Eli (Erich) was Alexander (Sandor) and Francesca (Meyerhofer) Bein’s oldest child, followed by his sister Lizel. He was born on July 6, 1924 (4 Tamuz, 5684) in Vienna, capital of Austria.The family lived in a nice home near the Danube River which flowed through the city, dividing it.
When Eli was 15, he was brought to Palestine from Austria aboard the SS Galil by the Jewish youth organization “Aliyat Hanoar” ((a Jewish organization that rescued thousands of Jewish children from the Nazis during the Third Reich. “Youth Aliyah” arranged for their resettlement in kibbutzim and youth villages that became both home and school to them) He arrived in Palestine on November 21, 1939 and began studying at “Kibbutz Beit Zerra”.
When Eli finished studying at “Kibbutz Beit Zerra”, he decided to join the army and served as a “Notair” (a Jewish policeman). However, he did not like military life so after only one year of service he was released from the force. He moved to Tel Aviv where he began working first as a mechanic and then as a painter. During his free time, especially during the night hours, he pored over his books, studying his favorite subject, aeronautics engineering.
Eli was well liked by his friends. He did not speak much about his past since he always looked forward, to the future he would have in his new life in Palestine. Eli’s mother passed away in Vienna and records show that on May 15, 1942 his father Sandor and his sister Lizel were on a transport from Vienna to Lublin in Poland, to be exterminated. Sandor died due to the persecutions of the Nazi regime, and Lizel was raped and murdered by German soldiers.
In light of this dreadful news, Eli decided once again to join the British fighting forces. This time he joined the navy, wishing to revenge his father’s and sister’s deaths. When the war was over, he returned to Palestine and joined the “Hagana” meaning defense (a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine (1921–48), which became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Eli spent his time both in training and in serving in the navy.
On the day of the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, Eli’s friends remember that Eli was very happy and proud. During the beginning of December 1947, he volunteered to serve in the “Palmach” (acronym for “Plugot Maḥatz”, literally "strike forces" that was the elite fighting force of the “Haganah”, the underground army of the “Yishuv” (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. The “Palmach” was established on May 15, 1941.) He participated in the defense of the “Hatikva” neighborhood, the borders of Tel Aviv, and the safeguarding of the convoys to Jerusalem. “If only my father and my sister could see how we are finally fighting on our land for our independence” was what he said before he left for his last assignment.
On March 31, 1948 (20 Adar Bet, 5708), while he was extricating vehicles from the convoy to Jerusalem that was stuck in the mud near “Hulda”, he volunteered together with friends to climb up the hill overlooking the area in order to cover the convoy with weapons against the Arab attackers. Later on, he and three of his friends volunteered to remain on the spot to wait for help, in order to protect the convoy of armored vehicles containing injured friends who could not be moved, and that is where he was killed. Eli was brought to eternal rest at the cemetery in “Kibbutz Hulda”.