NAME: Shlomi (Freidman), Moshe Yehuda (Motzo)


DATE OF BIRTH: January 22, 1921

DATE FALLEN: November 16, 1947

Yehuda was born on January 22,1921 in Oradea, Romania, on the Hungarian border. His family was passionately Zionist. The father, Aharon, was an active Mizrahi member; the mother, Yehudit, was the head of the Mizrahi women’s division. Yehuda exhibited unusual talents at a very young age, as he could read and write in Hebrew and Hungarian at age four. He was a voracious reader, constantly delving into the history of the Jewish people, Zionism and Jewish thought. At the age of ten or eleven, he started publishing articles in the movement’s periodicals.

At age twelve, he met Jabotinsky, who was visiting the city and stayed in his parents’ home. Yehuda was very deeply impressed by Jabotinsky’s ideas and worldview, which persuaded him to join the Beitar Movement and to make aliyah without his parents. In the meantime, he established the Beitar cell in his city, recruiting all of his acquaintances for the movement.

In 1935, his parents sent him to Jerusalem, to the dormitory of the Mizrahi High School. On school holidays, he would return to his city and organize the local youth for Beitar activity. In the Land of Israel, he recruited students for Beitar and then Lehi, and this led to his being kicked out of yeshiva. He was accepted to Hebrew University, and he studied in the honors program for Asian studies and Jewish history. When World War II broke out, Yehuda enlisted in the British Army and served in Egypt. While he was in the Army, he continued serving in the underground. In 1946, he was discharged, and he resumed his studies at Hebrew University.

At the same time, he began to exhibit signs of illness. His friends urged him to consult a doctor, but he declined. In early November 1946, he fell ill and had to be hospitalized. The doctors said that he was terminally ill. Yehuda insisted on military service, and he passed away on 16 November 1947. He was buried on the Mount of Olives, less than two weeks shy of the announcement of the Partition Plan.

Zehava Nussbaum, his sister, told the following story about Yehuda: “About ten years had passed, and one day a large, beautiful vase belonging to Yehuda shattered. Out of its base fell dozens of papers. They were identification certificates, protocols, letters, passport pictures, reports and more. I turned to Mr. Friedman Yellin-Mor, then a member of Knesset, and I asked him to take a look at the document. He did, together with two other men. They found the material to be extremely valuable, and they promised to display it in the Lehi Museum — which they did.”