NAME: Koenig (née Gitler), Aliza


DATE OF DEATH: March 18, 2021

Aliza was born in Radomsko, Poland, to a Hasidic and nationalist family. Her father Hayim and her mother Henna Tova made aliya with their family in 1935. Young Alize had no choice but to go to work to support the family, studying at night.

She joined both Brit Hashmona’im and the IZL. When the latter split, she joined Lehi. She spent most of her time in Dept. 6, carrying out intelligence missions: investigating British officers, gathering information from Jewish officers, hiding jugs with secret material, tracking British soldiers, et cetera. She would often pose as a spouse to accompany fighters, particularly those who had escaped from prison.

When Lehi’s radio station was brought down, she was imprisoned for her suspected connections to Geula Cohen. She was held in Bethlehem Women’s Prison.

Her parents were dumbfounded when this occurred, as they knew nothing of her underground activity. This was during World War II, and her older sister had perished, while her brother Aryeh was imprisoned in Russia, and her younger brother Dov (IZL member) had been deported to Kenya by the British.

From letters from her parents and visits by her sisters (her mother could not bear to see her in prison), she learned that her father’s health was worsening. Over the course of months, his health became more precarious, and Aliza begged the British authorities to let her visit him. They promised to do so, but they never did.

Some days later, the warden summoned her, a big smile on his face. He told her she was free to go, but she had a premonition of misfortune. Indeed, she was soon freed, but as she came home, she saw the mourning notices for her father Hayim, who had indeed passed away. She could not shake the belief that her imprisonment had hastened his untimely demise at age sixty. Three years later, her mother died too.

She remained under house arrest, until she married Yaakov “Baruch” Koenig, whom she had recruited for Lehi. In one operation, he was severely injured.

They had two children.