NAME: Garti Nissim

LEHI ALIAS: Gan

DATE OF BIRTH: June 26, 1919

DATE OF DEATH: January 18, 1997

Nissim, son of Albert and Adela, was born on June 26,1919 in Sofia Bulgaria, to a financially stable family, without any Zionist aspirations. He was an exceptional athlete at Maccabi, then Beitar. When he finished high school, he escaped from Bulgaria  to avoid service in the Bulgarian Army, and made illegal aliya in 1939. With the outbreak of WWII, he lost all contact with  his family members who remained in Bulgaria . Between 1939 and 1941 he participated in the Beitar work-units. He was engaged in weapon-collecting and training in Rishon-Lezion, first with Etzel, and after the split, with Lehi. He was jailed in several prisons throughout the country, then sent to Africa with 250 other prisoners in October 1944. Nissim had “golden hands”, be it digging tunnels or forging documents.  He  took part in several prison camp escapes (Eritrea, Kenya) but was captured and returned. He was quite knowledgeable about classical music and in charge of the record collection at the Kenyan prison camp.

At the end of WWII, members of his family were caught during illegal aliya and deported to Cyprus. The family reunited only after their return from Cyprus and Nissim’s return from African exile. His extended family settled in Ramleh. Upon return, Nissim took part in Lehi political activity, then joined the IDF. He was assigned to the Military Police during his  service, and remained on call as MP reservist for many years to follow.

In 1952 Nissim married Miriam Recht, another Lehi member. They had two children, Avi and Orna, and six grandchildren.  After discharge from the IDF Nissim worked in the civil service, Ministry of Finance. He was rapidly promoted   soon reaching senior positions. In 1983 his eyesight became poor; he retired due to health reasons. After years of health-related suffering, he passed away on January 18,1997, and was buried in the Lehi section of Yarkon cemetery. Nissim shall be remembered as a pleasant person who loved his fellow man, and loved music.

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