Table of Contents

[Page 186]

From Suvalk to the government of Israel: Pinhas Sapir

Dr. Mordehai Naor

Translated by Ite Doktorski

Pinhas Sapir (Kozlowski) was born in Suvalk on October 15, 1907. His parents were considered by the town as business and “finance” people. His father, Mordehai Kozlowski, owned a textile factory and a floor-tiles factory in £odz and was absent from home most days of the year. His mother, Malka Toybe, ran a feather business and frequently visited fairs in towns like Nizhny Novgorod and Berdichev. With such a background it was no wonder that young Pinhas was gifted with a “business sense” since childhood.

In spite of all the above young Pinhas' childhood was not easy: he was a sickly child, very attached to his mother, seldom saw his father, and before he reached his 7th birthday the family came to face two major crises. First, one of his father's debtors went bankrupt causing a big upheaval in the family finances and then, after the summer of 1914, the situation got worse: Suvalk was located near the German border and when the First World War broke out the town was conquered by the Germans on the first day of fighting.

The Kozlowski family, like many other families, escaped eastwards and for about a year lived in bad living conditions in Brest Litovsk. Afterwards they moved to Slonim. Most of the time the father was absent, at first because he served in the Russian army and later, because he had to travel all over Russia for his business.

After the war the family members returned to Suvalk but their financial situation wasn't as good as before, especially since Poland had been struck by galloping inflation and a significant number of small and medium-sized businesses were ruined. This also happened to the Kozlowski family of Suvalk.

Pinhas (“Pinye” as he was called by family and friends) grew up in a religious family. His mother kept all the mitzvot small and big but his father, although religious, was attracted to modernity. Later his son said that he was indeed a mixture of the old and the new, keeping up tradition while taking an interest in the culture of the big, wide world. He was one of the founders of the Mizrahi in Suvalk, a very learned man who could as easily read Mapu's “Love of Zion” as Tolstoi's “War and Peace”. The “Suvalk Yizkor Book” published in the United States in 1961 defined Mordehai Kozlowski as “a businessman who had managed big businesses in his time but who also got immersed in higher spheres, a gabbai and a devoted activist for the common good that helped organize the communal Linat Hatzedek and Bikur Holim services, and supported the Eretz-Israel Funds and the Jewish Cooperative Bank. He was a member of the Jewish community council, gave tzedaka, and was a regular participant in the shiurim at the Beit Midrash.”

Mordehai and Malka Toybe Kozlowski had five children. The eldest son, Yitzhak, emigrated to the United States after the First World War because he was afraid he would be called up to serve in the Polish Army, and in 1924 he drowned in the U.S. in a boating accident. The second child, daughter Esther Leah, married a relative from Brest Litovsk named Shtrikman and the couple made later aliya with their two young children. These became later professors Nathan Sharon and Shmuel Shtrikman of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The third child, daughter Rachel, studied ancient languages at Vilnius University and had plans to make aliyah, in preparation of which she trained as a nurse. And, indeed, for many years she worked as a nurse at kibbutz Ramat Yohanan. Pinhas was the fourth child. The youngest daughter, Feige, was the big tragedy of the family. After graduating from high-school she moved to Warsaw (till then she was a member of Beitar) to study at a commerce college. There she joined the communist underground, got sick with tuberculosis and died in 1936.

 

Beyond Warsaw

Mordehai Kozlowski hoped that his son Pinhas would become a rabbi because he excelled in his studies at the heder. So when the father learned that the Mizrahi movement had opened a rabbinical beit-midrash in Warsaw named Tahkemoni, he hastened to register his son because the institution had earned much recognition in the early years. However, with hindsight, it can be said that the rabbinical career appealed much more to the parents than to their son. Pinhas started his studies in Warsaw in 1921, as a 14 year old, and spent the next two years at the Tahkemoni rabbinical school. As far as it is known he wasn't very attracted to rabbinical studies and after more or less two years he went back to Suvalk. There he became active in the Hehalutz Hatzair, the youth wing of the Hehalutz movement that organized and prepared Jewish pioneers to make aliya to Eretz Israel. Pinye's organizational capacities came for the first time to the fore at the Hehalutz Hatzair, and after three years of activity at local and regional level he went to work for the head offices of the Hehalutz movement in Warsaw. At the age of 19 he became general treasurer of the movement and was in charge of organizing and preparing olim groups for Eretz Israel. He also used to visit Suvalk now and then for reasons that, at the time, preferably remained undisclosed. Once he had to send a group of olim that couldn't get passports. One of the olim was Beni Marshak, who later became the political officer of the Palmah. Pinhas had acquired by then solid political opinions of his own and belonged to the moderate wing of the Hehalutz, his position being close to that of the Histadrut and its leaders, David Ben-Gurion and Berl Katzenelson. His political rivals belonged mostly to the leadership of the Hakibbutz Hameuhad. He held lengthy discussions with Beni Marshak on the subject of the Hebrew language (Beni supported the use of Yiddish and Pinhas was an ardent supporter of Hebrew). When Beni was about to make his aliya some problems arose: he had avoided service in the Polish army and couldn't get a passport. Pinhas took him to Suvalk, made him stay at his parent's house, then took him to the nearby border and told him “Beni, you don't deserve this but… take it!”

