Jewish Refugees

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 07:50

We need your help in locating Jewish refugees who came to San Francisco in the late 1930s and 1940 and their descendants.  As restrictions tightened against Jewish people under Nazi rule in Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, several hundred Jews applied for entrance to the United States.  They had the good fortune to have relatives and sponsors in the U.S.  After traveling across Russia to China and Japan, they boarded  ships for San Francisco. Dozens of families and individuals ended up at the Angel Island Immigration Station, underwent medical inspection and were detained for weeks because they did not have sufficient funds to reach their eventual destinations.

Erika Lee and Judy Yung recounted the perilous journeys of Alice Edelstein, Alfred and Klara Marill, Hans Singer and Isaak Adler in Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. Recently, AIISF interviewed Eva Schott Berek, Lotte Loebl Frank, and Harry Gluckman, whose stories are posted at  

The database you see below was compiled by volunteers who reviewed files at the National Archives in San Bruno, California.  Please contact AIISF by writing to or call 415-348-9200 if you recognize any of the individuals listed below. We would like to interview the descendants in order to get the full story on these brave and fortunate people who fled the Nazi regime. Most of these refugees lost their entire families in the Holocaust.  Their stories remind us of that genocide must never be allowed to happen again to any group of people. This database also contains names and short profiles of Jewish refugees who came to Angel Island prior to 1939.  After 1915, large numbers of Jews from Russia, Poland, and Lithuania.  Many of them were men who had left their homelands to avoid military conscription.  Families also fled because of anti-Jewish violence.  Many families were able to enter the United States with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.


photos: Eva Schott Berek’s passport; Lotte Loeble Frank’s parents;  Harry Gluckman’s father

# File NumberNameSexPlace of BirthDate of BirthDate of ArrivalName of ShipDays in DetentionNotes
 14390/23-15Zeew, HatskelMRussia18916/1/1915Mongolia1 monthClerk; Literate; Came via Kobe; Has $40 and paid own passage; Uncles (Simon Ables and Morris Ress) in Pittsburgh, PA; Wanted to avoid conscription and conditions changing in Russia; Excluded as LPC; Appeal by Lucius L. Solomons; Admitted 06/28/1915 after transportation money arrives.
 16742/18-5Zeidel, MoisherMRussia190112/8/1917Nippon Maru1 month15 yr old unaccomp minor (later discovered to be 17); Going to sister and br in law in Baltimore; Begged HIAS in Yokohama to pay for his passage while funds from Baltimore pending; No money; 4 bro and 2 sis in Yokohama waiting to come; Visaed by Russian consulate in Yokohama; Bro in law in Baltimore sends $100 traveling money thru HIAS; Admitted.
 14776/17-03Zelmanovitch, LeontyMRussia186710/27/1915Mongolia1 dayLaborer; Literate; Paid own passage; Admitted permanently.
 30192/21-01Zeyda, BoruchMRussia18613/16/1931Taiyo Maru5 days70 yrs old; Has $50; Widower, had flour mills; Bolsheviks took everything away; In Harbin for 7 yrs; Son (US citizen, store keeper) in NY; HIAS (Edward Apeisler) will met him at pier and attend to his passage East.
 40415/11-7Zuckerman, SzymonMRussia189411/13/1940Tatuta Maru2 daysPolish citizen; Born in Russia but citizen of none; Factory inspector in Poland and import business in Paris; Wants to go to agriculture college; Came via Lithuania; Passage paid by uncle; Destined to uncle in NYC for permanent residence; Has $5.00 only; Visa issued in Lithuania; Witness ( friend of uncle) vouch for uncle's wealth and generosity; Admitted 11/15/1940.