NAME: Zipporen (née Freidman), Hannah

DATE OF BIRTH: November 17, 1922

DATE OF DEATH: September 18, 2016

Hanna was born to Hava and Yaakov in Trochenbrod (Zofjówka), Poland, on 17.11.1922. She was the oldest of four.

Her father was flour wholesaler. The family was Religious Zionist. A private tutor taught her and her brother Hebrew in their house. In her youth, she studied in cheder, then continued in Polish public school. When she finished, she travelled to Lutsk (Łuck), where she learned to be a seamstress.

Hannah was a Beitar member from age thirteen, both in Zofjówka and Lutsk. The Russians entered the shtetl, and World War II began in September 1939. The Beitar youth were determined to get out of there and make aliyah. Hannah said goodbye to her family and hometown in secret, assisted by her Beitar commanders. After wandering through Poland, she crossed the Lithuanian border to Vilnius, in January 1940. She remained there for six months, then went with a group of Beitar members to the Mergalaukes farm, which was close to Vilnius and owned by Jews. They lived and worked there for a few months.

With forged papers that cost one hundred dollars (sent by her parents), they made their way to Moscow, then by train to Iran. They continued from there to India; the Joint then helped them sail to Port Said, and finally they boarded a train to Haifa, arriving on Erev Rosh Hashana 5702 (1941).

They then spent two months in Atlit, but then the British freed her and she made their way to Tel Aviv. She at first stayed with a friend and acquaintances from her hometown. She eventually rented an apartment with a roommate, and she worked in a factory manufacturing batteries.

She was recruited to Lehi by Anshel Shpilman, who was a native of her town, in 1942. Hisia Shapira was her supervisor, and her cell had five young women. They trained on the roof of Gabby Habenstreit, on Nachmani Street in Tel Aviv. Hannah disseminated promotional materials, surveilled, trained with firearms and attended Zionist ideological lectures.

In 1943, she married Pesach Zipporen, a Hagana member. They settled in Givatayim. Their house was always open to Lehi members. Eldad lectured a number of times in their home; Anshel stayed with them after his jailbreak; and the fighters slept in their house the night before the Haifa Railway Workshops operation.

Her husband was a contractor and Likud activist, donating generously to many institutions, including the Ezra UMarpeh facility named after him in Bnei Brak. The Zipporen family provided most of the funding for the institution. He passed away on 6 February 1998.

Hannah lost her entire family in the Holocaust. For many years, she volunteered with WIZO and the Israel Cancer Association.

Hannah has a son, Yaakov “Coby” Zipporen.

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