The Dora was the only illegal ship (Aliyah Bet) to leave from Northern Europe with Jewish refugees before the war. Described in the press as a "Death Ship", a "wreck practically falling apart", it managed to reach the shores of Palestine despite the British Navy embargo and saved hundred of lives, including the life of my mother, Toni Katz.
Photo: Het Volk, 07/14/1939
This page was originally based on Chaya Brasz's article "Dodenschip Dora; Een oude kolenboot redde honderden Joden ondanks Nederlandse tegenwerking" ("The "Death Ship" Dora: the coal ship that saved hundred of Jews"), which was condensed and edited for clarity. Additional information was culled from several books and online articles listed in the reference section; from articles published in the contemporary press, and finally, from the recollections of my mother and from organizers and passengers who sailed the Dora.
Mossad LeAliyah Bet
Following Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the increasingly harsh anti-Jewish measures in Nazi Germany made the need for Jewish immigration more and more urgent. At the same time, it became increasingly difficult for refugees to obtain visas for any destination. As for Palestine, then under British mandate, Great Britain announced in late 1938 that it would reduce Jewish migration to Palestine to a total of 75,000 over the next 5 years.
In response to the newly enacted restrictions put in place by the British government with its "White Paper", a new branch of the Haganah, Mossad LeAliyah Bet, was created in late 1938 with the goal of organizing illegal immigration to Palestine.
An organization was quickly put in place in several European countries to support this effort, with the center of operations set in Paris. This organization had to recruit funds, collect intelligence, acquire (i.e. charter) ships, transform and equip ships to transport large numbers of immigrants: install beds and other necessities,set up sophisticated radio systems, supply them with large quantities of food, water and fuel, hire crews, transport immigrants to ports of departure, arrange sailing permits, all of this while avoiding the suspicion of local authorities and evading detection by the British Navy.
During the first year of operations, Mossad LeAliyah Bet managed to launch 10 ships from Mediterranean and Black Sea ports and bring so-called "illegal" immigrants to the shores of Palestine despite the British embargo.
Several groups provided operational and logistical support through each stage. First were "guides" (madrichim), men who accompanied the ships during the crossings. They were young people who had gained sailing experience on rowboats on the River Yarkon, and had to be ready to act as emergency captains whenever problems arose with the official crews (often veteran Greek seamen). One such sailor was Amiram Shochat, who would take part in the Dora voyage and was by then already a veteran of these illegal trips.
Then were members of Shai (“Sherut Yediot”), the Haganah Intelligence Service, who gathered information about the British police anti-immigration plans, often from Jews who worked in their offices, and supplied the Mossad with the routes to evade the British.
Another crucial group was the Haganah radio communication wing, with members operating on the ships, at disembarkation points, and at the Haganah center in Tel Aviv. With efficient transmitters and receivers installed on each ship sailing to Palestine, they were able to coordinate between ship and shore, allowing the vessels to receive precise information on British naval movements and dodge the coastal patrols. Temporary communication stations were also set up on the landing beaches to guide the ships.
Last but not least were the several disembarkation crews who brought the refugees from ships to shore, then helped them fan out to various settlements, while armed groups were on the lookout for the British forces. A number of Haganah units were involved in the landings. Disembarkation was handled by Palyam units with seagoing experience. Generally, the ships approached as close as possible to shore, so that those who knew how to swim could make their own way to shore. The others were carried in boats or on the backs of helpers. Palmach units guarded the beach while Gadna (Youth Corps) and HIM (Guard Corps, comprised of older Haganah members) patrolled the wider area, and dispersed the immigrants to different Jewish settlements. Since success depended on preventing discovery by the British, great importance was attached to the speed at which the immigrants were swallowed up in the settlements. In many cases the Haganah supplied them with appropriate identity papers.
The Refugee Situation in the Netherlands
Since the beginning of Hitler's takeover of power in Germany in 1933, the Netherlands had taken in about 15,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. After Kristallnacht at the end of 1938, the Dutch government allowed 150 halutzim to enter the country, on condition that they would leave the country within a year. By that time, there were a little over 1,000 young people in hachshara - agrarian training in preparation for emigration to Palestine - in the Netherlands. Gertrude van Tijn, the head of the Emigration Department of the Committee for Jewish Refugees, reported to the Joint (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, aka JDC) at the end of November that about four thousand legal refugees had entered the Netherlands since Kristallnacht. By February 1939, she estimated that there were twenty-three thousand German-Jewish refugees in the Netherlands, while the government put the number to thirty thousand.
