NAME: Firt (Heinz), Avraham

LEHI ALIAS: Baruch

DATE OF BIRTH: 20.12.1922

DATE FALLEN: 11.7.1948

Avraham Heinz was born on 20.12.1922 in the city of Teplice-Šanov, Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia). He was an only child of Yitzhak (Otto) and Hannah (Alfreda). He finished elementary school and two continuing classes of the commercial school. He made aliyah illegally aboard the Katina, in February 1939, and he stayed for two years in the youth movement in Huldah.

He worked in the farm, driving a tractor and in security, and from there he moved to Beer Tuvia. When he finished his agricultural training, he moved to Tel Aviv. He worked in a cotton factory in Givat Herzl, and he took night classes in Montefiore School, with the aim of becoming an automotive engineer. In April 1941, he joined the Jewish unit of the British Army; he was one of the survivors of the explosion aboard the warship hit near Malta on 1.5.1943. In Italy, he volunteered to be a commando in Yugoslavia and he took a paratroopers’ course. A year later, he returned to the Jewish unit, in which he served until he was demobilized in 1946. Afterwards, he worked as a cabdriver.

Lehi’s underground war captivated him, and he joined its ranks. He took part in Lehi’s combat brigade, and later he served on its permanent staff.

In May 1948, he joined the IDF like the other Lehi members. He served in the 8th Brigade’s commando Battalion 89, as a squad commander in Blond Dov’s Company A. He took part in Operation Danny, fighting in Yehudiyeh, Tira and Beit Naballah. On 11.7.1948, 4 Tammuz 5708, he received a warning over the wireless to retreat due to the enemy’s overwhelming numbers, and he refused. “Do you want the enemy to come to Tel Aviv?” he asked. At first, his hand was injured, and he continued to command three half-tracks. As he tried to repair a damaged half-track, he was mortally wounded and died. His comrades say that his last words were: “The homeland! The homeland!” He was buried in Nahalat Yitzhak Military Cemetery.

By the Chief of Staff’s daily order, on 29.9.1949, he was given the rank of first lieutenant.

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