NAME: Ben-Israel (Goldberg) Chaim

LEHI ALIAS: Hillel

DATE OF BIRTH: 1923

DATE OF DEATH: December 24, 2012

Chaim was born 1923 in Kartoz-Braza Byelorussia  to Yocheved and Yisrael. He studied at ‘Tarbut’ School. Aged 13 the family immigrated to Israel. Two married brothers remained, perishing in the Holocaust. He joined Han’oar-Ha’oved, distributed newspapers during the day then studied nights. He joined Etzel 1938, and was assigned to disguise himself as Bedouin in Jaffa  monitoring informers meeting British Police. After the split, he joined Lehi. He continued Intelligence operations and ‘confiscations’. In 1943 he was arrested for stealing car-tires and tortured. He revealed nothing  and was released. In Haifa, end 1943  he was active in all areas of operation. End 1944 he joined the British Army. In Egypt he underwent a commando training-course and was sent to Europe. After discharge,1946, he returned to Lehi Tel-Aviv, collecting information from people connected to the British. For example, a Lehi supporter, manager at a telephone company, ensured that whenever a technician went for repairs in Sharona, Chaim came along as assistant. The information he gathered there assisted the attack which followed. British agents entered his room, at Harav Kook St. but  he escaped. In 1947 Chaim moved to Jerusalem, as Karl Finkelstein. Once, while interrogating an embittered informer, he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years. In Jerusalem Prison he participated in the tunnelling  through which 12 fighters escaped. He was transferred to Atlit, and escaped, while the British opened fire and had killed an escapee. Chaim took part in combat, although his main occupation was gathering info. On May 29,1948 he joined the IDF Air Force. In 1948 he married Sarah Babayoff (Leah), who’d been under his command in Jerusalem. The couple had two sons, Yitschak, an army general, Knesset member, and scientist, and Ya’acov, a physician,  plus seven grandchildren. Discharged as Colonel 1971, in the Yom-Kippur War he commanded  “Bir- Chemda” Airport in Sinai. In the IDF, Chaim graduated from high-school and completed his degree in Public Administration. Between 1971-88 he worked as Solel-Boneh’s General Secretary. He was a member of  Ramat-Hasharon Local Council.  Today he chairs the Natives of Kartoz-Braza Association and volunteers in many organisations.

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