NAME: Ganah (Ganashvili) Siman-Tov

DATE OF BIRTH: 1924

DATE OF DEATH: March 6, 1968

Siman-Tov, son of Rivka and Eliahu, was born March 1924 in Jerusalem’s   Georgian neighbourhood. His parents had made Aliyah from Tiblisi  1918; he was an only child. His father served in the Brigade, then worked in commerce. The parents’ house was nationalistic, flowing with  love of the land and people. Siman-Tov studied at a ‘Heder’, then at a Hebrew School and an Italian School. He was fluent in Hebrew, English, Italian, and Georgian. Aged 16 he joined Lehi, pasting up info-bulletins  across Jerusalem and other Lehi youngster activities. At the outbreak of WWII he joined the British Navy, excelled as a fighter and received the King’s Five Star decoration. Upon return he resumed Lehi activities. During the Independence War he served in the 8th Brigade’s 82nd Battalion. In the attack on Iraq-Souidan, he was injured in both  legs by a canon shell which hit the vehicle he was driving. Three  crewmembers were also injured. Despite serious  injury, Siman-Tov  opened fire using the vehicle’s machine-gun, allowing  his comrades to retreat with the injured soldiers and reach other track-vehicles. He remained with the wounded soldiers inside the vehicle six hours, upon the battlefield, tending his comrades, helping them drink water. After several attempts, using the vehicle’s radio he called in their location  requesting aid. His bravery saved all of their lives. He lost both his legs. Siman-Tov was awarded  the “Hero of Israel” commendation for his courage, by first president  Chaim Weizman. Siman-Tov married hospital nurse Lotte. They had three children. Yitzchak Sadeh followed his rapid  rehabilitation and they grew close. Despite his injury, Siman-Tov often visited hospitals encouraging disabled patients. On the 20th Independence Day Celebrations, Siman-Tov was supposed to light a beacon, symbolising his heroic struggle in rehabilitating himself . But before the ceremony, while clearing away a Tel-Nof Base scrap-yard, an old shell exploded and he  sustained a stomach injury and spent hours entirely alone again. He died on the operating table on March 6,1968, and was buried at Mt. Herzl’s  military section. Son Eliyahu, a Paratrooper, lit the torch in memory of his father.

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