Two organizations provided support to Jewish refugees from Germany: the Deventer Association ("Vereniging tot Vakopleiding van Palestina Pioniers": "The Association for Professional Training of Palestine Pioneers"), and the Committee for Jewish Refugees. They obtained entrance visas for young refugees, then placed them among Dutch farmers and in the Werkdorp ("work village") Nieuwesluis in Wieringer, Werkdorp Wieringermeer, where they received agricultural and professional training for immigration to Palestine.
Following the sudden influx of German refugees in Holland after Kristallnacht and the decision of the British Government to pressure the Greek Government to halt immigration to Palestine, the Haganah decided to create a new immigration route in Northern Europe. As early as December 1938 or January 1939, they started to discuss the possibility of shipping a group of 300 halutzim from Holland, 150 from Belgium, and another 100 from France from a North European port.
Several agents of Mossad leAliyah Bet arrived from Palestine to Europe to organize "Operation North" (מבצע הצפון), the clandestine departure of German Jewish refugees from Holland. In charge of the operation was Gideon Rufer (Gideon Raphael), in charge of logistics was Gustav Horn from Kibbutz Hazorea. From the central office of Mossad leAliyah Bet office in Paris, Shmarya Tzameret, a 23 year-old American-born member of Kibbutz Beit Hashita, was tasked with organizing the Dora trip. Other agents involved in the planning of the operation and purchase of the Dora included Ze'ev Shind, Yehuda Berginski, Danny Sheind, Amiram Shochat and Zvi Spector, who would lead the Dora during the trip.
Copenhagen: June - July 1939
Mossad officials led by Yehuda Berginski spent several months looking for a suitable ship that could sail from the North Sea, through the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean up to Palestine with hundreds of passengers.
They eventually found a Greek family willing to embark on the adventure: Pierre and Constantine (Kosta) Atychides, two Greek brothers who had previous smuggling experience during the Spanish Civil War. They would purchase a ship (with Mossad money), equip it and sail it all they way to Palestine.
After long negotiations, Gideon Ruffer and Shmarya Tzameret finally arranged the purchase of the SS Tjaldur in Copenhagen on June 21st, 1939.
Built in 1898 in Glasgow under the name VEGA, then renamed Tjaldur in 1904, it was a relatively small steamer (584 gross tons, 199 feet by 30 feet, 11.5 knots) that previously sailed between the ports of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Originally a passengers ship, it had later been transformed into a merchant ship that transported, among other things, cattle, but it still held a certificate to transport passengers and was deemed appropriate as its mechanics were in good shape.
After the purchase, it was renamed the Dora and would sail under Panamanian flag. In Copenhagen, it was fitted to transport passengers with the addition of 175 iron bunk beds on several levels, life jackets, a second kosher kitchen, lavatories and showers. On the deck, a wooden room was added to accommodate a doctor, a nurse and a small hospital. The engines were cleaned and a sophisticated radio system was put in place that would help coordinate with the Haganah HQs.
In the course of outfitting the ship, disputes with the crew and friction between the Dutch and the Palestinians threatened to jeopardize the venture. At one point, Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader, had to intervene to restore peace among the organizers.
In July, after about three weeks of renovations and repairs, the Dora was finally ready and left Copenhagen for Amsterdam.
Just as the Dora had started to move, the captain's son, who was supposed to conduct the voyage on behalf of the ship's owners, tripped and broke his leg, and the Dora had to return to Copenhagen so he could be taken to a hospital. After the delay caused by this mishap, the Dora finally left Copenhagen, passing through the Kiel Canal.
As the Dora left, Tzameret and Costa took a train to Antwerp to hire additional crew and purchase more lifeboats. On his end, Gideon Rufer announced that the pioneers in Amsterdam were ready to go. Once the Dora arrived in Amsterdam, the plan was to get more coal and food and be ready to leave in a few hours without being noticed.
In a closed meeting of HeChalutz members from the work village of Wieringermeer, seventy-three candidates had learned that they had been selected to leave via illegal aliyah and would sail in nine days. In preparation for their voyage, they had been moved to temporary accommodations in Beverwijk, Assendelft and Heemskerk, small villages close to Amsterdam, where they were to remain in hiding until their departure.
The trip, first discussed in December 1938, and in planning for half a year, had been delayed for so long that Shmarya Tzameret had to reassure the Dutch Government that the halutzim would soon leave Holland as planned.
