NAME: Edni (Balchick), David

LEHI ALIAS: shlomo

DATE OF BIRTH: 1919

DATE FALLEN: June 17, 1946

David was born in 1919 in a small village near Vienna. His father Yosef named him Bela. He studied in high school in Vienna until he graduated. While he was a student, he joined Beitar and was active in it. He was inspired by nationalism and wanted to make aliyah. He finally got the opportunity in December 1938, thanks to the Beitar and IZL Af al Pi aliyah program. He arrived on a Mapilim ship with documentation saying his name was David Lichter. He was sent to the recruitment company of Beitar in Beer Yaakov. He Hebraicized his name. Bela Balchick became David Lichter, and eventually David Edni. In Beitar, he was known as quiet, modest and somewhat shy. As with many of his comrades, he was recruited to IZL and then moved on to Lehi to follow Yair after the split. He moved to Netanya and learned diamond polishing, which became his profession.

In Netanya, he worked with the branch, taking a weapons course in Avihail, in a house in which two Lehi members already lived. He then began going out on missions. However, the atmosphere in Netanya was toxic. Underground members were being arrested, and the members could meet only after dark. Eventually, they had to abandon Netanya for Tel Aviv.

On 17.6.1946, David was part of the major Lehi attack as part of the Jewish Resistance Movement: blowing up the Haifa Railway Worships. These workshops fixed locomotives and cars of the trains from all over the Middle East. They were very important to the transportation infrastructure in the region. This was one day after the Hagana had committed multiple attacks, and the British forces were on alert.

The attack was a success. A large force broke in and destroyed all the essential machinery. However, when they attempted to retreat, as the fighters travelled by truck approaching Kiryat Ata, they ran into a roadblock of British armored vehicles, which opened withering automatic gunfire against them. Eleven fighters were killed and eighteen were captured, some injured. David was one of those killed, and he was buried in the Lehi section of the Haifa Cemetery.

He was a modest and humble man, who loved people and loved helping others. Years later, a memorial was erected in Kiryat Ata in the memory of the fallen.

David never had a family. His father tried to make aliya during World War II, but he was exiled to Mauritius.

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