Yehuda Markus

Yehuda Markus was born in 29.02.1912 in Hamburg, Germany. He attended elementary school and gymnasium and upon graduating from high school went to study medicine. He was a member of the youth “builders” and “HeHalutz” organizations, and his admission was to finished his studies immigrate to Israel and become a doctor in a Kibbutz. However, after five years of excelled studies, he was expelled because he was Jewish. For the same reason he was not allowed to finish his training program as a mechanics. Those were the days of Hitler’s rise to power in Hamburg, and the beginning of the worst anti-Semitism ever.

Yehuda completed successfully a course in judo and began to apply this knowledge among Jewish youth. He was involved in various operations until settled in Israel in 1938 and enlisted to the Rangers Core. In 1942, after the national judo instructor Gershon Kofler boat disappeared in action, Yehuda took his place. Yehuda invested lots of thought and effort, in formulating a uniformed method which can be applied effectively by Jewish defense forces when encountering enemy. Thanks to his excellent knowledge and teaching methodology he inspired interest in fighting skills, and made a significant contribution in an era lack of sophisticated weapons and a shortage of weapons in general.

He continued to teach dozens of courses and was admired by his students not only as a guide but also as a friend and mentor. Judah lived the life of a pioneer from the early arrival to Israel, until his death in the line of duty by a stray bullet in 06/22/1945. Only 33 years old in his death. He was buried secretly in Kibbutz Ruhama, and in February 1947 the coffin was moved to Kibbutz Nir-David (Tel-Amal). On his tombstone, under the symbol of the Palmach – his friends engraved: “Teach the children of Judah Rainbow” (which is a sentence from the bible book Samuel II)

Following Gershon Kofler and Yehuda Markus deaths, their students, published a book named ‘Judo Shimushi’ (Practical judo) in their memory, which contained various drills of hand-to-hand combat.