 

Public involvement in Kfar Saba

By the end of 1929 Pinhas made his own aliya to Eretz Israel. At that time there were at least four reasons for his aliya. First of all, as one of the leaders of the Hehalutz movement and as an active Zionist who preached aliya it was clear to him that he personally had to act in accordance with his preachings. Secondly, after the bloody events of 1929 in Eretz Israel he felt it was his duty to be there. Thirdly, his career as a Hehalutz leader had come to a halt because of political disputes. Fourthly, and last but not least, in one of the Hehalutz training camps he had met a girl named Shoshana Gibianski. She was also from Suvalk and they had became friends. Shoshana had made her aliya and, as Sapir later explained, “I secretly hoped we would meet again in Eretz Israel and maybe get married there”. And that is exactly what happened in the year 1932. Pinhas had already settled in Kfar Saba, a small moshava surrounded by orange groves. Several months after his aliya he started to work as manager of the Workers Loan and Savings Bank of the moshava. Once he settled down he asked Shoshana to come over to Kfar Saba. Till she came he used to rent a room in the house of Tzvi Berezovski (Bar-Ziv), whom he knew from Suvalk, where he had been his group leader at the Hehalutz Hatzair. As soon as Shoshana arrived they decided to get married and the wedding canopy was set up in Berezowski's yard.

In the coming years Sapir became one of the most remarkable personalities in Kfar Saba. He joined the local Histadrut and Mapai leadership and was elected to the first city council. In 1937 he became the assistant of Levi Shkolnik (later Eshkol, Prime Minister of Israel from 1963 to 1969) at the Mekorot company, and a couple of years later he became the company's Director. He kept in touch with Suvalk all along the thirties. In 1935, during the Zionist Congress election campaign he signed the party proclamations that were sent to his hometown in the name of his party, Mapai. It was then common practice to harness the support of people from Eastern Europe's towns and villages that had “made it” in Eretz Israel for this kind of political activity. Two years later he travelled to Suvalk. This was his last visit to the city. This happened shortly after his only sister still remaining in Poland, Feige, had died from tuberculosis. He proposed to his parents to leave the city and make aliya, since all their three children lived already in Eretz Israel. And indeed, the parents arrived in Kfar Saba, settled there, and in order not to be a burden opened a grocery store and lived from the income it produced. The father, Mordehai Kozlovski, was elected to the local Shehitta council and also functioned as a “justice of the peace” in the Hebrew Peace Courts, an independent network of tribunals that the Jews had founded in Eretz Israel. In this way ended the direct relation Pinhas had with his hometown Suvalk. In later years, when he travelled around the world for his public functions, he was invited many times to conferences and events in different countries (e.g., Argentina and the United States) organized by people hailing from his hometown Suvalk. He didn't talk much about his life in Poland, but in the last year of his life he opened up and reminisced. He was interviewed by different newspapers and told them about his life as a young boy in Suvalk, about his activities in the Hehalutz Hatzair and as treasurer at the Hehalutz in Warsaw, and he even contributed to the book “In the fields of Grochow” (Grochow near Warsaw was where the Hehalutz held its training camp).

 

A man full of creative energy

About Pinhas Sapir, a man full of creative energy, a government minister and a leader, it seems that we already know everything. Between the years 1949 and 1975 he fulfilled a series of prominent functions: Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Minister of Commerce and Industry during 10 years, member of the 4th to the 8th Knessets, Minister of Finance during 10 years, Secretary General of the Labor Party, president of the Zionist directorate. Today everyone agrees that during 20 years, from 1955 to 1975, he contributed significantly to the industrialization of the country, to the founding and the strengthening of development towns, and to the consolidation of the country's economy.

