NAME: Vilner Shimshon


DATE OF BIRTH: September 13, 1918

DATE FALLEN: May 4, 1947

Shimshon was born on September 13,1918, in  Magadishov-Galicia, Poland, fourth of seven children of Leah and Zvi, an orthodox family.  He studied at “Cheder” and from age six in a government school mornings, and  Cheder evenings. At 14 he was sent to the “Krakaur Sages Yeshiva”, Krakov. His older brother Yoseph made Aliyah despite their parents’ objections. Sixteen-year old Shimshon was passionate in his attempts to follow. He fought for his dream, fasting to starvation’s edge until his parents gave in. In 1936, before turning 18, he made Aliyah as a Petach-Tikva Yeshiva student, with an immigration certificate obtained by his brother. After six months in Yeshiva he began working as a packaging carpenter in the orchards. Following his brother he joined the National Workers Union and in 1938, Etzel. Following the outbreak of WWII, he joined the British Army’s 462nd  Hebrew Transport Company. On  May 1,1943 the “Arinphora” boat  carrying Shimshon’s Company, was drowned by a German sub moving from Alexandria to Italy and 140 men perished at sea. He jumped into the water, and after six hours’  struggling in the waves, a Greek submarine saved him  bringing him safely to Egypt. He was given leave after the disaster, during which his  Lehi activist brother, let him assist in distributing info-material among Jewish British Army troops stationed in Egypt, and assist in obtaining weapons. He was  successful in these missions. After his discharge 1946, he joined Lehi. Shortly afterwards he participated in the underground’s attack on the Haifa Railway Workshops on June 17,1946. Eleven fighters were killed, eighteen arrested including Shimshon. They were judged by a military tribunal and given the death penalty. Their sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was imprisoned ten months, until the Etzel fighters’ break-in on May 4,1947, during which Shimshon was among the prison escapees. While  retreating he moved an Arab vehicle blocking the fleeing prisoners’ escape route. British soldiers working on the  road opened fire and he was mortally wounded. Shimshon was laid to rest in  Shavei-Zion cemetery  with other Lehi/Etzel soldiers who were killed in the operation.

הנצחה באנדרטה ביער לח”י במשמר איילון
שמו של שמשון וילנר חרוט על לוח באנדרטה ביער לח”י
לבנת זיכרון על שם שמשון וילנר בהיכל הזיכרון הממלכתי בהר הרצל
הנצחה באנדרטה בקריית אתא לזכר חללי לח”י משתתפי ההתקפה על בתי המלאכה של הרכבת בחיפה