NAME: Zetler Bela nee Shechter


DATE OF BIRTH: February 12, 1920

DATE OF DEATH: November 22, 2016

Bela, daughter of Berta and Binyamin, was born on February 12,1920 in Vienna Austria. She joined Beitar at 14. She studied sewing, and finished her studies. After Hitler annexed Austria, March 1938, Jewish daily existence became a nightmare. Hitler Youth cut Jewish girls’  hair and forced them to clean public lavatories. The Revisionists began organizing illegal Aliyah projects. Bela and younger sister Ruth joined this illegal aliya for which they left home  June 1938, leaving  their mother (who was later run over), and thirteen-year-old brother who afterwards made Aliyah.

After many difficulties they reached Israel and were placed in Beitar companies. Bela, separated from her sister, was sent to Beitar Netanya, and recruited to Etzel. At the Kalmaniya  weapons courses  she met future husband Yehoshua. After the split both moved to Lehi. Following the  “Hapo’alim Bank” Tel-Aviv robbery, searches were underway to find Yehoshua and her, so they went underground and lived in Neveh-Sha’anan St.1, where Lehi HQ meetings were held. They discovered the apartment was known to Etzel and that they were being followed. The British arrived arresting Yehushua, Yitzhak Shamir, and others.

Bela, in Jerusalem for medical treatment, was thus saved from capture. Upon return to Tel-Aviv, she stayed with Frieda Yelin-Mor. Yehoshua was tried and sentenced to fifteen years.  Bela was later arrested and imprisoned for four years in Bethlehem.   Yehoshua escaped during the “Big Breakout”. After release from prison, Bella lived under house-arrest. After Independence, Lehi was disbanded. Members joined the IDF. Bella and Yehoshua moved to Jerusalem and fought for its liberation. Yehoshua led the fighting. They were married by Rabbi Arieh Levin – the prisoners’ Rabbi –  on the Robovitsch house rooftop.  Folke Bernadotte became UN MEDIATOR in Jerusalem. Since his plans for many parts of the country and Jerusalem were known to all, he was executed September 1948; it was publicised that a group named “The Homeland Front” carried it out.

Following the operation Bela and Yehushua moved to Tel-Aviv. They had two daughters, Ariela and Efrat, and four grandchildren. Through the years, Bela became a Feldenkreis Method instructor.