NAME: Schiff, Menahem

LEHI ALIAS: Yaakov

DATE OF BIRTH: May 5, 1023

DATE OF DEATH: May21, 2013

Menahem was born on 5.5.1923 to Miriam and David in Stopnica, Poland. The father came from a Hasidic family. In 1930, Menahem made aliyah with his family, which settled in Kfar Saba. He was part of Maccabi, and at age thirteen, he was offered to join the IZL. As the 1936-1939 riots raged, he was active in guarding the settlement with his friends. At this point, there were tensions between Hagana and the IZL, and Menahem and his comrades were accused of stealing weapons from the Hagana armory in Herzliya. As a result, he was beaten as they tried to convince him to move to the Hagana, but he refused.

After the split, he joined Lehi. He was working both in a printing house and in the local orchards. After Lehi men were killed at 30 Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, he had to hide in the orchards because of the informers. He was caught by the Hagana and the police, but he managed to flee. Two weeks later, he was captured again, and sent to prison in Jaffa and Acre, where he was kept for six weeks in solitary confinement. From Acre, he was transferred to Mizra detention camp, then Latrun. Menahem was one of the planners of the great escape from Latrun; he and nineteen others escaped by way of a tunnel on 1.11.1943.

Afterwards, he was active in Lehi in Jerusalem, establishing and organizing the branch there. He prepared operations against British rule, including the attacks on High Commissioner MacMichael and CID Officer Wilkins. In late 1944, he was arrested due to informers, and he was included in the first group of 251 deported to Africa on 19.10.1944. He was kept in Sembel (Eritrea), Carthago (Sudan), back in Sembel and finally in Gilgil (Kenya).

He took part in the great escape of 54 detainees in Eritrea on 29.6.1946, using two tunnels, but he was captured and returned to the camp. He returned after the State was established, with the last of the exiles, on 12.7.1948.

The Israel Police arrested him after the Bernadotte assassination, and he was released after the general clemency was granted five months later. In 1950, he enlisted in the IDF and went to the officers’ training course. He then worked at Masada Press as a technical director. Starting in 1962, he taught printing technology in the Amal network. In 1988, he retired.

In 1952, he married Shulamit Teffer. They had two children, Miriam and David.

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