NAME: Giladi (Reznitsky) Herzl

DATE OF BIRTH: March 15, 1922

Herzl, eldest son of Fanya and Israel, was born in Tel- Aviv on March 15,1923. His father managed the small ‘Eastern Lloyd Bank’. His mother raised their five children. He studied at the ‘Boys High School’, later at ‘Nordia High School’. He was active at the Scouts, and became a reserve player at the Beitar Tel-Aviv soccer team. During WWII he joined the British RAF 1940. After the split he was recruited to Lehi by his sister Yona (Drora). As military truck driver, he befriended and handsomely rewarded, a British driver enabling him to smuggle weapons and ammunition to the underground, especially when driving the Cairo-Alexandria-Sarafend Line. In Cairo he contacted local Jews, especially the Hoffman family, who let him store weapons at their home. He recruited several Egyptian Jews and received help from many more. He made contacts among the Libyan Tripoli Jews, some of whom resided in caves. Assisted by the Bukhbuk family, whose son was Chief Censor of Tripoli, he contacted Senussi elements, and with the help of enthusiastic young local Jews, procured materials for the underground. “We managed to dismantle on our own, Italian landmines stored in a Tubruk warehouse, and with no demolition expertise, extract their powerful  lightweight  explosive devices”, he recounted.  Betrayed, by a young Eretz Yisrael Jew serving in the RAF, April 1945, Herzl got arrested. Egyptian Police interrogated him in notorious ‘Tura Prison’. From the British camp in Libya he was taken via Cairo to Ramleh Airport, and underwent grueling interrogation by British detectives. Having no concrete evidence they threw him into Latrun Prison, then, to Eritrean exile with the second batch of 55 prisoners. He wrote dozens of poems and songs there; to entertain his campmates he also wrote and staged the ‘Animals’ Operetta’. He returned to Israel with the last of the exiles, July 1948, only two months after establishment of the State. He joined the Air Force where he fulfilled various positions, then was appointed Air Force Chief Education Officer ranking Major. When his military career ended he joined the management of ‘Shekem’ stores. Herzl is married to Leah – née Safra- and the father of two sons, Amit and Yavin, and  daughter Tal, mother of his grandson.