The young boy who had left Suvalk and came up in the world of public service in Poland and later in Eretz Israel is considered to be one of the most remarkable leaders of Israel in the first decenia of its existence. David Ben-Gurion “discovered” him during the War of Independence and assigned him to important posts, such as Head of Security Acquisitions in Europe. A few years later, but before he was appointed government minister in 1955, Ben-Gurion defined him as “a man full of creative energy”. And, indeed, such was Pinhas Sapir (Kozlowski), from his youth in Suvalk till he became a leader and a minister in the Government of Israel.

Dr Naor wrote a book entitled “The Ascent of a Leader” that deals with the political career of Pinhas Sapir. The book was published by Papyrus Publishing House in 1987.


[Pages 197-201]

Avraham Stern (Yair)

by David Stern

Translated by Ite Doktorski

I remember: maybe just yesterday
my heart awakened - a rosy almond;
in my life's firmament the sun rejoiced …(from his poetry)

Indeed, surrounded by his parents' love, Avraham's first six years at his parents' home in Suvalk were quiet, sunny, and peaceful. His father Mordehai and his mother Hadassah Leah (daughter of Raphael and Pessia Grushkin of Wilkomir) were maskilim from Lithuania: the father, a dentist and the mother, a midwife, two good professions that bear life and healing.

Their first child, Avraham, was born on December 23, 1907, in Suvalk, which is located in the north-eastern corner of Poland. Time passed and when World War I broke out in August 1914 the Germans conquered Suvalk from the Russians.

The mother and her boys, Avraham and David, travelled eastwards to stay at her father's house in Wilkomir, where Avraham absorbed from his grandfather the love for Zion and Israel. From Wilkomir the mother and her boys continued their journey to her sister and brother-in-law's house in St Petersburg. From there they continued eastwards and southwards till they arrived at the remote village of Romodanovo, near the city of Saransk, in the Penza district.

While in hospital in German Koeningsberg, recovering from an operation, the father was arrested on grounds that he was an alien citizen. He was then sent to a German prison camp where he was entirely cut off from his small family.

The mother, her boys, her sister, and her brother-in-law all lived in Romodanovo, on the estate of a nobleman whose bookkeeping the brother-in-law managed. After a while the mother accepted a position as midwife at the local hospital and moved with her boys to the small house on the hospital premises that had been offered to her by the hospital.

In the meantime the Russian revolution happened: the nobleman's estate and its adjacent fields were expropriated, nationalized, and distributed to the peasants and the hospital staff. The mother and her sons sowed and reaped the wheat from the plot of land that was in this way allocated to them.

At age 10 Avraham passed the entrance examinations to the Russian high-school in Saransk, where he studied diligently and with distinction, and where he also had Hebrew lessons once a week. He sang in the school's choir and also performed as a solo singer.

In the meantime contact with the father in Suvalk was renewed and, with the conclusion of a peace treaty between Russia and Germany, the mother got ready to return to Suvalk. In one of his letters the father wrote that there was no high-school in Suvalk yet. Avraham decided then to remain at his aunt's house and complete his studies till the end of the school year. The mother and her younger son David returned to Suvalk while Avraham stayed in Saransk. During those years he experienced hardship, poverty, hunger, and suffering. At the age of 14 he decided to travel back home alone and without any means a distance of thousands of kilometers through wild and savage territory, via Starol Intumak and Leningrad, till he finally arrived in Wilkomir, Lithuania, in the summer of 1921. Although in those days there were no diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Poland, Avraham suceeded however in getting in touch with his parents. With the help of smugglers Avraham crossed the border in the darkness of night and on a bright summer morning of 1921 he reappeared at his parents' home in Suvalk.

In the remaining couple of months before school started Avraham succeeded in mastering Hebrew, Polish, and German, and successfully passed the entrance examinations for the 4th class at the Hebrew high-school. At the end of his first year at school he was an outstanding student in languages, literature, and Jewish history. At the same time he became a central figure at the school, coordinator of the drama circle, editor of a student newspaper, and a natural leader. Outside the school, at the pioneer youth movement Hashomer Hatza'ir Avraham was the beloved leader of the younger youths, to whose guidance he faithfully and enthusiastically devoted himself. In the pages of his “Pupil's Diary” of 1924-1925, which he wrote while in the 6th class of high-school, he speaks to the student-readers about their upcoming first encounter with life, about the need to trust, about the need to overcome one's doubts, and he particularly expressed his thoughts about the Jewish nation: “…so strong is the desire to ease its yoke and spare it the tears and the misfortunes that have been their lot for two thousand years; and it would be so good to travel to that old homeland of ours”.