In Antwerp, the situation was worse: 150 people who had crossed the Belgian border illegally had been there for more than six weeks. The police arrested them every day, after which they were released, because they promised they to leave the next day, as soon as the ship would enter the harbor. Around the same time, the Belgian government passed a law to the effect that illegal refugees had to be sent back.
David Cohen, the Chairman of the Refugee Committee, was kept in the dark about the plans for the Dora because he was known to disapprove illegal activities. Other members and associates of the Committee however, such as Gertrude van Tijn, were willing to cross the line into illegality, and would provide their help and support throughout the entire duration of the operation. Since funds from the Joint could not be used for "illegal" enterprises, Gertude's Dutch associates fronted the £3,000 (approximately $240,000 in 2018) needed to cover expenses for the trip.
Amsterdam: July 13 - July 16
The Dora arrived in the Amsterdam harbor on July 13th. Gideon Rufer went to the shipbroker on the Geldersekade canal to purchase the provisions needed for the trip. He took along with him Flip Cohen, a young Dutch passenger to be his translator.
Uri Kochba (Walter Koch, head of the Hechalutz movement) said:
"I was sent to the bakery, and had them bake special kosher bread that would stay good for a long time. We* ate that onboard until it became moldy. After that, we switched to biscuits."
Note: *the source for the quote must be incorrect. As far as I know, Uri Kochba did not board the Dora. He was arrested in the Netherlands in 1940. However, others have documented that the passengers did survive on biscuits and salty water towards the end of the trip.
This is when he met Amiram Shochat for the first time, one of the three people from the Haganah who had organized the trip of the Dora. Amiram warned him in Hebrew: "Don't talk to anyone in the crew". The Danish crew didn't know about the illegal nature of the trip, and were not supposed to know.
According to Yekutiel Pekta, the crew was composed as follow: The owner and captain of the ship was a 70-year-old Greek who hated the English and claimed "The British Empire will collapse and the English will go back to being fishermen and coal miners. This will be their fate.". Maybe his hatred for the British was part of the reason he agreed to serve on the Dora. The first officer was a younger Greek driven by greed, who had brought his wife on a voyage. The second officer was named Danny, a hardworking man who did all the work and treated us and the immigrants well. The third and fourth officers were Amiram Shochat from Tel-Aviv, for whom this was the third voyage, and Zvi Spector from Jerusalem, who was on his first mission. The official wireless was a Spanish exile from the Civil War, while Yekutiel Pekta was the wireless operator in charge of connecting with the Haganah.
Everything seemed to be going well until emissaries from the Refugee Committee came to inspect the ship. Gertrude van Tijn and one of her colleagues from the Committee, Siegfried Kramarsky, a German-Jewish banker residing in the Netherlands who was financing part of the trip, came to satisfy themselves that the Dora was fit for the voyage. Siegfried Kramarsky, along with Salo (Salomon) Jakob Flörsheim - another banker and philantropist - and a few other members of the Refugee Committee, had paid the 115,000 guilders (approximately $1.1 million in 2018) the trip would cost, and felt responsible for the success and safety of the trip.
They arrived just as coal was being loaded, so the ship was covered in a cloud of soot. They had expected a passenger ship; when they saw the decrepit hulk of the Dora, they were shocked. They questioned aloud whether the Dora was capable of carrying a large number of passengers through the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and to Palestine and considered withdrawing their support, then refused to let the Halutzim board the ship.
The members of the Refugee Committee were mostly wealthy, assimilated Jews who represented the Jewish Community to the government. Their idea of what a ship should look like didn't fit with the reality of illegal immigration. They were also upset by all the delays so far and concerned by the issues these delays would cause with the Dutch Government, as they had given their word that the halutzim would be leaving without delay. They had some contempt for "Ostjuden", the people who had organized the trip, saying "Ostjuden don't keep their word". They also suspected that the paperwork for the ship might be fakes acquired on the black market, and blamed the Haganah for the poor condition of the ship.
Shmarya Tzameret was astonished by what he heard from these assimilated, law-abiding Jews who, with their haughty attitude, made decisions regarding the halutzim. In his report to the Mossad LeAliyah Bet, he noted that these people were so removed from the problems of the Jewish people. After the remark about the OstJuden, he only spoke English.
He spoke to Gertrude van Tijn who supported the illegal scheme and whom he saw as a woman of great inteligence, and asked her to try to convince Kramarsky. Tzameret explained to her why the trip had been delayed so many times, told her that the Dora was a solid ship which had passed the inspection by the official authorities, and that the insurance papers were in order. In the end, the Refugee Committee gave in and agreed to let the trip continue.
