NAME: Marpish, Hannah

LEHI ALIAS: Nili

DATE OF BIRTH: September 3, 1924

DATE OF DEATH: October 5, 2012

Hannah was born to Moshe and Cherna on September 3, 1924 in Lublin, Poland. They made aliyah in 1936 along with her five brothers.

The family settled in Jerusalem and lived a Religious Zionist life. Hannah joined Beitar at age fifteen. After the split, she decided that Lehi’s path fit her views and joined the underground. At first, her duties involved putting up posters, disseminating promotional materials and maintaining communications. She became an expert in photography, in developing and reproducing pictures. She worked for Haroshkes, the chief photographer for the High Commissioner of Palestine. She would create copies of the photographs she developed and send them to Lehi. When the British began searching for her, she left her parents’ home and moved to Netanya. The British were hot on her trail, so he had to move again, to Tel Aviv, where she went underground. Her main job was maintaining communications between Lehi members in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. She also trained with firearms.

When the Haifa branch collapsed because of the arrest of so many members, Nili was sent to rebuild it. She renewed ties with former supporters and activists, disseminated promotional materials to new communities and maintained communications with the supporters and members of the underground in the kibbutzim and agricultural settlements in the North. She also was on lookout duty in advance of various operations. One time she travelled north, near Nahalal, and was abducted by the Hagana, which hoped to get the names of Lehi members out of her. She refused and was released. Shortly after she was abducted again, in Ayelet HaShahar, this time being interrogated for four days. She engaged in a hunger strike at that time, and when they realized their attempts were futile, she was released again.

Among the operations she participated in were the preparations to blow up the refineries, the destruction of Naaman Bridge and the attack on the Haifa Railroad Workshops in 1946, an operation in which eleven operatives were killed and most of the others were caught. She was one of the few to escape.

Hanna returned to Haifa to oversee communications with the North. During the Jewish Resistance Movement, she was responsible for communications between Gera and Eliyahu Golomb, head of the Hagana. In 1947, she had to leave Haifa and return to Tel Aviv, after which she was put in charge of the South and the organization of active operations. However, she was soon arrested and sent to Bethlehem, then Atlit, only being released on May 1,1948.

She joined the Daughters of Lehi company in the IDF, becoming deputy company commander. She was soon sent to the Lehi Brigade in Jerusalem, with which she fought until it was disbanded in Jerusalem as well.

In 1950, she married Natan Marpish, a Lehi member. They had two children, Yair and Dorit.

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