His stay at his parents' house didn't last long. The students of the 6th class of high-school went each their own way, and some of them moved to other schools in Poland. Avraham wanted to give concrete expression to his dream of emigrating to Eretz Israel and his parents responded to this request by sending him to the Gymnasia Ivrit in Jerusalem. Together with his friend P. Rubinzon he arrived in Eretz Israel in January 1926.

At the Gymnasia in Rehavia he improved his knowledge of Hebrew and graduated a year and a half later, after which he enrolled at the Hebrew University's Faculty of the Humanities in Jerusalem.

In the meantime the allowance he used to receive from his parents was significantly reduced due to the economic crisis in Poland. Avraham made a very poor living, giving private lessons and winning prizes - about 16 in number - for his scientific work at the university.

His tutors, in particular Professors Flaum and Tcherikower, predicted him a brilliant future as a scientist and they helped him obtain a grant to specialize in Greek and Latin language and literature at the University of Firenze (Florence), Italy.

His knowledge of the ancient Greek language was so good that he succeeded in completing the Odysee -that has no ending- in perfect homeric hexameters.

In the summer of 1929, when anti-Jewish pogroms broke out following the carnage in Hebron, Avraham joined the Haganah and went together with three other volunteers from Jerusalem to Yavniel in Galilee to protect and defend this moshav.

In 1932 the Haganah split up and Avraham joined the Irgun that resulted from that split. In that same year he finished an Irgun officer's course. At the end-of-course party he sang for the first time the famous underground song “Hayalim Almonim” (Unknown Soldiers). He himself had composed the music and written the words. This song became the hymn of the Irgun and from 1940 onwards also became the hymn of the Lehi.

In the year 1933 Avraham finished studying at university, passed his Masters degree with distinction and went to Firenze, Italy, where he started writing his PhD thesis on “Eros in Homer's work”. But in the autumn of 1933 he suddenly decided to leave the temple of science in order to devote his life to fighting for Israel's freedom.

The name Avraham Stern disappeared completely from the horizon and in its place the name Yair ben Elazar suddenly appeared. In short, Yair.

Posing as a reporter for the Eretz Israeli financial newspaper “Pal News” Avraham arrived in Poland. His first unanounced visit was, of course, to his parents' home in Suvalk.

He kept the secret from everyone except from one girl, his brother David's future wife Hinda, “Inutcha”, as he called her. She retrieved his letters for him from the “poste restante” service at the Post Office, she sent his mail, and she was his general secretary and confidant.

A year later he tried to put together a group of young people from Suvalk for illegal immigration into Eretz Israel (“I have contacts in Eretz Israel” he told the candidates) but in the end nothing came of it.

Avraham visited Suvalk in the following years. These were quick and short visits without telling anyone about his objectives and his work in Poland as an envoy of the Irgun.

On April 19, 1936 new riots broke out in Eretz Israel. The leaders of the Yishuv and the Haganah announced their self-restraint policy: put their arms on safety latch, defend themselves only, and show the world the high moral standards of the Yishuv, in the hope that the English would crush the rioters. Even the revisionist movement and its leader Ze'ev Zhabotinski accepted this compromise for a short while, but Avraham and some of his friends of the Irgun did not see it that way. They demanded immediate and sharp retaliation.

When the commander-in-chief of the Irgun Avraham Tehomi started to negotiate an eventual fusion with the Haganah, Yair positioned himself against him. Immediately a split in the Irgun took place. On April 23, 1937, in his orders for the day to the “faithful to the oath” Yair used a new concept in relation to the British Mandate: “foreign rule”. In his orders for the day he declared that “the Hebrew State will not come into being if it cannot rely on an independent military body”. Yair devoted his soul, his time, and his enthusiasm to the glorification of this independent underground military body. Already in 5694 (1934) he wrote in his poetry:

“You are sanctified to me, homeland,
according to the laws of Moses and Israel.
A maidservant submissive and lost,
I'll be your lord and your savior.”

While visiting Poland as an envoy of the Irgun he developed friendships with representatives of the Polish government and he succeeded in recruiting people for the Irgun among the assimilated Jewish intelligentsia of Warsaw. Among them were Henryk Sztrasman and his wife Lily, and both of them helped him above and beyond the call of duty.