The Dora in Amsterdam.
Photo: De Telegraph July 15, 1939
Read All About It!
Soon after, new complications arose. The dock workers who had brought the coal aboard the Dora had noticed the bunk beds in the holds, and had alerted the editors of the Communist Party's newspaper about the "scandalous" conditions aboard that "Death Ship". The next day, the Volksdagblad ("the People's Daily") published a long article accusing the Dutch government of forcing Jews to leave in unsafe condition aboard a "wreck of a ship" with "slave trade quarters" sail, which, they were sure, would drown with the hundreds of refugees aboard. Other newspapers started to write about the "Ship of the Dead". In the Amsterdam harbor, photographers aboard small boats circled around the Dora.
The Dutch government's official position was that it knew nothing about the preparations regarding the Dora's departure, and clearly wanted to keep it that way. Feeling overwhelmed with the sudden influx of Jewish refugees from Germany, it was willing to close its eyes on any irregularities to facilitate the removal of at least some of them. Rufer met Hendrik van Boeijen, the Minister of the Interior, who approved the operation and ensured that officials turned a blind eye to what was happening.
As a result of the reports in the press, the harbormaster received the order to inspect the Dora. Shmarya Tzameret met with the harbormaster and revealed the reason for the trip, and after the Dora had gone through a new inspection by the Dutch authorities, the harbormaster gave his authorization to sail, but made a list of minor improvements needed before the Dora could leave.
To Gertrude's relief, Dutch marine inspectors visited the ship and pronounced the Dora seaworthy, on condition that some minor repairs be made and that additional lifeboats be brought aboard in Antwerp.
Since there were only 350 beds and 300 people were supposed to board from Amsterdam, Tzameret told the harbormaster that only 50 more people would be boarding from Antwerp.
The Dutch government declared the following day that they weren't expelling any refugees, and that they would all leave from their own free will. The Communist Volksdagblad nevertheless denounced the apparent collusion between the authorities and the Refugee Committee in sending a "second St Louis" on a "death journey".
With the boat deemed seaworthy by the Amsterdam naval authorities, preparations for embarking the hundreds of halutzim dispersed over various villages and communities now went under way.
Jacob Oppenheimer, a hechalutz with the Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz (Religious Zionist), recalled:
"The Dutch immigration police wanted to get rid of us, but they were afraid of the publicity. The relationship with England wasn't too good, and the British of course didn't want any immigration. So in 1939, all of a sudden we were brought to Heemskerk (15 miles from Amsterdam), where we had to wait for a couple of weeks. Of course we knew where we were going. On July 14th, I was brought to the house of Dr. Pinkhof in Amsterdam. I was very religious and couldn't travel on Shabbat. His house wasn't far from the harbor, so on Saturday, they came and picked me up and took me straight to the Dora."
"It was a small ship, full of people, but we never felt unsafe on the ship. The only danger we feared would come from the British."
Flip Cohen was with another group of Halutzim in Beverwijk, a town about 15 miles from Amsterdam. He remembered:
On Saturday, I ordered some taxis. We went with the whole group. That evening, I was home for a just little while. My mother said, "Are you leaving today?" We said: "See you in Eretz Israel". I took my backpack and left.
Apart from my younger brother Samuel, I never saw them again. I came back to the Netherlands in 1945 as a soldier with the Jewish Brigade. I found Samuel in the Portuguese Israelite Hospital. He was just back from Bergen Belsen. All the others had been murdered.
Dutch chalutzim dancing the "hora" in the park of the Assemburg Castle in Heemskerk, before sailing to Mandate Palestine aboard the Dora, 1939.
Courtesy of The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum, Israel.
The halutzim were shuttled with busses all day Saturday from their hiding places to the harborside Lloyd hotel, which served as a refugee center, and was surrounded by the police.
Raphael Kochavi wrote:
After finally giving the signal to move, we boarded the buses that were waiting for us at the farm entrances. It was July 15, 1939.
At night we arrived at the spacious customs hall at the port. Surrounded by Dutch security personnel, all the illegal immigrants gathered together.
Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam.
Photo: Utrechts Volksblad 18/07/1939
The leaders of the Jewish Refugee Committee and organizers of the trip, including Gertrude van Tijn, Siegfried Kramarsky, Salomon Flörsheim and Ru Cohen came to send off the refugees and wish them good luck. After fiery speeches, a Hatikvah concluded the ceremony.
