NAME: Chenzion (Chenchinski) Tuvya


DATE OF BIRTH: May 20, 1920

DATE OF DEATH: January 5, 2016

Tuvya was bornMay 20,1920 in Yenzauv Poland, to David Yitzhak and Hannah Henchinski, a Jabotinskian-Zionist family . His father made aliya in 1923; Tuvya and his mother joined him 1924.

They settled in Tel Aviv. He studied at the academic ‘Tachkemoni School’ and  automobile engineering at  ‘Technical High-School’. He was a member of ‘Eda’ Scouts, and sang for his synagogue choir. Tuvya joined Beitar’s naval department. During the 1936 riots he joined the ‘National Defense’, guarded  ‘Shapira’ neighborhood and Zichron- Ya’acov, and volunteered establishing Kibbutz Hanita. Tuvya underwent a Jewish Guards’ course, and participated in the retaliatory operations of Wingate and Etzel against Arab gangs. During this period he met Esther Keisler who came on the ‘Af-AL-Pi Illigal Aliya’; they fell in love.

He took part in the Beitar Nahariya group’s attempt at establishing a fishing village, which failed because WWII  broke out and because Etzel split. Tuvya and Esther joined Yair. After a Commanders’ course, Tuvya became leader of two groups. Yair selected him as radio announcer for the underground’s station. He worked as  truck driver’s assistant, using this position to communicate (FOR CONNECTING) between  Lehi branches. Following Yair’s murder, Tuvya with a group of old friends, decided to withdraw into complete hiding and discontinue all association with people who might turn them in. Instead of “The Etzel in Israel”, they were called Lehi, a fitting name for a revolutionary movement. They created the publication ‘Lash’  (Hebrew acronym: ‘In Memory of Avraham Stern’). Headed by Tuvya the group worked independently until Yitzhak Shamir’s prison escape. Tuvya placed his men under Shamir’s leadership; after a while the two groups merged.

Tuvya married Esther Keisler October 1942; they had two sons, Shmuel and Shlomo, a daughter Ronit, and four grandchildren. Tuvya worked at a garage.  When the IDF was established he was deferred so as to repair military vehicles.  As reservist he participated in the Sinai Campaign, Six Day War and Yom Kippur War.  When the Fighters Party was established, he headed the central Dan region. Following the assassination of Bernadotte he was arrested, spending five months in Jaffa, Akko and Jalameh prisons. Released after the general amnesty, he established a garage in Tel Aviv with a partner (FRIEND).

Tuvya is active in promoting the memory of Lehi and  its fallen soldiers, in the publication of Lehi writings. His involvement encompasses the establishment of ‘Beit-Yair’, the naming of streets after Lehi and Avraham Stern, the Kiryat-Ata Memorial, the Lehi Forest, and is a member of the Central Committee.