NAME: Cohen David


DATE OF BIRTH: 16 January, 1932

David was born in Jerusalem on January 16th, 1932. His father, Avraham, was also born in Jerusalem, and his mother, Esther, was born in Bitola, Macedonia. He had two brothers, Haim the eldest, Ya’akov, who was the second son, and two sisters, Sarah and Tova, who were born after him. Haim was in the Etzel and Ya’akov was in the Haganah.

David was recruited to Lehi by Chaya Ben Dov – “Yael” and his commander was Alexander Rubovich – “Haim”. He started with hanging posters, shattering streetlights and damaging British military and police vehicles. One day he and his friend, Haim Levy, were caught by the British while hanging posters on King George Street in Jerusalem and were detained in Kishle. They spoke in Spanish so that others wouldn’t understand. They were approached by an Arab policeman from Abu Ghosh, who called David by his Lehi alias, “Nimrod” and to their surprise said that he would help them escape. He told them to climb the sewer pipe near the yard fence at night, they did so and managed to escape.

His brother Haim was later arrested and taken detained in Latrun for 5 months. David, who feared the British might capture him as well, left the house and slept in bus parking lots, synagogues, the Alliance School rooftop, or with his friend, Yehezkel Barzani – “Daniel”, who was also a member of the Lehi. When he wanted to bathe, David would go to the bathhouses and friends would bring him food. In extreme times, he would take money from donations collected by children for the Jewish Nation Fund (Keren Kayemet Leyisrael).

After the independence of Israel and dissolution of Lehi underground, despite his young age, David enlisted in the IDF together with 25 other Lehi and Etzel members. Because he knew how to use weapons, he joined the 8th Brigade to assist the fighters and take part in the battles in Ramla, Lod, Jaffa, Fallujah and Be’er Sheva. After the second respite, his father went to the city officer with David’s birth certificate and objected to his enlistment since he was only 16 and a half years old. His battalion commander told him to return his equipment and return home, but David refused.

After his release from the IDF, David worked for 25 years as a truck driver and another 32 years as a taxi driver and taxi attendant. Today he is a pensioner and works distributing a CD telling his story and the stories of Lehi and Etzel in Israel. David is happily married to Chaya and they have four children, ten grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and another on the way.