Also present were the heads of the immigration police from The Hague and from Amsterdam who had come to control the boarding with 35 civil servants and policemen. All passengers under the age of 21 had to sign a form attesting they were embarking of their own free will. Behind a police cordon, the halutzim, in groups of ten or twenty, boarded small launches that took them to the Dora, waiting a hundred yards from the quay. .
Kochavi remembers differently: instead of launches, he describes the immigrants boarding the Dora directly from the pier:
In order to go in the belly of the ship, we had to go down a slippery sloping ramp onto a narrow deck. We were instructed in Hebrew to move on to the cargo hold which was illuminated by dim lights.
The Dora in Amsterdam.
"Authorities, shipping inspectors and others go on board for a final inspection before the departure signal."
Photo: Het Volk, July 17, 1939
"In groups of ten or twenty, the refugees go onboard, escorted by policemen."
Photo: Het Volk, July 17, 1939
Passengers boarding The Dora
Photo: Photo: De Sumatra Post, 24 July 1939
"The Dora did not leave until 5 o'clock at night, three hours later than planned. They had been waiting for seven refugees from Enschede who were coming by car and had gotten lost."
Photo: Het Volk, July 17, 1939
At dusk, the Dora was moved to the Handelskade (the pier). The police cordoned off the pier to keep the press away, but the authorities were afraid that the Communists would come to demonstrate. Everybody knew what was going on, and when a young woman without papers managed to move through the police cordon, they just let her go aboard without any trouble. A high degree of complicity between the authorities and the organizers was evident. As Zvi Spector, the Haganah chief of the operation, was about to board, the commanding officer of the Dutch immigration police raised a glass and proposed three toasts — to Queen Wilhelmina, to the success of the voyage, and to an independent Jewish state.
The Dora in Amsterdam.
"The Dora crew hastened to cover the name of the ship with tarpaulin, apparently to prevent anyone knowing which ship was moving across the IJ through the nocturnal darkness."
Photo: Het Volk July 17, 1939
In the early hours of Sunday, July 16, 1939, the Dora sailed from Amsterdam with about three hundred passengers. Most were Jewish refugees from Germany, including about 75 students from Wieringen. Some were Dutch Zionists who had undergone agricultural training in other hachsharot. All were adults, mainly young men. One of the forty or so women was in her sixth month of pregnancy.
Gertrude bade an emotional farewell to the passengers and to Tzameret, who was to travel by train to meet the ship in Antwerp. The goodbyes between Tzameret and the Refugee Committee on the other hand were not particularly cordial. Kramarsky announced that he planned to go to Antwerp to ensure that the lifeboats requested by the Amsterdam harbormaster were brought on board, and that too many passengers wouldn't go aboard. Tzameret and Rufer tried to tell him this wasn't necessary, but to no avail.
Antwerp: July 17
The Dora in Antwerp.
Photo: Het Handelsblad, 18 July 1939.
The Dora arrived in Antwerp on July 17th. Shmarya Tzameret wrote in his report: "I spoke to a high-level Dutch civil servant who said that he wasn't interested in the plans of the Haganah, and that the only concern of the government was that the ship would disappear with the refugees as soon as possible." Tzameret had ordered that the passengers from Antwerp should board the Dora as soon as possible, but didn't tell Kramarsky, and continued the negotiations with people from the Refugee Committee. When Kramarsky arrived in Antwerp, he was furious to find out that a hundred and fifty people planned to board the ship, instead of the the fifty that had been previously agreed upon. He again threatened to withdraw financial support.
Kramarsky later met with Tzameret in Antwerp, and angrily argued with him about the condition of the Dora and that there weren't enough beds onboard. Tzameret explained that beds were put side to side, two by two, so they could fit three people. He added that the refugees who were in Belgium illegally had no other option but to board the ship and leave under any conditions: otherwise, they would be sent back to concentration camps in Germany. But the Refugee Committee had given its word to the Dutch government that no more than fifty additional people would board the Dora, and threatened to take 100 Halutzim off in Antwerp and send them back to the Netherlands. Shmarya Tzameret, to Kramarsky's fury, boarded all 170 new passengers regardless.
