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
 15701/03-11Heyde, MargarethaFRussia190511/15/1916EcuadorunknownMinor accompanied by parents (Theodore and Ida) and sister; Literate; Citizen of Germany; Admitted permanently
 40932/13-10 to 12Honigberg, BronislawMPoland20 yrs5/10/1941Asama Maru5 daysBronislaw along with his family were detainied because a private company purchased their ship tickets for them. Officials noted that he looked like a typical student of his age. It is noted that he was a medical student.
 40932/13-10 to 12Honigberg, Rajzla MatlaFPoland58 yrs5/10/1941Asama Maru5 daysRajzla Matla was detained along with her family because of immigration officials questioned who purchased their ship tickets. Officials noted that she looked like a housewife who was protected from outside influences.
 40932/13-10 to 12Honigberg, ZelikMRussia61 yrs5/10/1941Asama Maru5 daysZelik and his family was initially detained because their tickets were purchased by a private New York company which was suspicious. Also the they did not have additional tickets to take them to New York. They were able to prove that they had $15,000 deposited at a Chase Bank in New York and that the funds used by the company which was own by their friend Allen Gerdau were actually Zelik's money he had deposited with his friend.
 14948/18-11Hoslevsky, IzrailMRussia18941/14/1916Nippon MaruunknownClerk; Has $32.50 and paid own passage; Literate; Came through Yokohama to avoid conscription; Distant relations in MI; Excluded as LPC because afflicted with varicocele; HIAS request reopening of case -- $75 received from cousin in MI to pay for transportation; Outcome unclear
 17546/23-1Ivanoff, Andrew NicolasMRussia19089/28/1918Siberia Maru2 daysSFChron article about 10-year-old twins joining their mother Mrs. N. Suvorin in LA; Family fled Petrograd to Tokyo when Bolsheviks took over city; Father (General Masoedoff) executed during war for political plotting; Boys left in Japan and separated from mother for 4 mos after mother became ill and decided to go to America 3/6/18 first; Boys acccomp by Lee Haygood, ret US Army officer; visaed by US consul in Yokohama; boys to be delivered to HIAS and transported to LA; mother danced with Imperial Ballet and now heads Dancing Academy in LA.
 14725/32-24Kane, YudaMRussia189610/6/1915Manchuria2 monthsBookkeeper; Did not want to be a soldier; Born in Vedjapta, near Vinak, where fighting is; Came via Siberia and Japan; Traube gets Max Newan to offer job and bond; Excluded as LPC; Appeal by HIAS; Bonded 11/23/15; Later found to be working at drugstore instead of for Newman; Bond canceled 6/20/16.
 14782/05-12Kanei, EgenyMRussia189710/30/1915Panama Maru2 weeksBookkeeper; Literate; Entered via Yokohama, Has $50 and mother paid passage; Wanted to avoid conscription; Excluded as LPC; HIAS appeals; Admitted 11/19/1915
 14676/21-02Kaplan, SamuelMRussia18959/20/1915Chiyo Maru5 weeksHas acute vulgais--Class C; Sewing Machine Operator; Literate; Left hometown 3 mos ago for Harbin, Darien and Yokohama; Has $5 and paid own passage; Evaded military duty - obtained assumed name "Gamlyky Ber" to leave Russia; Paid 50 roubles for passport in Minsky to get to Harbin; Excluded as LPC; Witness (Emil Cohn) guaranteeds applicant employment; Admitted 10/27/1915
 15643/12-2Kauk, OlgaFRussia191010/19/1916Persia Maru2 daysMinor traveling with mother and brother to join father (Leopold Kauk) already in SF; Literate; No Money; Admitted
 14390/23-13Kesler, IsaakMRussia18856/1/1915Mongolia1 monthTailor; Has $50; No work in Russia; Excluded as LPC; Aappeals; Ticket to Chicago; landed 7/2/15
