NAME: Cohen, Benzion

LEHI ALIAS: Barak

DATE OF BIRTH: October 2, 1927

DATE OF DEATH: March 16, 2020

Benzion was born in October 2,1927 in Jaffa to Yaakov and Malka; he had six brothers and two sisters. He studied in a Talmud Torah, in the Tachkemoni School, in the Geula high school, and in Haskala Gymnasium.

In 1944, while still in high school, he reached the conclusion that there was no choice but to fight until the British would leave the Land of Israel. He joined Lehi and participated in all of its activities. He took a course in firearms in the same lone house in Raanana which would later be attacked by the British, with five young men and women being killed. Benzion recruited and trained new members of the underground throughout the Land of Israel. This was considered a very dangerous job, as the recruiter had to expose himself to strangers, whose reaction could not be predicted; thus, the recruiter might easily fall into a trap. He also was part of the operation to rob Barclays Bank on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv, in order to support the war effort. He was responsible for the Lehi youth camp at Sheikh Munis, known as Ramat Yair.

When the Lehi members enlisted in the IDF, he was transferred to Jerusalem and joined Lehi’s combat division. He would go on patrol in Arab neighborhoods and take part in activities against Arabs. He took part in all Lehi activities in Jerusalem.

After the establishment of the State, Benzion studied law and economics, and in 1951, he became a lawyer. The same year he married his fellow underground fighter, Rachel “Nurit” Magriso.

Benzion and Rachel had three daughters and numerous grandchildren. They practiced law together in Tel Aviv.

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