NAME: Gardush Shoshanah (nee Roman)


DATE OF BIRTH: 27 November, 1927

DATE OF DEATH: 14 April, 2018

Shoshana (Z’oz’y) was born on November 27th, 1927 in Transylvania, Romania, to Frederica and Imra Roman. In 1940, the family was exiled to Hungary because they had Hungarian nationality. Despite the war unfolding in Europe, their lives, as with other Hungarian Jews, were stable: Shoshana continued her studies at a prestigious Hungarian school and her father ran the family’s lumber factory.

In March 1944, when the Germans entered Hungary, the status of the Jews worsened, Jews from the provinces (about half a million people) were led by the Nazis to be murdered in the camps.

In the summer, Shoshana’s father was taken to a labor camp, where he died. In October 1944, the Hungarian Fascist Party (Arrow Cross) seized power in Hungary – on their initiative, thousands of Budapest Jews were murdered.

Shoshana and her mother were saved using fake documents prepared by her father. They were rescued by a Christian clerk who worked for her father, he hid them in a ditch near his home in a village in the Buda area.

At the end of the war, Shoshana and her mother left ruined Budapest and moved to the city of Szeged. There they searched for relatives, but in vain as they were all killed in the camps. They decided to stay in Szeged because they were able to obtain food there. Shoshana continued her high school studies and also met her husband – Shirel (later called Kriel) Gardosh, who was a student and journalist. The couple married, left communist Hungary and moved to Paris on October 1946. In Paris, the couple were close to Jean-Paul Sartre, who spoke against the suppression of human freedom and for uncompromising action to achieve it.

As Holocaust survivors, they identified with the struggle of the “freedom fighters” (Lehi) from Israel and therefore joined the movement. Paris was the largest center for Lehi activity in Europe. Shoshana and her husband trained in weapons and sabotage. The two took part in campaigning, recruiting resources and supporters, and in operational-political activities. Shoshana, whose alias was “Lillian”, knew many languages, so she also served as a contact for Dr. Ya’akov Yardor (Rashdal), who represented the Political Division of Lehi. Shoshana carried out various tasks, including the transfer of weapons. Although Shoshana did not grow up in a Zionist household, she felt she “belonged to something, to something important, to building something great…”

Shoshana’s husband, Kriel Gardosh, later known as “Dosh”, became the chief illustrator of Lehi. In early 1948, a few months before the independence of Israel, the couple made aliya to Israel using French transit certificates – “Visas to Argentina via Palestine” and they arrived on the “Marathon” ship.

Dosh continued to draw cartoons for “Hama’as” and for Lehi’s daily newspaper, “Hamivrak”. At first, the couple lived in the apartment of the Rashdal family and then, with the assistance of Lehi, they got a two-bedroom apartment together with another family. They were told that the shared kitchen had a secret double wall where Lehi member, Israel Eldad, hid at one point.

After Kriel’s arrest along with other Lehi members, following the murder of Count Folke Bernadotte, Shoshana served as point of contact for Eliyahu Amikam, and would pass on accounts of Lehi’s ideas to the foreign press abroad. Shoshana, the Hungarian spokeswoman, was also asked to accompany the renowned writer and journalist Arthur Koestler (who was a Hungarian Jew) when he visited Lehi members in prison after the murder. Shoshana also smuggled a saw under her dress into Acre prison, to assist Lehi members to escape, but ultimately this did not happen.

In the 1950s, Shoshana, who spoke eight languages fluently, worked in the international switchboard of the Israel Post. In the 1960s, she ran and owned a books and records store in Ramat Aviv. From the 1970s until she retired in the 1990s, she ran a travel agency.

Shoshana and Kriel had two children: Daniela and Michael, and four grandchildren: Alma, Yonatan, Yotam and Uri.

Kriel died in 2000. Shoshana died on April 14th, 2018 and is buried in Yarkon Cemetery.