Benjamin Levin hardly ever imagined he would stay outside of his teenage decades.
As a Jewish partisan, he fought in opposition to Nazis, was jailed by Soviet forces and even arrived underneath equipment gun fireplace when his ship experimented with to dock in Israel in 1948.
But on his 93rd birthday, he tested positive for COVID-19. He died two days afterwards on April 13 at a Westchester nursing residence, reported his son Chaim Levin.
“He was a gentle mannered happy individual who radiated a can-do mind-set and convinced all who understood him that anything is probable with particular person dedication,” he mentioned. “He repeatedly emphasised his mantra, ‘That’s everyday living,’ mainly because in his watch daily life is entire of peaks and valleys, successes and failures but is often exciting and ought to be appreciated.”
Levin’s everyday living was certainly attention-grabbing. At just 14, he joined his more mature brother Shmuel and a group of Jewish resistance fighters recognized as the Avengers in the forests outside the house the Lithuanian funds of Vilna. In the summer months of 1941 as the Nazis went on a murderous rampage there, killing far more than 21,000 Jewish guys and boys, the Avengers blew up bridges and German supply strains and killed Nazis. Levin’s own functions of daring were being so quite a few that far more than 70 several years after the war, Lithuania even now has an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Levin and his sister survived the war. His parents, who used time in hiding, have been killed by neighbors when they tried to reclaim their property in Vilna. His brother Shmuel disappeared in the forests just after a raid, and his physique was by no means identified.
Benjamin Levin in 1944Jewish Partisan Educational Foun
Levin joined a Zionist militia — the Irgun — and served displaced Jews flee to Palestine by way of southern Europe, Turkey and Syria. Following he was captured by the Soviets and jailed in Siberia for a 12 months, he hitchhiked to Italy to rejoin the team. In June 1948, he sailed to the freshly created condition of Israel with other Irgun fighters to help the Israelis defend the region from invading Arab forces. But their ship, the Altalena, came below hearth by rival Israeli Protection Forces who experienced presently brokered a UN-backed stop-fire and demanded that the Irgun surrender the weapons they were being carrying on board the ship.
Levin survived by swimming to shore, and finished up marrying one particular of the youthful militia users who was capturing from the beach. Levin moved with Sara Fodor, a Hungarian Jew who experienced escaped the Holocaust with her loved ones, and their two younger children to New York in 1967 and settled on Very long Island.
An MTA mechanic who inevitably purchased a fuel station and went into business for himself, he put in a great deal of his time speaking with New York City significant college learners about the war.
According to his son, “He lived a extraordinary and inspirational daily life, well past his first estimation that he would not are living past the age of 16.”