Siegfried Kramarsky went to the harbormaster and demanded that one hundred people be taken off the ship. The harbormaster, a devout Christian who saw the return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land as a Biblical fulfillment, became a spokesman for the halutzim. He told Kramarsky not to worry, that it wasn't such an imposition if the refugees suffered a little for a couple of weeks if it meant that they would reach the coast of the Promised Land. Kramarsky then threatened to call the Dutch Governement and ask them to take diplomatic action. This angered the harbormaster who refused to talk to the Dutchman any further. As last resort, Kramarsky went to the ship and tried to convince the halutzim to not go on the trip, but the passengers explained that they were happy with the situation on the ship, so he finally gave up and drove away, seething.
In the meantime, unannounced, the Belgian Security Agency had sent a tugboat which started to move the Dora to Vlissingen, and the Dora left Antwerp on July 17th.
Vlissingen: July 18 - July 19
The Dora was now moored on the waterways of Vlissingen, where it remained for two days.
The Dora, anchored off the waterways of Vlissingen. Originally published on 19 July 1939 in De Maasbode Van Woensdag.
New problems arose: Kosta was demanding more money for the trip, one of the engine mechanics had missed the ship, and a newly hired Belgian radio operator didn't show up after having found what the actual goal of the trip was.
In the meantime, the Haganah in Paris decided that the Dora would not pick up the hundred refugees in Le Havre in France after all because there had already been too many delays, putting the entire expedition at risk. Yekutiel Pekta mentions in his recollections of the trip another reason: the ship was already full and there was no room for any more passengers.
Kosta and Tzameret found a new radio operator, a Spanish Communist who used to smuggle weapons to Spain during the Civil War and was now stranded in Antwerp without papers after his ship had left without him. Kosta, the Spaniard and the mechanics took a taxi to Vlissingen, but were turned away: the Greek didn't have a visa, and the Spaniard didn't have a passport. The four of them would have to leave Antwerp the next morning on a motorboat for Vlissingen.
It was now July 18th and Tzameret wanted the Dora to leave as soon as possible. He was concerned that the Dutch press in Vlissingen and the Refugee Committee would find out that the Dora was back in Dutch waters, and that the Dutch government might decide under public pressure to prevent the departure because there were too many people aboard.
At 5 a.m., Tzameret observed the Dora from the Vlissingen dike through his binoculars. There were fishermen and a little boy on the dike. The kid said: "You see the ship? That's a 'death ship', a ship full of Jewish refugees from Germany that will sink, for sure." It was as if everybody in the Netherlands knew about the Dora, even the children.
Meanwhile, more articles appeared in the local press about the "mysterious refugee ship". While the Dora was anchored off the coast of Vlissingen, a journalist from the Daily Herald had come aboard. He wrote that the passengers slept on the deck on straw mats, and had told him they were going to Bangkok, or Siam. The news drew the attention of the British government, and the British representative Nevile Bland made inquiries at the Foreign office in the Netherlands, pointing out that immigration to Palestine was illegal. The Foreign Office responded that the ship had given as its destination Siam, and that they weren't aware of any another destination.
The Algemeen Handelsblad reported the departure of the Dora with 500 Jewish passengers. The destination of the ship was said to be Bangkok, yet the reporter didn't seem to believe that this was the real destination.
The article described the accommodations for the passengers:
"The passengers were hanging over the railing, talking to each other, and others were busy working. However, no answer was given to the questions we asked. The whole thing made a rather sad impression.”
"As there seemed to be no room for all passengers, many had to be satisfied with a berth in the straw on the fore or afterdeck. Large sails were stretched over these decks.”
The same day, the Haagsche Courant wrote:
"Little credence is given to the claim that the ship will go to Siam, and a veil of mystery surrounds the ship.”
Surprisingly, despite the secret nature of the Dora's voyage, a reporter from the Haagsche Courant was allowed onboard. He wrote:
"The crew was busy trying the lifeboats with the assistance from the passengers. However, it was very primitive and it took a lot of time and effort to lower a boat, and the boat was not even manned. Moreover, the unpainted lifeboats don’t give a reassuring impression.”
What the reporter probably witnessed was the passengers practicing lowering the lifeboats to disembark on the shores of Palestine. Since the Dora would land not in a harbor but on a beach, the passengers would have to transfer to the lifeboats to reach the land.
Illegal immigrands, members of the HeChalutz aboard a lifeboats. August 1939
Photo: Shimon Mahler, 1939 (c) The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum.
Illegal immigrands, members of the HeChalutz aboard a lifeboats. August 1939.
Photo: Shimon Mahler, 1939 (c) The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum.
Photo: Het Volk, 14 July 1939
The Dora with one of its lifeboats.
