NAME: Raskin, Fania

LEHI ALIAS: Margalit

DATE OF BIRTH: June 6, 1916

DATE FALLEN: July 7, 1947

Fania was born to Bertha in June 26,1916 in Riga, Latvia. She finished high school and was active in Beitar. In 1935, she made aliyah and volunteered for the Beitar company. She was recruited for the IZL, and when it split, she went to Lehi.

Fania was very eager to participate in operations, but her health prevented this: a spinal deformity kept her bedridden or under complex medical treatment most of the time. Twice she had surgery at Hadassah Hospital in Tel Aviv. She sent her X-rays to the finest specialists in the United States, but to no avail. Her condition was so bad that she needed help getting from her bed to the bathroom. She lived in a small room on Madreigot Street in Jerusalem’s Nahalat Achim neighborhood. To support herself, she would crochet for WIZO, which earned her starvation wages, but it was enough to survive on her own.

The underground members would visit her, and her room was a meeting place. It was often the base from which they set out on different missions. At times, she would be overcome by horrible pain, and one of her comrades would go out to get a doctor, who at best would give her some morphine. “Then,” she would say, “I lie down in my bed, crochet and wait for another attack.” She never expressed bitterness or complaint about her harsh fate. What bothered her more than anything was her inability to go out on missions and help the underground. She would thirstily drink in every detail of her comrades’ activities, form putting up posters to training with weapons to combat operations: everything was as if it was taking place in her small room, before her eyes.

Her joy came in an unexpected way: her comrades dug a weapons cache in her room. Two young men moved her in her bed, then for hours they dug a pit. Into the pit they lowered a jug full of weapons. Once the cache was properly camouflaged, they moved her bed back. She was overjoyed to finally be able to contribute — and to endanger herself!

When the assassination of General Barker, the British Army commander in the Land of Israel, was being planned, an idea was proposed, that a young woman might pass by the general with a baby stroller, which would then blow up. However, they could not figure out how the young woman might escape. Fania then spoke up and volunteered herself. She was sure that for an operation such as this, she would find the strength to stand and walk. “My life is no life anyway” she added. This was a “Let my soul die with the Philistines” proposal, the Samson option. Of course, her suggestion was rejected.

Fania Raskin passed away on July 20,1947, in Jerusalem. She was thirty-one.