NAME: Prezant, Leah


DATE OF BIRTH: March 13, 1930

DATE FALLEN: July 26, 1948

Leah was born on March 13,1930, to Yaakov Shmuel and Malka Schumer, in the town of Rakovich in Zakarpattia (now part of Ukraine, then part of Czechoslovakia), oldest of four children. The family was religious, traditional and Zionist. Yaakov Shmuel made aliyah in 1935, while the mother Malka and their four children in 1937.  At first, she was in the Haredi Beit Yaakov School. From sixth grade on, she was in the Mizrahi girls’ school, Talpiot. She then attended high school at the Talpiot Gymnasium, though she had to drop out due to her Lehi activity. She then attended night classes, but she had to drop out of these classes as well.

“At age fourteen, she was known for her unique qualities, her amazing talents and her strong character,” her friends tell about her. “She was filled with a driving passion to live in a liberated homeland.” She was active in Tzofei HaEda in Tel Aviv, and she was known for her leadership qualities.

Her strong character and her deep education in the story of the People and the Land of Israel, brought her at a young age to the ranks of Lehi. Her deep faith and commitment to realize what she believed in and preached led her to educate the youth. From the era of the Saison, she worked with her students, through the Jewish Resistance Movement and the intensification of the struggle against the foreign occupier. She knew to inculcate them with martial training, familiarity with weapons and operational skills. Her older brother’s detainment (he had joined Lehi before her), motivated her to dedicate everything to training the youth for war, in order to bring about the removal of the British from the Land of Israel as quickly as possible.

When the Partition Plan was announced, she moved to Jerusalem. She was an educator, trainer and commander. She was in the frontlines at every place and every battle, as a fighter and a commander, in Lifta, Katamon, Shuafat; with the IZL in Der Yassin; in the attempt to break through the siege of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City on 5-6 Iyar 5708, in the endless battle at “the Tin Shack” in Ein Kerem; storming the Old City walls in Operation Kedem during the ten days. Her nom de guerre was Ariella, and she was fearless, known among all the combat brigades in Jerusalem.

However, a tragedy befell her at Camp Dror on July 25,1948, when the armory blew up. Leah, only eighteen, was killed in the explosion. She was buried in temporary cemetery in Sanhedria.

On September 26.9.,1951, after being recognized by the State of Israel as an IDF soldier, she was re-interred at the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.