Boria Lerner



Born December 15, 1914 in Libkan Bessarabia, he followed his parents in their last journey in the turmoil of WW1 ... They returned to Bessarabia, but in a cruel exodus, Boria happened to see his little sister killed by a bullet in the arms of their mother. He soon became an active militant of the revolutionary movement, and was arrested several times; he had to know the prison for many years. He managed to reach Paris in 1938, intending to join the International Brigades, but the war of Spain came to an end and he remained in France. In September 1939 he joined the French Army to fight Hitler; he was sent as many others in one of the RMVE in Barcares. Because of his bad health undermined by so many hard times he failed to the tests, and then became seriously ill and was discharged. When the German armies invaded France, he took with his wife and baby the way to the drain under a constant bombardment and eventually was interned in the camp of Briens, then Rivesaltes where the Spanish Republicans and Jews were crowded into conditions such as the child was carried away by an epidemic that decimated the camp. In 1941 Boria and Hadassah Lerner managed to escape and tried to return to Paris where they ended up in the 11th arrondissement the very day of the month of August when happened the roundup of Jews for the camp of Drancy. More determined than ever to fight, Boria was able to contact the 2nd Detachment of Jewish partisans who had just been formed and was chosen to take the lead. He ran several armed operations like an attack against a German hotel on the Boulevard Raspail and a bomb attack against the Department of the Navy, Royal Street, occupied by the Germans. He was responsible for organizing the manufacture of bombs for the Jewish partisans, he established a laboratory and an explosives depot, rue Saint-André-des-Arts. This street in the Latin Quarter was the scene of great activity of the partisans and the police frequently organized raids. It was during one of the latter, June 26, 1943, that Lerner and his wife were arrested. He was immediately so terribly tortured that, when his wife succeeded to see him with the help of a patriot policeman, he was absolutely unrecognizable. However, all of his energy was intact and he declared "I am under no illusions about what lies ahead. I'm not afraid. I have given no one and I won’t, you can be sure about this." On September 20st 1943, he was sentenced to death and on October 1st, after spending ten days in a cell with three other comrades sentenced with him. His wife Hadassah, after long suffering, returned from exile.

Excerpt from Combatants, Heroes & Martyrs of the Resistance.
David Diamond “Edition Renouveau”