David Ben-Gurion (originally named David Gruen) is born in Plonsk, Russian (now part of Poland), to Avigdor Gruen, a lawyer, and Scheindel Gruen (nee Broitman). His mother dies when he is 11. He goes to school at a small Hebrew institution run by his father. Ben-Gurion is one of 11 children but only two brothers and two sisters survive. Shimon Peres:
Ben-Gurion’s father Avigdor, a lawyer, was among the first in Plonsk to set aside the more traditional Jewish garb in favor of the frock coat and winged collar that suited his profession. As a result, Ben-Gurion grew up in a fiercely socialist and Zionist home during a time when European nationalist movements were arbitrarily determining who did and did not fit their particular definition of citizenship.