Ze’ev was born on 23.9.1925, 5 Tishrei 5686, in the city of Boryslav (then Poland, now Ukraine) to Fania and Leon Fuchs, who was a petroleum engineer. Ze’ev had a sister and a brother. When the Germans invaded, sparking World War II, the entire family was on a train to Boryslav from their vacation in Zakopane. The blitzkrieg derailed their train, killing Ze’ev’s entire family. At fourteen, he was the lone survivor.
This was the horrific beginning of a terrible journey, as Ze’ev alone joined the torrent of refugees fleeing east. On the road, he fell ill and had to be hospitalized. Food and medicine were almost nonexistent, and he only survived because one of the nurses took pity on the lost boy. She nursed him back to health and sent him on his way. He joined the partisans, wandering into Russia, where he was in camps until he enlisted in Anders’ Army in 1943. With it, he made his way to the Land of Israel, via Tehran. Once he was in the Land of Israel, he deserted the Polish Army and joined Lehi.
He was trained in firearms and attached to the operations division. When he shared his past, his comrades gave him the nickname “The Partisan.” Ze’ev was known as a sociable, good-tempered young man, who had an easy smile but also displayed courage and daring. He was part of many anti-British operations, and on one of them his hand was injured. Among the most significant operations were the attack on a British paratroopers’ base in Tel Aviv to seize weapons, the attack on the Kfar Syrkin Airfield (blowing up nine Spitfires) and finally the attack on the Haifa Railroad Workshops.
In this operation, the fighters got caught in a British ambush as they retreated. There were many killed and many wounded, while Ze’ev was among those eighteen who were captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. The defendants refused to recognize the legal authority of the court. The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. When the British left and the State was established, Ze’ev joined the IDF together with his Lehi comrades and served in the 8th Brigade’s Battalion 82 for the duration of the War of Independence.
Afterwards, he was a government driver. In 1952, he married Raya Schreier, and they had two children, Uri (1952) and Heidi (1957). Ze’ev worked as an Egged bus driver and a cabdriver, then established a rubber factory in Jaffa, which he managed until he died of a heart attack at age 37, on 22 Kislev 5723, 19.12.1962. He was buried in Netanya.
His widow Raya, a pensioner, volunteers to help the public, mainly through the Israel Cancer Association.