NAME: Cohen, Rachel

LEHI ALIAS: Nurit

DATE OF BIRTH: 1926

DATE OF DEATH: June 21, 2005

Rachel was born in 1926, in Salonika, Greece, to Matilda and David Magriso. In the early 30’s, nationalist movements arose in Greece with antisemitic tendencies. This led her family to decide to make aliyah, arriving in 1933, when Rachel was seven. They settled in Jaffa, Rachel attended the Alliance school, first in Jaffa and then in Tel Aviv. She attended Geula High School and Gymnasium Gordon, completing her studies and matriculation exams. This allowed her to attend university abroad. Rachel pursued her studies in law, and in 1952 she was admitted to the bar.

As an upperclasswoman, Rachel was recruited for the Hagana, like many other students. However, in light of what was going on at the time in World War II, she reached the decision that underground war against the British was the only way. She found her way to Lehi.

At first, she was involved with recruitment, particularly of students from the Technion in Haifa. This was dangerous, as one could not predict how strangers would react to broaching the topic of the underground; it could be a trap for the recruiter. Next, she trained youths who were brand-new recruits. Finally, she arranged meetings between Lehi leaders and foreign press, also serving as a translator, so that the movement’s ideas would reach the ends of the earth.

When Lehi members enlisted in IDF, she was released, with some others, to start the Fighters’ List. After the Bernadotte assassination, Rachel was sent by Yitzhak Shamir to Cyprus to work at a Mapilim camp, trying to make contact with those ideologically in tune with Lehi.

In 1951, she married fellow Lehi member Benzion Cohen (known as Yehonatan and Barak in the underground). They had three daughters and numerous grandchildren. Rachel worked as a lawyer in Tel Aviv.

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