NAME: Kotlowitz (née Hirscher), Elisheva


DATE OF BIRTH: July 4, 1920

DATE OF DEATH: July 30, 1972

Elisheva was born in Vienna, Austria, on 4 July 1920 to Yehoshua and Leah as Bina Hirscher. She studied in the Hayut Hebrew Gymnasium, participating in the Beitar Movement until making aliyah in 1938 with the Af al Pi program. She stayed there for two years. When the split occurred in the summer of 1940, she joined Lehi, leaving the company and moving to Tel Aviv.

She married Michael Abugov, but the marriage was not working and they soon separated. She worked at Zion Insurance Company.

In Lehi, Elisheva worked in various communications roles. She dealt with the most sensitive and secret matters, first with David Tidhar and David Almog, from 1943 to 1946, in Dept. 6 (Intelligence) and in the support division. Natan “Gera” Yellin-Mor and David “Dan” Blau relied on her, until the trip to Baghdad in late 1945.

Her intelligence, appearance and dedication impressed everyone who met her in the underground. Elisheva knew how to explain Lehi and its struggle to civilian circles and both local and foreign media. She did this in a persuasive, fundamental and respectful manner. This technique also allowed her to recruit Jewish members of the CID to hand over sensitive and integral information to the underground.

She fell ill and had to put a halt to her activities. An IZL representative from South Africa, Raphael Kotlowitz, who was visiting the Land of Israel, helped her leave in autumn 1946 and meet her family in Johannesburg, where they had fled before the war, due to Anschluss. She married Raphael.

After the War of Independence, the couple returned to Israel, along with her widowed mother, her sister Yetty and her brother-in-law Otto Seidman, who had been the Beitar representative in Austria.
Elisheva died after a long and devastating illness on 30 July 1972, at age 52. She left a daughter, Edna Mazia, a playwright and author.