Sentenced to Life
Kopel Kolpanitzky grew up in Lahwah, Byelorussia. His entire family was murdered in the Lahwah ghetto uprising against the Nazis, except for his father, who had previously been imprisoned by the Soviets. Living in the forests, he joined a partisan unit and then fought as a soldier in the Red Army. After the war he left the army and in trying to reach Eretz Yisrael almost reached the shores of Palestine before the ship he was on was stopped by the British and its passengers sent to a camp in Cyprus. A year later he finally arrived in Eretz Yisrael just before Israel's independence. He served in the Israel Defence Forces and later entered into business with his father, who had joined him in Israel in the early 1950s.