NAME: Fried, Miriam

LEHI ALIAS: Kokhava

DATE OF BIRTH: April 2, 1930

DATE FALLEN: July 25, 1948

Miriam was born on 2 April 1930 in Budapest.

In 1938, she made aliyah with her parents, Shlomo Fritz and Hannah. The family settled in Jerusalem and Miriam immeditably began attending the Jewish school there. She studied in the Hebrew Gymnasium and she excelled in her studies. She was a dedicated young woman who already, at age fourteen, volunteered to help girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. She started in the Scouts, then moved on to the United Movement.

Wherever she found herself, she exhibited dedication. In 1947, she joined Lehi, and she distributed propaganda and put up posters like all the other youths. Due to her special talents, she soon was appointed to supervise a youth cell. A short time before the Partition Plan was announced, she was arrested and sent to the Kishleh, to the Bethlehem Women’s Prison and then to Atlit. The detention caused her to miss twelfth grade, but in early 1948, she completed her studies. In Nissan 5708, she took the matriculation exams, and her final project, “Philosophy Begins in Wonder,” her intellectual and expressive abilities are readily apparent.

After completing her studies, Miriam served as a combat medic when Lehi stormed the walls of the Old City, and her hand was injured. This paralyzed two of her fingers, but she kept on fighting, at Malha and at “The Tin Shack” of Beit Mazmil (now Kiryat HaYovel). During the ceasefire, she worked in the armory of Camp Dror. As the fast day of the Seventeenth of Tammuz (commemorating the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by Babylonian forces in 586 BCE) ended, she wrote a poem, To the Hebrew Warrior of Two Millennia Ago.

Many call me mad, a dissident, fighting with no order

But you are the one who has given the order

Hebrew warrior of two millennia ago.

If I fall here in the fields of Judea

Fall with my weapon still in my hand

My pure blood will mix with yours

Hebrew warrior of two millennia ago.

The next morning (25 July 1948), Miriam did indeed fall. The armory at Camp Dror exploded, claiming her life and those of five others. She was eighteen years old. She was buried the next day in Sanhedria. On 20 September 1951, she was re-interred at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

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