Yosef, son of Moshe and Hannah, was born on January 28, 1918 in the Bulgarian city of Vidin. Yosef had a sister four years younger than he. The family was Zionist and well-established. The father, a businessman, moved to Vienna, in which Yosef finished his elementary school. The family then returned to Bulgaria, to Sofia, where he finished his studies at the Gymnasium. Together with his studies, he found time to be very active in Beitar, where he was involved with a group planning to make illegal aliyah to the Land of Israel. In the meantime, he studied law and economics.
Because he wanted to make it to Israel as soon as possible, he did not complete his academic studies and moved on to full political activity. He was sent by Beitar to Zagreb to set up a cell in the city and encourage illegal aliyah from there. In Belgrade, he met Greta Herzl, who arrived with her family from Vienna in order to make aliyah.
In the Land of Israel, he joined the Beitar work companies in Netanya, where he operated in the final year as the company commander, and where he met Greta once again.
He was active in IZL, then after the split, he moved to Lehi. He was in charge of the armory. In 1941, Yosef married Greta, who served with him in the Netanya work company. Two weeks after the wedding, he was arrested and sent to Mizra, then to Latrun. In the meantime, Greta was sent to Bethlehem Women’s Prison. Yosef was released after fifteen months, but his wife was still detained
Yosef was freed for slightly more than a year. In 1943, he was once again arrested and sent to Latrun, where he contracted typhus. He was sent to the Beit Safafa Hospital, where he was severely beaten by the Arab and British policemen.
Yosef died from his injuries on June 16, 1943. There was a curfew imposed on the day of his funeral, and only his wife Greta and Dr. Shimshon Yunichman were allowed to pay their final respects as he was interred on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Yosef’s parents and sister made aliyah when the State was established and settled in Jaffa. They then learned what had happened to Yosef, but they could not get to his grave, as that part of the city was controlled by the Jordanians.
After the Six-Day War, when the eastern part of Jerusalem was liberated, an Arab guard helped them find his grave. Finally, after many years, his bereaved family and friends could pay their respects.