Photo: Het Volk, 14 July 1939
The Dora, with one of its four lifeboats
Photo: De Telegraaf, 19 July 1939
The same day, the Volksdagblad (the Communist People's Daily) wrote that the ship was not seaworthy and that the government of the Netherlands should grant the refugees asylum. The journalist believed that the Dora was anchored in Vlissingen because of the rough weather from the previous days - confirmation, according to him, that the Dora was ill-equipped to take to the sea. With a dramatic tone, he predicted that once the "wreck" of the Dora moved into the open sea, it would turn into a real "death ship”, wandering from port to port, without a final destination. Insisting that the Dora was too small to accommodate 420 passengers - for proof the dozens of refugees forced to sleep on deck on straw - the article ended with a call to action:
"The public opinion in the country must be shaken... It is a shame that this ship left the Netherlands. The only solution is: right of asylum in the Netherlands... or the clear guarantee that these unfortunates can find accommodation in another country...”
Another newspaper, the Zaans Volksblad, declared that "the veil of mystery around the refugee ship 'Dora' is getting thicker”, and suspected that the ship might be waiting for more clement weather before taking to the sea. It added that the passengers, who were not allowed to disembark, were lying on straw on the deck, because "on a ship of such dimensions, it is not possible to properly accommodate 400 people”.
It added that "In the afternoon there was a boat drill on deck, which is somewhat comical, taking into account how absolutely inadequate the rescue material is. The women were washing and trying to create some order in the chaos on board, by sweeping and removing the worst dirt.”
After having spent almost two days anchored in Vlissingen for no apparent reason, the Utrechts Volksblad explained that the delay had been caused by the captain waiting for the arrival of a crew member whom he could not miss and who could only get on board today. What that journalist saw from the shore with binoculars was "not an encouraging spectacle", and that "the hundreds [...] now on this ship, are compressed on a much too small space."
Following the reports in the press, Louis de Visser, Chairman of the House of Commons and a member of the Communist Party, raised questions at the end of July for Prof. Gerbrandy, the Minister of Justice. He asked him if he had forced the Jewish Committee to take such action, argued that the refugees shouldn't leave if they couldn't secure a destination, and that they should be allowed back to the Netherlands if needed. Minister Gerbrandy denied having had any knowledge of the Dora. In the meantime, the government representative for refugees, B.G.A. (Bernardus Gerhardus Albertus) Smeets, unhappy about the conditions on the Dora, sent a letter to the Justice Ministry, dated July 22, 1939, in which he accused the Jewish Committee of "irresponsible behavior":
"What I understand makes me ask if the government shouldn't have just prevented the ship from leaving. It was too crowded. Refugees are sleeping under sails on the upper deck, on straw. One storm and they will be gone. There isn't enough safety equipment, four little boats for 20 people each. In Amsterdam the ship was already overloaded, and in Antwerp another 100 refugees were added. [...] You should realize that illegal immigration with ships has already been causing much trouble everywhere. Ships that aren't allowed into harbors, that are at sea for months, that have the plague on board - for example the odyssey with the St Louis, which was actually a comfortable ship, while the Dora..."
On July 20th, in London, the "Daily Herald” published an article with two photos of the Dora. The Herald's reporter described having gone on board the Dora and reported:
"...Her holds packed with human cargo, she was a passenger ship carrying 500 Jewish refugees to a destination that nobody seems to know... The Greek captain was silent about the ships' destination. He said he had "sealed orders".
The harbormaster said "We accept no responsibility for that ramshackle ship. She got her certificate of seaworthiness in Amsterdam - so good luck to her.”
Here is what he saw:
"The Dora has two lifeboats on each side, each capable of taking 15 passengers. Should she meet disaster, the poor state the lifeboats are in leaves little hope of even 60 escaping in them. It would not take a hurricane to sink the Dora either. Her portholes are only secured with old rubber bands."
None of the passengers seems to mind the dangers and discomforts. “What does it matter,” one of them said to me, “as long as we find freedom again?” If the land to which they are going refuses to take them, they will have to return to their port of embarkation."
“Where are we going to?” somebody answered when I questioned him. “To Siam.” “To Bangkok.” said another.
Passengers later recalled the lack of space on the Dora. My mother said that they had slept on wooden planks, three people lying head to foot, with about 30cm (12") per person, while Gershon Jonas remembered that "the ship was very crowded, we slept on the floor."
