Sarah Braverman, who was thought to be the last surviving parachutist from pre-State Israel who fought with the partisans in Europe during the Second World War, has passed away at the age of 94 at her house on Kibbutz Shamir, located in northern Israel.
Braverman fought in the Palmach during the pre-State period and was one of the founders of both the IDF Women’s Corps and Kibbutz Shamir.
Surika, as she was known, was born in 1918 in Romania, the fifth daughter in a family in which Zionism ran strong. She immigrated to pre-State Israel, enrolling an agricultural school and shortly afterwards enlisted in the Haganah pre-state army.
She participated in stealing British weapons for the Haganah before joining the Palmach. During World War II, Sarah was one of 37 parachutists from pre-State Israel who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the British Army against Nazi Germany.
“We helped British captives in a camp in Romania, as well as anyone who looked Jewish to us,” she later recounted. “We lived with partisans in the forests, we passed messages to Israel about who was still alive, and we tried to make contact. We brought them money and food. Compared to the partisans, Palmach members looked like millionaires.”
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