on December 6, 1912, in Hungary. In 1938
he joined Betar, and two years later immigrated
to Eretz Israel aboard the Skaria, an illegal
immigrant vessel organized by Betar.
After spending six
months in the Atlit internment camp, he
joined the Betar company at Rosh Pina, and
then found his way to the ranks of the Irgun.
In 1941, he joined the British army in order
to fight the Nazi enemy, and together with
his comrades in the Jewish Brigade came
to the aid of Holocaust survivors in Europe.After
his demobilisation, in March 1946, he resumed
his activity in the Irgun and joined its
Fighting Force. While still on demobilisation
leave, he took part in the requisition of
weapons from a British army depot near Natanya.
Ten days later set out on his second and
last operation - the attack on the Ramat
Gan police station .He was severely wounded,
caught by the British and sentenced to death.
He was 35 when he went on April 16, 1947
to the gallows, together with his comrades
- Alkahi, Dresner and Kashani.
A letter from
Dov Gruner before he was hung by the British
to Irgun leader Menachem Begin. 1947 (interpreted
from The Conquest of Acre
Fortess by Jan Gitlin, 1982: Hadar:
From the bottom of my
heart I thank you for the encouragement
which you have given me during these fateful
days. Be assured that whatever happens I
shall not forget the principles of pride,
generosity and firmness. I shall know how
to uphold my honour, the honour of a Jewish
soldier and fighter.
I could have written in
high-sounding phrases something like the
old Roman 'Duce est pro patria mori', but
words are cheap, and sceptics can say 'After
all, he had no choice.' And they might even
be right. Of course I want to live: who
does not? But what pains me, now that the
end is so near, is mainly the awareness
that I have not succeeded in achieving enough.
I too could have said: "Let the future
take care of the future.' and meanwhile
enjoy life and be contented with the job
I was promised on my demobilization. I could
even have left the country altogether for
a safer life in America, but this would
not have satisfied me either as a Jew or
as a Zionist.
There are many schools
of thought as to how a Jew should choose
his way of life. One way is that of the
assimilationists who have renounced their
Jewishness. There is also another way, the
way of those who call themselves 'Zionists'
- the way of negotiation and compromise,
as if the existence of a nation were but
another transaction. They are not prepared
to make any sacrifice, and therefore they
have to make concessions and accept compromised.
Perhaps this is a means of delaying the
end but, in the final analysis, it leads
to the ghetto. And let us not forget this:
in the ghetto of Warsaw alone, too, there
were five hundred thousand Jews.
The only way that seems,
to my mind, to be right, is the way of the
Irgun Zvai Leumi, the way of courage and
daring without renouncing a single inch
of our homeland. When political negations
prove futile, one must be prepared to fight
for our homeland and our freedom. Without
them the very existence of out nation is
jeopardized, so fight we must with all possible
means. This is the only way left to our
people in their hour of decision: to stand
on our rights, to be ready to fight, even
if for some of us this way leads to the
gallows. For it is a law of history that
only with blood shall a country be redeemed.
I am writing this while
awaiting the hangman. This is not a moment
at which I can lie, and I swear that if
I had to begin my life anew I would have
chosen the same way, regardless of the consequences
Your faithful soldier,
There have been many famous
Betaris throught our long history. You can
click on the links below to read about these
special and brave individuals.