of the Kibbutz, she was able to share experiences and stories she heard from the older generation at the Kibbutz.
The assembly at Kibbutz Naan – 3d exhibits
The most exciting part in the Mud House is the Weapons Cache.  The weapons cache door was hidden with a lot of sand, and they scattered nails in the area to confuse metal detectors. It was opened mechanically using a fake tap in a fish pond that was located nearby.
The entry to the weapons cache is via a ladder. It is quite narrow and you need to watch your head when going down. The cache is like a small shelter, it accommodates a maximum of 5 people at once. There is a display of weapons, hand grenades and a radio device that was used during the British reign and the independence war.
Kibbutz Naan Mud House and Weapons Cache
This is only one of a number of weapons caches that were hidden in Kibbutz Naan, and some of them were never located when the elderly who kept the secret passed away.
Practical Information
Visits to the Mud House and the Weapons Cache at Kibbutz Naan can be arranged with Sara Chen 052-2232687, Sara Almog: 054-6741406. English guided tours are available.


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