Tamar Fox was born Hela Hocherman in Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland in 1926, raised with a strong Zionist upbringing. Her family were Hovevei Zion who helped organize the Katowice Conference of 1884 to create a plan for a Jewish state—13 years before Herzl’s Zionist Conference.
Her father made Aliya with the Mizrachi movement in 1935. Her mother was a founder of the 2nd wave of Zionism in Poland to address surging antisemitic violence in the interwar years.
Little Hela was a Zionist scout in Hanoar Hazioni, training to make Aliya.
When the Nazis invaded Poland, they took it over and put Hela’s name on a list for forced labor. But she resisted, along with her Hanoar Hazioni friends in the ghetto and hid to avoid arrest. But she was found and smuggled to Jewish women’s forced-labor camp Gabersdorf in Sudetenland when she was 14 years old. She never saw her mother again. She was imprisoned from 1941 to 1945.
After her release, she joined the Aliya Beit, arrived to Haifa on the Enzo Sereni in January 1946, was imprisoned in Atlit, then found her father in Tel Aviv.
She joined the Lehi underground and was given the code name Tamar. She kept it for the rest of her life. She underwent a firearms training course in Ra’anana and served as a coordinator for the courses. Tamar was a messenger and was the one who informed David Shomron of the murder of the children of Ra’anana. Tamar served as a nurse and medic and was active in the Medical Unit, treating the wounded in Lehi.
During Geula Cohen’s time in the hospital before her escape, Tamar served as contact and sent messages to and from Geula Cohen.
After the declaration of independence of Israel, Tamar enlisted in the 8th Brigade (as Helena Hocherman) and served as a nurse.
In 1955, her father died and she emigrated to the United States to attend college and Albert Einstein Medical School. In New York, she met her husband Martin, had three children (Arthur, Marisa and Charles) and kept Israel top of mind and close to her heart, founding American Friends of the IDF and serving as Zionist chair of WIZO.
Tamar died of a serious illness in 1993.