Bracha Fuld (1926-1946) was a Jewish resistance fighter who helped refugees enter Palestine in the wake of the Second World War.
As a teenager, Fuld escaped Germany to move to Palestine in 1939, where she lived with her mother. She was an energetic student at Balfour High School, where she took part in sports, hiking and dancing. Originally named Barbara, she changed her name to Bracha.
In the period after World War 2, the British wanted to prevent the many thousands of Holocaust survivors from migrating to Palestine, leading to Jewish revolt and widespread resistance. Fuld joined the Palmach resistance movement in 1944 and was stationed in Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, near Jerusalem. During this time she met her boyfriend, Gideon Peli, although he was later imprisoned by the British.
Fuld was trained to be a section commander and took charge of a number of female soldiers in Palmach’s E company. It is known she fought in a raid on the German colony of Sarona in Tel Aviv. Some stories also suggest she worked as a spy seducing a British officer, but this is unsubstantiated.
On the 27th March 1946, Fuld was part of a squad charged with protecting a road that Jewish immigrants would use once they had arrived on the refugee ship Wingate. Fuld’s squad was not informed that the ship had been diverted and were taken off-guard when they encountered a British tank unit. She was severely wounded in the ensuing firefight and died in hospital shortly afterward. She was 19 years old.
Both a ship for transporting illegal immigrants and a street in Tel Aviv were later named after Fuld in her honour.