NAME: Markowitz, Yitzhak


DATE OF BIRTH: November 1928

DATE OF DEATH: August 2, 1981

Yitzhak was born in November 1928 in Nowe Miasto, Poland, to Moshe and Genia. He has two brothers and a sister. The family made aliyah with a certificate in 1936; however, his older brother was already eighteen and not included, so he had to remain behind. He perished in the Holocaust.

The family settled in Haifa. Yitzhak studied in the Netzach Israel School, and he was member of the HaNoar HaOved youth movement. At age sixteen, he joined the Jewish Settlement Police and the Hagana. When he was asked to track IZL and Lehi members, he refused. He attended a squad commanders’ course, in which he heard lectures about civil war against the “dissidents,” and he decided to leave the Hagana.

In the spring of 1945, he joined Lehi. Since he had a driver’s license, he often was used as a driver to smuggle weapons and equipment for different operations. Yitzhak was sent for further weapons training, but his previous knowledge from the Hagana squad commanders’ course meant that he knew more than the instructors.

From that point on, he was sent on many missions, including the operation to bomb the Haifa Oil Refineries amid the Jewish Resistance Movement on November 1, 1945; as well as the attack on Haifa Railway Workshops on June 17, 1946, during which he laid mines to keep British backup from arriving. He was part of the main force which retreated and was caught in an ambush by British armored vehicles, and an intense firefight began. Yitzhak was injured by shrapnel and captured. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death, together with seventeen of his comrades. Only after his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment was he sent to Jerusalem for medical treatment, which he had not received up until that point. Shrapnel remained throughout his body, a fact which caused serious harm to his health for the rest of his life. After the War of Independence, he was recognized as an IDF disabled person due to his serious injury.

When the IDF was created, he enlisted along with his underground comrades, serving in 8th Brigade in Battalion 89, participating in all its battles.

In 1952, he married Ditza Herschkowitz and they had a son Ilan and a daughter Yokheved.

After Ditza passed away, he remarried.

After the War of Independence, he worked professionally as a driver, for Tnuva, as a civilian IDF employee and as a cabdriver.

Yitzhak passed away on August 2, 1981, due to a heart attack at age 62. He was buried next to his parents in the Haifa Cemetery.