NAME: Keisari (Keizer) Tzvi

LEHI ALIAS: Partisan

DATE OF BIRTH: May 7, 1925

DATE OF DEATH: December 23, 2012

Tzvi, son of Karol and Mali, was born on May 7, 1925 in Bucharest, Romania. His father was a government clerk, while his mother raised the three children. She passed away when he was twelve, and two years later he joined the Beitar Youth.

At age fifteen, the war reached Romania, and at age sixteen he was sent to a labor camp by the Germans and their collaborators. A year later, he fled, but after a time, he was sent to the Sarata labor camp. He fled, but he was caught, and was then sent in 1943 to Transnistria, to another labor camp. Tzvi was skilled with a harmonica, and the Germans enjoyed when he played.

This allowed him to survive until late 1944, when he fled again, this time making it back to Bucharest. He joined the local partisans, taking part in anti-German activities. At war’s end, he made his way to Constanța, where he stowed away on the Transylvania, a Mapilim ship. The troops of the brigade helped him to disguise himself as a local porter, as he had no proper documentation. When he disembarked, he aroused the suspicions of a British policeman, and he had no choice but to run away. As he fled, he was shot in his left leg, but he managed to escape. Beitar men who waited for those making aliyah helped him to Metzudat Zeev in Tel Aviv, where he was hidden in the basement and was treated by Dr. Paamoni.

IZL tried to recruit him, but he preferred Lehi. Tzvi took part in most of the Lehi operations against the British in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, for about two years. While attacking British troops in Haifa, his hand and back were injured. When he recovered, he went back to full duty and continued going out on missions, until the British left. Despite his disability, he wanted to join the IDF with his underground comrades, and he hid his condition. Yitzhak Sadeh intervened on his behalf, and he managed to get into the armored Battalion 82. He fought in all of its battles, including those for Der Tarif and Beit Naballah, where he was hit by Legionnaire bullets in his leg. He was hospitalized in Tel HaShomer, but as soon as he learned that the battalion had moved on to Iraq al-Suwaydan in the Negev, he left the hospital and joined them, taking part in the capture of the police fort there.

In 1949, he was demobilized. In the same year, he married Yaffa Meisner, and they had two children, Malka and Shimon. In 1951, he started working at the Israel Electric Corporation, from which he retired in 1982.

Tzvi was active in the Disabled IDF Veterans organization, serving as director of the cultural committee. He was also part of the secretariat of the workers’ committee at the Israel Electric Corporation. After retiring, he served in the Histadrut as a magistrate in their labor court.