NAME: Gepner Binyamin


DATE OF BIRTH: January 16, 1914

DATE OF DEATH: September 2, 2013

Binyamin was born in Bialistock on January 16,1914,   to Avraham and Hannah, née Bulkovstein. His mother died when he was only three and his father, when he was six. Binyamin and his beautiful talented sister Manya, were both raised by his maternal aunt Dora Gutovska. Dora and Manya were murdered in Auschwitz.

He joined Beitar at 15, graduated from the Jewish High School and studied at

the University of Nancy  France. In 1936 he made aliya as an agricultural engineer. From 1937 he was an Etzel activist. On November 19,1939 he was arrested with members of the Mishmar-Hayarden course, sentenced to seven years then did 26 months time at Akko and Mizra. In prison, when Etzel split he joined Lehi. Lacking  contacts, he joined the British Army. After ‘Michael’s’ escape he resumed activities and led the Lehi branch in Egypt. On July 10th 1943 he took part in the invasion of Sicily and lost contact with the underground. He volunteered for the British Commando ‘A’  Force : for 18 months, five armed uniformed soldiers operated  400 k”m inside German territory, rescuing pilots and captured soldiers  despite numerous difficult encounters with the Germans. On May 24,1944, with his commander Jock McKee, they rescued 240 Allied officers from enemy shores. In June 1944, home on leave, he met with ‘Michael’ and ‘Gera’  promising to return to the underground. He met twice with ‘Hagana’ leader Eliyahu Golomb, about organizing rescue for Europe’s Jews. Golomb refused doing this without prior British permission. He left for Cairo to plan the Moyne assassination, and returned to Italy to fight. In December 1944 he was discharged from the army, pleading eye infection. He smuggled a military radio transmitter from Italy to Eretz-Yisrael (which fell into British hands during Geula Cohen’s arrest). In May 1945 Binyamin was arrested and exiled for a year to Sudan and Eritrea. He was held for interrogation near Cairo,100 days in complete isolation (with neither  book nor newspaper) at the Intelligence Center. In May 1946 he was released and resumed his Lehi activities. He participated in editing an English bulletin for the foreign press, directed code-writing courses, published ten poems in ‘Hama’as’ and ‘Hazit-Hano’ar’, and (with Leah Granek) helped  blow up a British convoy in Tel-Litvinsky.