NAME: Gvirts Yitzhak


DATE OF BIRTH: June 2, 1928

DATE OF DEATH: January 28, 2010

Yitzhak Gvirtz was born in Jerusalem on June 2nd, 1928, to Shabti and Shaina Nechama Gvirtz. In his youth he studied at the “Torat Emet” Yeshiva in Jerusalem. When Lehi formed, Yitzhak Gvirtz was still young, but in his heart, he embraced and supported it’s ideas and actions. In 1947 Yitzhak and his younger brother joined Lehi, while his older brother joined the Etzel. Yitzhak and his friend from the resistance, Moshe Eichler, decided to consult with their rabbi about establishing a “Religious Division” in Lehi for yeshiva students. The division consisted of 20 young yeshiva students from Jerusalem. Yitzhak participated in the occupation of the village of Lifta, which was taken over by the Religious Division. That is also the location of the establishment of the Headquarters for the division. In the Religious Division, Yitzhak and his friends trained in weapons, had commando training and assembled explosives. They participated in all the important Lehi operations in Jerusalem during the 1948 War: the occupation of Dir Yassin, Ein Kerem, Lifta, the attempted occupation of the Old City, etc. Most of the training was carried out at night in order to enable the Yeshiva students to continue their religious studies. In parallel to the fighting, members of the Religious Division prayed in public, held Torah classes and on Saturdays held festive Shabbat feasts with Shabat songs and Torah lessons.

Because Yitzhak was a qualified butcher, he was appointed the official butcher of Lehi.  He inspected and slaughtered the cattle that were snuck in through the walls of Jerusalem. Yitzhak was supposed to take part in the assassination of Count Polka Brandot, but due to the coming Sabbath and the delay of the operation, he was forced to return to headquarters and did not participate in the assassination.

After the dissolution of Lehi, his butcher knives and other important Lehi documents remained in the camp in Lifta. He feared that the underground documents and his knives, which were extremely expensive and of very high value, would fall into the hands of the Hagana. Therefore, he decided to go to Lifta himself on Saturday afternoon. The village houses were already occupied by Jewish residents fleeing the battle – one of them was Yitzhak’s friend, Rabbi Menachem HaCohen Fischer. Together they had the Seuda shlishit that was very meager in light of the situation, and as soon as the Sabbath ended, he went to the Lehi headquarters in the village and took the butcher knives and the documents with him– Yitzhak felt that he had an obligation to carry out this mission. Yitzhak died January 28th, 2010.