NAME: Falkow, Moshe

LEHI ALIAS: Yaakov

DATE OF BIRTH: 1913

DATE OF DEATH: 2.9.1974

Moshe, son of Binyamin and Lena, was born in 1913 in Ludza, Latvia. In Riga, he was part of HaShomer HaTza’ir (the Russian arm of the movement). He was supposed to make aliyah with the core establishing Kibbutz Afikim. Since he wanted to finish trade school in Riga, he was dismissed from the group. Thus, he made aliyah himself illegally in the mid-1930s.

When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the British Army, which had its base in Zarqa, Jordan. He moved there with his wife and his sons (from his first marriage). After the war, he worked in the Haifa Oil Refinery. For his work, he was sent to Abadan, Iran (near the Iraqi border). In Lehi, he was considered a firearms expert, and he repaired and upgraded Lehi’s weapons in their workshop in Bnei Brak. One of his improvements was for the barrel of the Sten submachine gun.

Like the other Lehi members, he joined the IDF; he served in the Engineering Corps. Afterwards, he opened a workshop for diecasting and metalwork; he also taught in the technical school adjacent to the Technion.

In 1951, he remarried. The same year, he was offered a permanent commission in the army, as supervisor of the workshops of the Engineering Corps, including living quarters. At that time, the only officers entitled to separate living quarters were those who held the rank of major or above. He then realized that former Lehi members were offered ranks of captain and below, which meant that they could not serve as base commanders, nor could they receive sperate living quarters.

At the same time, he was offered a job to establish a regional trade school on Kibbutz Afikim, including living quarters. There, he was injured in a work accident. However, the doctor treating him wrote: “The above-mentioned is neither a kibbutz member nor a Histadrut member, so we cannot treat him.” The accident left its marks on him for the rest of his life.

He maintained ties with Lehi members, staying involved in politics and remaining a supporter of the nationalist movement.

In 1953, the family left for Brazil, but since then they have returned.

Moshe himself died in Brazil on 2.9.1974. He left a wife, Miriam née Gross, and three children, Yair, Eitan and Nili, as well as eight grandchildren. From his first marriage, he had two sons, Ilan and Gideon.

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