Zelco (Yaakov) Marvizi was born 25 years ago
The following article appeared in the Israeli daily H'aaretz concerning Zelco (Zeljko) Marvizi, who was half Croatian. He was one of 6 Israeli soldiers killed earlier this week in the Gaza Strip. John Kraljic
Last update - 01:51 12/05/2004
His big dream was to join an elite unit
By Eli Ashkenazi
Zelco (Yaakov) Marvizi was born 25 years ago on an island in the Adriatic Sea to a Jewish-Serbian mother and a Christian-Croatian father.
When he was 10, his father died and Zelco, his mother, and sister, moved to Novisad in Serbia. After high school, Zelco studied physical education at Novisad University and later joined the Serbian army.
At age 23, he came to Israel, where he joined the army and moved to Kibbutz Geva. There he met his "adoptive parents," Zeev and Vered Klein.
"Zelco had a lot of ambition," said Zeev Klein. He tried out for all the elite units but was not accepted, and he couldn't understand why." Eventually, Zelco was sent to medics' training, which was difficult for him because of his limited Hebrew. However, he finished with the help of friends.
Zelco didn't give up on his dream of joining an elite unit. Tzvika Levi, the kibbutz movement's "father" of soldiers without families in Israel, spoke to the commander of the Givati Brigade about him and the latter authorized Zelco to join the engineering unit.
Levi said Zelco called him last Tuesday and said: "Tzvika, if something happens to me, tell my girlfriend Maayan that I want to be buried in Jerusalem, the holy city. And if not in Jerusalem, then I want to be buried in Kibbutz Geva."
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