At his request and according to his indications they published a periodical in Polish titled “Jerozolima Wyzwolona” (Liberated Jerusalem) that surprisingly succeeded in obtaining the support of many assimilated Jews for the liberation of Eretz Israel from the yoke of foreign rule. He also launched the publication of a daily newspaper in Yiddish, “Di Tat” (The Deed), reporting on Irgun activities in Eretz Israel whose circulation numbers reached tens of thousands.

In this period of time came to fruition his plan to break the extreme restrictions imposed by the British on aliyah and to also break the lack of cooperation from the national entities in the distribution of British “certificates” by the Jewish Agency.

In order to put his plan into practice Yair used his extraordinary capacities to convince people and make them trust his words. In this way he succeeded in concluding a secret agreement with the Polish authorities. According to the terms of this agreement the promise was made by the Poles to give the Etzel excellent Polish military instructors to train its commanders, to train 40 000 Jewish youngsters from the Betar and Brit Hachayal movements for military action, and even to provide the organization with arms and ammunition, partly against payment and partly as a grant.

According to this plan a multitude of 40 000 well-trained and well-organized youngsters, eager for action and loyal to their objectives, was supposed to board a big number of ships at the same time and flood the coasts of Eretz Israel - against the 5 000 British soldiers stationed there to keep public order, so to speak. These new immigrants would constitute the main force that would liberate Eretz Israel from the yoke of foreign rule.

Yair was a guest at the second Beitar congress in Krakow and at the third congress in Warsaw. He did everything not to stand out but he also did everything to inculcate his ideas in the hearts of the attendees. Many hundreds of Beitar members, organized in “national cells”, and tens of thousands of Jews yearning for action stood ready for the call.

But only a small part of the plan was carried out: somewhere in the Carpathian mountains an intensive course was given by Polish officers. Some 20 Etzel commanders from Eretz Israel participated. Yair was the living spirit of the course. Arms and ammunition from the military factory in Radom started to flow in considerable ammounts. In the end the “Forty Thousand Plan”, as it was known, was put on the shelf.

Yair divided his time between his activities in the diaspora and his activities in Eretz Israel. In those years, 1937-1938, both brothers lived with their respective wives, Roni and Hinda, at 16 Gordon Street, Tel Aviv, in a 2-bedroom rented appartement.

Yair devoted his time to instructing groups of Irgun fighters, preparing his poems for publication, and writing articles for underground newspapers in which he preached to fight the Brits. He was instrumental in creating an underground radio station and its broadcasts were listened to at The Fighting Voice of Zion and at the Liberating Voice of Zion.

On Shabat eve they used to get together at the house of underground friends and family friends in an atmosphere of songs and rejoicing.

On the evening before World War II broke out a staff meeting of Etzel commanders took place at 6 Aharonovitch street, Tel Aviv. Suddenly British soldiers and detectives burst through the door and the whole commanding staff was taken prisoner.

Yair was held in prison a whole year. First in Jerusalem, then at Tzerifin, and finally at Mizra, near Acre. During his time in custody he never failed to coach and instruct the other prisoners and he continued writing and polishing his poems.

During his walks and meetings with his commanders he defined the basic political choices the Etzel would make. In time of war the Etzel will continue its fight against Britain, which will cease only if and when the following conditions were met:

  1. Britain will create a Provisional Jewish Government.
  2. After Germany's defeat the Provisional Jewish Government will be declared a Hebrew Government.
  3. The borders of Eretz Israel will be opened immediatly to absorb the masses of Jews that would be arriving on rescue-aliyah from the European countries.
  4. Eretz Israel youths will join separate units of the British army. These units would later become part of the future Jewish state's own army. They will be commanded by Jewish officers.
After he and the other officers were released from Mizra, and after David Raziel resigned, Yair was appointed commander-in-chief of the Irgun.

In opposition to the plan Yair had put together at Mizra, both the new Zionist Federation and David Raziel declared an unconditional and unilateral truce, and made appeals to the public to join the British army. A few days later Raziel withdrew his resignation under pressure from the Revisionist Party and the new Zionist Federation. Ze'ev Zhabotinsky authorized the return of David Raziel as commander-in-chief of the Irgun. Yair remained faithful to his principles and to the rescue plan for European Jewry and did not back off, and therefore Etzel split up. Yair continued at the head of the Irgun that had now changed its name to Ha-Irgun Ha-Tzvai Ha-Leumi be-Israel.

