NAME: Klein, Menahem


DATE OF BIRTH: August 6, 1923

DATE OF DEATH: March 10, 2017

Menahem was born on August 6, 1923 to Yitzhak Tzvi and Haya, in what was then Szolos, Czechoslovakia (now Vynohradiv, Ukraine). He studied for a few years there at the local Hebrew school. His father made aliyah in 1933, while the rest of the family followed a year later: his grandmother, mother, sister, brother and Menahem himself. They settled in the center of Tel Aviv, and his parents’ home became a meeting-place for the all the Hungarian-speakers in the area. He continued studying at Tel Aviv’s Tachkemoni School.

He joined the religious Scouts (HaEda), and he spent his time there singing, dancing and learning the history of the Zionist movements and Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.

Tachkemoni was a religious boys’ school, part of the Mizrahi movement, and many of its students joined the IZL. Indeed, at age fifteen, he did so as well, joining mostly former Beitar members and members of the nationalist cells. At that time, the IZL trained them in maneuvers and to be familiar with pistols. They also put up and distributed posters, and they also, of course, demonstrated against the British Mandate.

This pleasant and innocent period came to a painful end when the IZL split. Menahem followed Yair to Lehi.

The difference was palpable. Instead of meeting in large groups, they would be organized in cells of five or six members. The commander became the supervisor. No more were they practicing maneuvers and standing at attention; instead, it was about how to draw pistols quickly. The members understood their great responsibility, that they were being readied for active operations. This was how things were until Yair’s murder.

During that difficult time, Tuvia was in charge of the unit. As his comrades were arrested, wounded or killed, Menahem found himself isolated and somewhat despondent.

In 1942, he joined the Jewish Settlement Police. In 1943, he returned to Tel Aviv to continue his activity with Tuvia, until he could reconnect with Lehi. His nom de guerre was Yehuda, and his commander was Yehuda “Amos” Ben-David. Menahem put up posters and provided security for those doing so. He also participated in many attempts to assassinate British police and soldiers.

In May 1945, he married Sarah Goldberner, who was also a Lehi member. They had two daughters, Yaffa and Dorit.

In 1948, he enlisted in the IDF, serving in the Communications Corps until May 1950. After his demobilization, he worked as a machinist for a printer. In 1955, he opened a small business of his own, which gradually grew. He is now the manager and part owner of Hidekel Press, which has over twenty employees.

On January 10,2001 Sarah passed away after a brief illness.