NAME: Ashkenazi Mordechai



Mordechai was born in 1919 in Bulgaria. When he was young, he joined the Beitar movement in his hometown, where he soaked in the nationalistic spirit and the desire to make aliya and establish a free Hebrew state.

While working at the Beitar branch, he connected with a group of friends who organized an illegal aliyah to Israel.

In 1939, they arrived in Israel on the immigrant ship “Katina” (as part of Aliyah B– in spite of). The ship arrived at Netanya beach and was received by members of the organization. The immigrants were moved to safety and from there dispersed to various locations.

Mordechai moved to a recruitment unit of Beitar in Rishon LeZion where he stayed and worked for some time. During this period, he was recruited to the Etzel. After a while, he left the organization and began working as a construction iron bender and became a professional.

When the organization separated in 1940, he went Yair and his group and became a Lehi member. His membership in Lehi (then called the Stern Group) was revealed to the British CDI by informants or some other way. When Mordechai arrived at the Sarfand military camp (Tzrifin) to receive salary for work he had done, he was arrested, interrogated and sent to administrative detention at the Mizra camp. At the end of 1942, he was transferred, together with all other detainees, to the detention camp in Latrun.

After 20 Lehi members escaped from the Latrun camp, the British authorities exiled 251 detainees from the Etzel and Lehi to Africa. This was on October 19th, 1944, and Mordechai was among them. He was initially held at Camp Sambal near Asmara in Eritrea. After a while, the detainees were transferred to the Carthago camp in Sudan and later returned to Eritrea. But this was not the end of Mordechai’s travels.

After the declaration of the state of Israel, on July 12th, 1948, the detainees, including Mordechai were returned to Israel after being detained for six years in Israel and in exile.

After his return to Israel, Mordechai returned to his work as an iron bender. He later found himself a position as an official in the Ministry of Housing, where he worked for many years until he retired. He lived in Netanya.