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
 15307/5-20Brussilufsky, DavidMRussia18946/11/1916Panama MaruunknownRussian Army conscript; Excluded as LPC because of heart disease; Admitted with HIAS assist; NOTE: Real name for Leif Levitas.
 15153/39-18Chaikin, AbramMRussia18984/10/1916Shinyo Maru2 monthsForeman of a farm; Literate; Came via Yokohama to avoid conscription; Paid own passage; Relatives in NY; Excluded as LPC; Appeal by Harry K. Wolff, HIAS; Admitted 05/23/1916; NOTE: Real name is Rakhmiel Mendelev Khaikin
 23764/22-1Chimon, RafiefMPersia189710/17/1924President Cleveland1 daysMerchant, Has $100 and invoices of Persian goods, Lived in Japan for 7 yrs; Lost Persian passport in 1923 earthquake; Witness from Jones Co. in SF; Admitted as non-immigrant for six months.
 14835/04-26Chorrim, MendilMRussia188711/27/1915Seattle Maru33 daysAka Isak Strenoffsky; Laborer; Literate; Has $5 and paid own passage; Came via Kobe to avoid conscription; Friend (W. Klor ) in SF;Excluded as LPC; Appeal by HIAS; Railroad ticket to NYC from applicant's uncle; Outcome unclear; NOTE: Alias Isak Strenoffsky.
 14517/18-09Cohan, HarryMRussia18927/20/1915Manchuria1 monthStudent; Mother in Austria; Wanted to avoid military service; Russian school would not take him as Jew; Excluded as LPC; Appeals; William Traube of HIAS brings him newsp and food, offers to bond him; Employed by Terminal Railways in Oakland; Bond cancelled 11/26/20.
 40085/15-9Cukernikas, SepselisMPoland28 yrs6/16/1940Asama Maru1 monthCitizen of Lithuania; Lawyer; Literate; Going to uncle (Leon Greenberg) in Bronx NY for permanent residence; Has $90 and passage paid by uncle; Lithuanian passport and Polish quota immig visa; Uncle has construction company; Excluded 06/27/1940 as possible contract laborer; Appeals; Admitted 07/18/1940
 14255/28-06Davidovitch, AbramMRussia18864/5/1915Korea1 dayBorn in Moscow; Traveling salesman for dry goods; Literate; Lived in Harbin a few years and came via Kobe; Has $50 and paid own passage; Driven out by the war and hard conditions; Wants to farm; Brachman and Hoyle offer to help him.
 14255/22-09Diablowitzki, ItzckMRussia18964/5/1915Korea6 weeksRussian citizen of Hebrew race; Clerk; Father in Harbin; came via Shanghai; Has $40 and relatives in NY; Excluded as LPC; HIAS request for parole denied; Independent Order B'nai B'rith letter to Sec of Labor that 16 others on same ship admitted; Backus rec bond
 17417/22-7Divanovsky, MaryFRussia18688/12/1918Shinyo Maru2 monthsIlliterate; Nanny going with employer from Petrograd to Yokohama to SF to NY: Employer and child landed on primary inspection; Admitted under bond for one year by employer; Transported by HIAS
 16782/02-6Elterman, EliaMRussia186312/20/1917Rembrandt2 monthsTailor, widower with 2 children (14 & 16); Afflicted with kphosis, ankylosis, deafness; Joining four sons in Boston; Excluded as LPC 12/26/17; Daughter says took 4 months from Petrograd to Harbin to Yokohama to SF; Son testifies unable to go to Rusian school as a Jew; Sons write and send $300 via HIAS; Father and daughter bonded and son landed 1/25/18; Released 2/19/18.
 15153/39-30Essin, YakaoMRussia18944/10/1916Shinyo Maru1 monthTailor; Literate; Friend (Mr. Dobrovenray) in PA; Left on account of war; Passport issued in someone else's name; Excluded as LPC; HIAS appeals; Admitted 5/5/16; NOTE: Real name is Yankel Moses Kagan.
 14949/02-17Faingold, IsaakMRussia18971/14/1916Panama Maru2 weeksAutomobile shop laborer; Literate; Came via Yokohama to avoid conscription; Passage paid by father; Cousin (Harry Rubin) in L.A willing to sponsor and support applicant and provide ticket to L.A.; Admitted
 17279/19-4Feldman, JosephMRussia18616/30/1918Korea MaruunknownTeacher and singer; Literate; traveling with daughter (Rifke) to join wife in NY, Has $247; Right hand lost in machine accident
 14975/13-3Filiurin, RobertMRussia19121/25/1916Shinyo Maru1 dayMinor accompanied by parents (Osep and Maria); Passage paid by father; Admitted permanently
 40021/03-8Fischl, LeopoldMCzechoslovakia19015/18/1940Tatuta Maru2 daysHotel Manager; Literate; Came via Shanghai, China; Destined to cousin (Morris Glauber) in NY for permanent residence; Has $16; Affidavits of support from Morris Glauber (President of Wormser Hat Stores) in NY; Admitted 05/20/1940.
 14622/18-05Fraiman, BorisMRussia18888/30/1915Persia10 daysJew from Krim to Harbin; Pharmacist; Has $40; Wants to avoid military service; Worked in Harbin for 6 mos; Excluded as LPC. Traube produces witness Joseph Feigin; Case reopened
 40198/06-1Friedlander, AronMPoland61 yrs7/31/1940President Coolidge1 monthCitizen of Germany; Widower; Merchant; Lived in Austria 43 yrs., came via Italy and HK (1939); Has $50; Came to join son in NYC for permanent residence; German passport issued by American Consul in HK; Witness Hattie Deutsch (a field worker for the Council of Jewish Women in SF) confirms that she will provide housing and food; presents letter from Sanford Treguboff of Committee for Service to Emigres in SF; Affadavits of support from nephew in law, niece, and son; Ltr from The Assembly State of NY, Albany inquirng about the delay in applican'ts case; Admitted 08/26/1940.
 16723/39-19Friedman, NoahMRussia190912/1/1917Tenyo Maru11 daysMinor accompanied by aunt (Mancher Painchik) to be with father in Connecticut; Admitted 12/12/17
 14517/18-12Friedman, SimonMRussia18937/20/1915Manchuria5 weeksClerk from Siberia; Has $30; Ordered back to home town because of war; Coming for work; Father of boy he took on ship willing to sponsor him out of friendship; Excluded as LPC; HIAS appeals; Admitted on bond 8/28/15.
 18613/01-2Galer, IsaacMRussia189810/24/1919Florence Olsen5 daysClerical employed as 2nd cook on Florence Olsen; Literate; Has $70; On way to Chile; Admitted 10/29/1919