NAME: Reuveni, Hanoch

LEHI ALIAS: Menahem

DATE OF BIRTH: December 1920

DATE OF DEATH: May 15, 1974

Hanoch Reuveni was born in Lida, Poland (now Belarus), in December 1920. He was the oldest in family of five. His parents, Sarah and Yaakov, worked hard to give their children a Jewish and general education. For four years, he studied in Talmud Torah, then he went to a public school for Jewish children, and then he went to a commercial high school.

Hanoch was a serious, diligent student, and he exceled in practical subjects. At fourteen, he joined Beitar.

In summer 1939, he finished his studies and began to contemplate aliyah. The same summer, he took an IZL underground course to prepare for aliyah. When he came back home, World War II broke out and threw a wrench in his plans. After three weeks, the Red Army invaded Poland.

Hanoch was active in an underground cell of IZL veterans who helped Jewish refugees get to Vilnius, from which they hoped to make their way to the Land of Israel. However, a spy informed on them to the NKVD, on 14 March 1940. Eighteen youths, Hanoch among them, were imprisoned in Lida, Baranovichi and Minsk. He spent the next fourteen months in cold and starving conditions. Afterwards, he was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and hard labor in Siberia. He chopped down trees in the bitter cold, on the verge of starvation.

In June 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, and Anders’ Army was created. Hanoch, as a Polish citizen, joined this army, with which he made his way to the Land of Israel. He then deserted.

He started his civilian life at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel. He worked at the Dead Sea, loading and unloading at the potash works. After two years, he left the kibbutz and returned to Tel Aviv.

Once he learned of the horrors of the Holocaust and the bitter fate of his family, which had perished in its entirety, he decided to join the underground to fight the British. He contacted Lehi and joined its struggle, participating in a number of daring operations: attacking the Kfar Syrkin airfield, liberating Dr. Eldad, and more. He took odd jobs to support himself.

In 1947, he married Shoshana Kossovsky, and they had two children, Sarah and Yaakov. He fought in the War of Independence and was discharged from the IDF in 1950. He worked as an accountant and supervised an agricultural cooperative. He also volunteered and was active in the organization of Lida natives. He was also on the supervisory board of a health fund in Gush Dan.

His son was killed in action during the Yom Kippur War, while serving in the Armored Corps in Sinai. Two months after the funeral, on May 15, 1974 he died of a heart attack, leaving behind his wife and daughter.

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