NAME: Farhi, Shlomo

LEHI ALIAS: Bobke

DATE OF BIRTH: 1926

Shlomo, son of Yaakov and Dora, was born in 1926 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He attended le collège Saint Augustin à Plovdiv, where they lived. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother Yeshayahu (Cherlow), who fell in the attack on the Haifa Railway Workshops in 1946. 

Shlomo was active in the Beitar cell in his town. From his parents and brother he absorbed Zionist values and the Beitar ideology. He was tied to a partisan group fighting the Nazis.

He was arrested by the Bulgarian police and aggressively interrogated, and only his father’s reputation saved him. His father had received many medals and commendations, including the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, for his actions during World War I. The father paid a great sum of money and secured his son’s release.

As Bulgaria was finally being freed from the Nazi yoke, in 1944, when he was eighteen, he made aliyah, with the first groups of the youth aliyah. He spent a few months in Kibbutz Daphna, and he left to join Lehi in Haifa. With dedication he fulfilled every mission he was given, until he was arrested by the CID in 1946. He spent some time in Kishleh in Haifa, afterwards he was transferred to the Jerusalem Central Prison, then Acre Prison, and finally in the Latrun detention camp.

At the camp, he was active as a medic in the infirmary and in organizing a jailbreak from the camp. In Latrun, he learned of the death of his brother, Yeshayahu Cherlow.

Shortly afterwards, he was deported to the Gilgil Camp in Kenya, near Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the camp, he took an active role in digging the tunnel by which six prisoners escaped, some of whom reached the Land of Israel as time passed. While in detention and exile, he became proficient in Hebrew. His detention — without a trial — was raised in Parliament by one of the Members who asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies about this policy, but it was to no avail.

In total, Shlomo spent two years in detention both in Israel and Kenya. Shlomo was returned to Israel shortly after the State was established. As soon as he returned, he enlisted in the IDF, to the commando Battalion 89 of the 8th Brigade, under the command of Moshe Dayan. He was active in combat throughout the country.

After he completed his regular service, he started medical school in a university in the south of France, but his father’s serious health problem forced him to return two years later.

He married Zillah Steinmetz, and he began studying law at the Hebrew University’s Tel Aviv branch. He completed his studies and was admitted to the bar in 1965. Since then, he has worked as a lawyer in the center of the country.

Shlomo and Zillah have three children and seven grandchildren.

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