Chaya (Lena) Vasertil

Chaya, daughter of Binyamin and Gitel, was born on February 9, 1933 in Oswiecim in southwestern Poland. In the manner of daughters of Hassidim in that environment she was educated: for general education at a Polish government school and for traditional life at home. Her family was exterminated and she was sent to a labor camp in Sudetenland where she held on until the end of the war. After liberation she joined Kibbutz Ichud in Ostrowiec, and with the kibbutz moved to the refugee camp in Deggendorf in the American occupied zone of Germany. There, they founded the Hakhshara Kibbutz "LaNegev" of Nochem (United Pioneer Youth) in the Minkofen farm. She immigrated to Israel on the Ha'apala ship "Bracha Fuld" and was deported to Cyprus. In the camp she joined Hapoel HaMizrach. When she was released in June 1947, and was allowed to immigrate to Israel, she went from the Atlit detainee camp directly to Kfar Ezion. Soon she was absorbed in work and gradually also in social life. She hoped to get a few vacation days to tour the country's settlements, but the siege period had begun. She participated in trainings, observations, guarding and providing food to the defenders in the positions.

When the enemy burst into the village, she lived with her friends in the headquarters' shelter under the German monastery. When the enemy could not penetrate the shelter they blew up the entire building, and there, the day before the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, she found her grave under the rubble. On November 17, 1949, she was brought for burial in Mount Herzl, Jerusalem.