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
 15460/02-9Gavrilin, MickailMRussia18878/1/1916MatsoniaunknownArrived at Honolulu on S.S. Mongolia from Kobe on 05/07/1910
 14782/05-7Gertsen, BorisMRussia189610/30/1915Panama Maru6 daysElectrician; Literate; Came via Yokohama to avoid conscription; Mother paid passage; Cousin (Manassi Gollier) in SF; Excluded as LPC; Witness (Manassi Gollier) willing to provide him with work and training in shoemaking; Admitted 11/05/1915
 35216/08-2Gertz, BerkovitchMRussia71 years old5/29/1935Asama Maru3 daysJoining daughter in Calistoga, admitted 6/1/35
 14676/008-05Giller, MotelMRussia18929/20/1915Chiyo Maru2 daysMerchant; Literate; Has $13; passage paid by friend (Charles Stein) in NY; Admitted permanently
 22639/18-1Goldenberg, IsaacM53 yrs10/9/1923Lincoln3 weeksBritish Nationality; Hotel keeper; Traveled with friend (Herman Carl Zimmerman); Has $1,750 and paid own passage; Will join wife in Chicago for temp visit of 6 months; Excluded for being illiterate; Appeals; Affidavit from nephew Fred Levy in Chicago assuring support; Case reopened because applicant demonstrated some reading knowledge of Yiddish; Admitted 10/27/1923.
 37491/01-14Goldman, BiankaFPoland55 yrs old8/18/1937Vancouver6 daysCitizen of Germany; Literate; Came via Germany to cousin (Isaac Friedman) for permanent residence; Excluded because of medical condition -- breast amputation and arterial hypertension -- and as LPC; Admitted 08/24/1937on $500 public charge bond
 39638/11-8Goldwajg, Abram HerschMPoland43 yrs old10/27/1939Asama Masu3 daysMusician; Literate; Came via Harbin, China; Has $315 and paid own passage; To join brother (Nathan Goldwajg) in NYC for permanent residence; Admitted.
 16243/16-1Gondis, ClaraFRussia18716/7/1917Siberia Maru3 weeksSeamstress; aunt in NY; Promised job in SF by Armenian suspected by Board to have ulterior motives; Excluded as LPC; Appeals; Assisted by Traveler's Aid
 14835/04-12Granow, HaimMRussia188011/27/1915Seattle Maru7 daysWanted to avoid conscription; Wood chopper; Literate; Father paid passage; Cousin (Kyap Altshuler) in SF; Has $3.50; Cousin (Herman Altshuler) called to witness; Excluded as LPC; HIAS request case be reopened with new evidence of a railroad ticket to NY; Outcome unclear
 16551/03-15Graudin, AustraFRussia18999/19/1917Vondel1 moDressmaker and music teacher from Riga, Latvia; No money; Going to brother-in-law in Utah; Sister caught as stowaway and detained in Honolulu; Fellow passenger Hilda Tambert acts as interpreter and witness--willing to take care of her until sister arrives; Admitted under care of Tambert
 15437/23-3Green, BernardMTurkey18737/24/1916ChinaunknownTailor; Real name Greenberg; Excluded as LPC; HIAS gets case reopened; Witnesses called (Albert Bernard Rosenfeld and Mrs. Vera Zimmerman) who knew applicant in Shanghai; Outcome unknown
 12505/08-01Greenberg, SamuelMRussia18852/4/1913Mongolia2 daysGoldsmith and watchmaker; Excluded as LPC, Has $18, from Warsaw o Kobe ($64) to SF because Umak, Russia, is closer to SF; Mother and brother in NY; Clubfoot deferred & admitted
 14650/07-12Greenfield, BanickMRussia18889/9/1915MoanaunknownCabinet maker; Literate; Paid own passage; Admitted
 15153/39-23Greenstein, Klaim-ZrulMRussia18894/10/1916Shinyo MaruunknownAka Mikel Giller; Merchant & tailor; Has $15; No relatives in US; Wanted to escape military service; Excluded as LPC; Traube of HIAS appeals (signed by Wolff 4/28)
 14390/23-07Grozowsky, BoruhMRussia18966/1/1915Mongolia17 daysFarmer; Literate; Came via Kobe; $28 and paid own passage; Uncle (Abram Krigel) in Kansas City; Wanted to avoid conscription; Excluded as LPC; Appeal by Lucius L. Solomons; Outcome unclear.
 39868/11-2Guensberg/Ginsberg, Rosa SaraFAustria18 yrs3/7/1940Asama Maru3 weeksInspectors noted that Rosa, a Austrian Jew, was fairly well educated but was initially detained because she had too little cash to travel to family in Chicago or New York. She was finally allowed to land after her aunt Helen sent her money.
 14622/18-9Gurewitch, SholomMRussia18918/30/1915Persia6 weeksHousepainter from Warsaw; Made way to Harbin; Left to evade military service; Cousins in NY; Excluded as LPC; Traube introduce guarantor S.J. Polin denied; 10/11/15 letter about transportation money to Chicago; case reopened
 40218/07-1Haase, Herbert IsraelMPoland19098/13/1940Nitta Maru1 dayGerman citizen; Salesman; Literate; Came via Shanghai, China; Has $49 and cousin (Charles Melvoin) paid passage; To join wife (Edith Haase) in Wilmette, IL for permanent residence; German passport with quota immig visa issued from American Consul in Shanghai, China; Admitted 08/13/1940; Herbert Israel Haase travel ticket for the S.S. Nitta
 40085/11-2Hacker, MaxMGermany19056/18/1940Asama Maru3 monthsMax was 35 years old when he arrived at Angel Island on June 16, 1940. He was born in Ritzing, Germany and was initially destined to join his friend Joseph Friedrich in New York. Upon arrival, he was denied entry due to his qualification as a person likely to become a public charge. He was held until Sept. 14, 1940 when a $500 bond was posted on his behalf by Morris Mandl and his wife Melvin Mandl, a relative and a consulting engineer living in Passiac, New Jersey. After the bond was posted, Max settled in San Francisco taking a job as a waiter at Bunny's Restaurant on Market Street as of Sept 9, 1941. On Mar 31, 1942, Melvin Mendl wrote a letter informing the Dept of Justice that Max had joined the US army at Sheppard Field, Texas.
 15189/04-9Haitevich, AbramMRussia18914/25/1916Anyo Maru3 daysTotally blind, Class B; musician; Has 500 roubles and $14 with brother David, bookkeeper; 1 mo. from Harbin to Mukden to Yokohama; Uncle in Philadelphia; Excluded as LPC because of blindness; Brother excluded as accompanying alien (1907 Act); Appeals.