David was born in Poland in 1913, the firstborn son of Sarah (née Rozanski) and Shlomo Janowitz. There was also a sister Rivka and a baby brother Yona. Rivka married and had a son Ephraim before World War II. David did everything he could to convince the rest of the family to make aliyah, but he failed, and they all perished in the Holocaust.
Sarah was the core of the family, an ideological Communist (as David would say, a Revolutionary), and in her youth she would give political speeches in the square.
At age seventeen, David and a friend planned to travel to the Land of Israel via water, building themselves a raft for this purpose. Fortunately, the friend left a farewell letter for his parents, and they caught the boys before they could make the attempt.
While in high school, David lived with his grandfather Rozanski in the city of Baranovichi (in modern-day Belarus). He prepared himself for aliyah by studying Hebrew and carpentry (a trade which would prove quite useful later in life). As the date of his conscription into the Polish army came closer with no sign of the certificate he sought to study at the Technion, David characteristically took action. He wrote a long, detailed letter to the daughter of Count Potocki (assuming that the count himself received too many letters and his would be tossed), explaining why Poland did not need such a young man as himself to serve in its army and why it would be preferable for him to make aliyah. Ultimately, he received two certificates, one from the Technion and one from Count Potocki, and in 1934 he made aliyah.
He spent about a year in Lehi, under Yitzhak Shamir’s command, but then was captured by the British. He would spend a year in various detention camps, both in the Land of Israel and in Africa (Gilgil, Kenya). David escaped by way of a tunnel, one of eight. Utilizing various methods, including a Honduran passport forged in the camp, he reached Paris, where he stayed until the State of Israel was established. In the meantime, he wrote for and published an underground French periodical called Palestina. At the age of 38, he married Miriam Hashmona’i, and they had two daughters, Leora and Shelomit.
David worked for Vulcan Engineering, Ltd., becoming the director of sales for the company. He spent his free time reading, intrigued by the archeology of the Land of Israel and the Bible.
David was a hopeless idealist, believing in the credo that “To preach is nice, but to fulfill is nicer.” In this spirit, he avoided travelling abroad for reasons other than business, so as not to negatively impact Israel’s economy. He was a wonderful father and exemplary husband, and his endless dedication to caring for his wife Imi, when she fell ill, cannot be described in words. If only there were more people like him!
He passed away on July 22,1990.