 40021/03-18Klein, JuliusMAustria39 yrs5/18/1940Tatuta Maru2 daysShirtmaker; Literate; Came via Shanghai, China; Has $7 and paid own passage; Coming to join cousin (Bertha Weissman Havello) in Brooklyn for permanent residence; German passport with immig visa; Affadavits of support from cousin (Bertha), cousins (Louis and Ruth Whitman), and uncle (Arnold Weissman); Admitted 05/20/1940
 14725/32-22Knjajivsky, AsaMRussia188810/6/1915Manchuria2 monthsGerman Jew; Changed name to Shaya Kaperman to avoid military duty; Grocery clerk; Has $2; Traube has Sugarman (Iron and Metal Works) offer manual labor job; Excluded as LPC; Admitted on bond for 6 mos; Works briefly for Sugarman and gets into junk business; Bond cancelled 7/25/16
 40253/5-1 & 2Koenig, FriedrichMGermanyUnknown8/28/1940Rakuyo Maru1 monthAn affidavit was written from Frederick's brother Adolph Koenig-King a nauturalized US citizen who was 67 years old and lives in New York. He wrote that he and his wife Marcia Wittenberg King is willing to support his brother and sister-in-law and has proof that he is earning a salary of $25 a week as a bookkeeper while his wife earns $2,500 a year as a social director at a hospital.
 40253/5-1 & 2Koenig, SofieFGermanyUnknown8/28/1940Rakuyo Maru1 monthAn affidavit was written from Frederick's brother Adolph Koenig-King a nauturalized US citizen who was 67 years old and lives in New York. He wrote that he and his wife Marcia Wittenberg King is willing to support his brother and sister-in-law and has proof that he is earning a salary of $25 a week as a bookkeeper while his wife earns $2,500 a year as a social director at a hospital.
 40253/05-3Koller, EtelFRussia41 yrs8/28/1940Rakuyo Maru3 weeksGerman citizen; Housewife; Literate; Came via Vienna, Germany; $5 and passage paid by friend; Destined to cousin of husband (Barney Spitzer) in St. Louis, MO for permanent residence; German passport with quota immig visa; Witness called: Barry Spitzer, President of Merchants Loan & Finance Corp, who states applicant "is the wife of the son of a relative of my deceased mother"; Admitted 09/18/1940; Applicant will be supported by Spitzer and brother in law (Carl Toller)
 40317/27-10Koltai, Frida SaraFAustria18959/27/1940SS President Coolidge3-1/2 monthsFrida was detained because her ticket was purchased by a the Quaker Society and the Jewish Committee (Copenhagen). At this time, it was seen as a violation of the 1917 immigration act which states that persons are not allowed admittance if their passage or tickets were paid by corporations, associations, societies, municipalities or foreign governments. But a member of the board disagreed witht the act becuase of the changing times with the war and that a lot of people are trying to save their countrymen. The council also noted a discrepency with her statement and her friend, Mrs. Kauffman's statement. She was later released after a friend's husband Mr. Frank Duveneck and the Society of Friends signed a $500 bond.
 35506/05-1Kupitsky, ArthurMCanada18988/21/1935Chichibu MaruunknownMerchant; Literate; Canadian passport; Paid own passage; Destined for friend (Jacob Jacobsen) in NY for temp 30 day stay en route to China; Admitted temp for 30 days; NOTE: 1943 investigation into applicant and his family members about his Canadia birth/citizenship as well as verification he was born in Russia
 30509/03-1Lachmann, VeraFRussia18716/18/1931Portland1 dayHousewife; Literate; Passport issued by Soviet Union; Coming to join sons (Maurice And Abraham Lachman) in SF and Burlingamge for permanent residence; Both sons are chiropractors; Admitted 06/19/1931
 40415/15-1Lambert, JosephMRussia190711/13/1940Tatsuta Maru1 dayHair Dresser; Literate; Came via Shanghai, China; Has $50 and paid own passage; Destined to cousin (Jacob Paul Boxer) in SF for permanent residence; Quota immig visa; Witness called: Jacob Boxer, who owns beauty shop businesses; Admitted 11/14/1940.