To try and save European Jewry Yair tried to reach an agreement with the representatives of the Nazi Third Reich in Lebanon in order to obtain free emigration for the Jewish masses of Poland and the Baltic states - this at a time when the Nazis spoke of collective expulsions of Jews to the island of Madagascar, and at a time when the Zionist Federation and all the other Zionist organizations didn't make their positions sufficiently clear regarding the rescue of European Jewry.

The British Mandate authorities promissed a reward of 1 000 pounds sterling to any person with information leading to the capture of Yair. Many of his underground friends were captured and taken prisoner, and many of his personal friends broke off their ties with him because they feared the British.

Yair stayed for a certain period of time (before the British announced they were looking for him) with Zina and Dov Hameiri (Shiplishkowski), then he started to wander almost every night from one room to another, and sometimes he even slept in public shelters. In those days he got help from his underground friends, and his brother David's wife assisted him faithfully and devotedly. His Haganah friends in Jerusalem arranged for the Haganah to offer him shelter in one of the kibbutzim. The offer was made to him through his wife's brother Nehemia who was a Haganah commander. Yair refused that offer and equally refused the offer made by the revisionists. In his last letter of 25 Shevat 5702 (February 12, 1942) he wrote: “…I am not one who surrenders willingly to the Police or to its helpers, whether from left or right…”

His father had passed away in 1940 in Kovno (Kaunas) and after many an effort his mother finally reached Eretz Israel in February 1941. The encounters between mother and son soon diminished. In December 1941 he writes to her that he has moved to Jerusalem in order to set her mind at rest and to give a plausible reason for not being able to meet her. In another letter he writes to her: “…My dearly beloved mother, I am infinitely hurt by the pain you feel, but you know me, and you know that the things they spread about me are based on lies…” “…You must know that I always remember you and that I always love you. May God grant us to see better days. The satisfactions and pleasures that were impossible for me to give you will be given to you by your grandchild. Always yours, Mema”.

On February 12, 1942 at about 11 o'clock in the morning the house on 8 Mizrahi Street (today Avraham Stern Street) was surrounded by British police.

Two police detectives, inspector Wilkin and sergeant Smith, went up to search the attic.

This happened following what one of two prisoners (admitted to a public hospital under heavy guard after being shot at and wounded two weeks earlier on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv) said to the mother of the other prisoner, Mrs. Levstein, that she “give his regards to the guest at number 8 Mizrahi Street”, and these words were heard by one of the policemen.

The policemen that arrived at the address given to them performed a detailed search and when they discovered a man's hat and a wet shaving brush, officer Smith opened the wardrobe door, drew the curtain, and found Yair, who used to hide in the wardrobe whenever a neighbor came to the house.

After a few minutes Secret Police inspector Geoffrey Morton came into the room and gave orders to the person living there, Tovah Savurai, and to the two neighbors that were invited to witness the search, to leave the place. Then three shots were heard.

This is how Yair was murdered, with his hands tied, standing in the room by the window.

He was buried on the same day at 3 PM at section number 39 of the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery while British detectives, parachutists, and armored units surrounded the whole cemetery.

I said Kaddish. The mother stood paralized from pain. Hinda gave her tender and loving support. At home we sat “shiv'a”.

(Quotation from a poem by Yair that I didn't translate)

Yair was murdered. The British Secret Police and all her collaborators, be it out of ideological reasons or in the hope for a better life under the wings of the British Mandate, felt they could breathe again.
But the revolt didn't die out.
Yair's blood fed the spark that launched the fight against foreign rule until a free State of Israel was born.
Nine editions of his poems in Hebrew were published by Yair (Avraham Stern) Publications. All his poems were translated into Russian and in part also to other languages. Poems were written in his memory, his articles were published in his lifetime and after his death. Tens of university research papers were written about his poems and about his politics.
Tens of streets in the cities of Israel bear his name.
In the moshavim many hundreds of fighters and their families honor his philosophy and his memory, including Israel's Prime Ministers, Defense Ministry representatives, and youth organizations, who visit the tomb of this son of Suvalk, who kept with his life the promise he had made in his poem “Hayalim Almonim”:

“Only death releases from duty”
Just as he wrote in his poem “You are sanctified to me, homeland”:

“In my life and in my death
I'll rest my head in your lap, among your mountains;
You will always live in my blood”

His descendants: his son Avraham-Yair, his grandchildren: Shai, Anat, Gil, Dan-Raphael.

 

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