On the way to Palestine: July 19 - August 12
On Wednesday, July 19, at around 11:15 a.m., the Dora left Vlissingen and at long last began its voyage to Palestine. According to Gertrude van Tijn, the ship was "overloaded, ill-equipped, not very well provisioned", but was finally on its way, starting its four-week voyage across the English Channel, the Atlantic and then the Mediterranean, where it would have to avoid the British blockade to unload its human cargo on the shores of Palestine.
The ship was manned by a multinational crew, composed mainly of Greeks and Danes. Officially, the chief captain was the elder Arteshides, however the officer who would in fact in charge during this voyage was a Danish captain. The rest of the crew was from France, Algeria, as well as one Jewish immigrant from Russia who was a waiter in the officers' dinning room. The radio operator was a Spaniard, and the doctor on board from among the passengers turned out to be a morphine addict.
Three Haganah members went along: the ship manager, Tzvi Spector, the emergency captain, Amiram Shohat, and in charge of the radio connection with the Haganah HQ, Yekutiel Pekta.
The passsengers were organized according to their group affiliations, with leaders for each group.
According to Regina Merkel, there were two kitchens: one kosher and one non-kosher.
The following day, the Dora was spotted sailing past the Isle of Wight in the English Channel, as reported by the "Lloyds List and Shipping Gazette".
The Dora then entered the Atlantic Ocean and sailed southward, towards the Gulf of Biscay. A region known for rough seas, fierce weather and high waves, the Dora experienced violent storms during which many of its passengers became sea-sick.
The Dora continued, maintaining eye contact with the coasts of Spain and Portugal. Raphael Kochavi recalled "At night, Lisbon lights twinkled in the distance". Around that time, he also remembered sighting a ship flying the swastika flag.
On July 29th, the Dora entered the Mediterranean Sea and crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. The Lloyd observation station, tasked with watching Gibraltar, reported its entry to the Palestine C.I.D (Criminal Investigation Department) and the British ordered the ship to identify itself. At the first signs of danger, the Greek Captain would send the refugees below deck into the hold of the ship, lest they be seen by British lookouts. The Greek declared it was a Panamanian ship on its way to Siam. The British accepted this explanation because ships with illegal immigrants never came through the Strait of Gibraltar, instead came from the French Riviera, the Italian Coast, or the Coast of the Black Adriatic Sea.
The Dora then passed along the shores of Algiers and Tunisia which, as Yekutiel Pekta recalled, "shone in full magic under the full moon", then sailed on from there between Sicily and Malta, and on towards the island of Crete.
The Dora then went past the Suez Canal, and sailed on towards Turkey.
Yekutiel Pekta wrote:
"The journey is getting longer. The wireless connection to Eretz Israel has not yet been established. There is a shortage of food and water. It's hot, very hot. It's impossible to stay in the belly of the ship and everyone is huddled on the decks and sleeps there. Impossible. No patience. The shortage of water and food is worsening. The decision was made to anchor in a small port on the coast of Turkey and stock up on water and food. Coal is also needed, but not available."
Gershon Jonas: "There was a leak in the water pipes and no more food. [...] At one point, we drank only boiled salt water mixed with tea and ate only biscuits."
The Dora reached the southern coast of Turkey. It was now full moon, which made a secret landing in Palestine impossible anyway. The Dora radioed the Haganah in Palestine, and the crew was ordered to drop anchor off the Turkish coast at Finike* and wait until the new moon. (* Others mention Antalya; Hillel Yarkoni mentions the port of Mersin. Maybe the Dora made several stops in Turkey.)
Hillel Yarknoni wrote: "The ship entered the port of Mersin in Turkey to get some supplies, mainly water and food."
The Dora would spend approximately one week in Turkey, waiting for the appropriate conditions to attempt the final leg of the trip. The Turkish police paid a visit to the Dora and declared that passengers were not allowed to disembark. Hillel Yarkoni wrote: "Under the threat of guns, none of the people onboard were permitted to leave the ship.".
The police did allow a boat to bring drinking water and watermelons to the Dora. Pekta recalled: "Food, water and especially plenty of watermelons were purchased".
The exact sequence of the next events is somewhat confusing as recollections about the final part of the trip vary.
According to Yekutiel Pekta, the ship then left Turkey and sailed for a day or two. As the Dora left the bay, it crossed path with the Tiger Hill, another illegal immigrant ship carrying over 1400 refugees:
"The illegal immigrants on board both ships are huddled on the side facing the other ship. The ships lean sideways at a dangerous angle, passing next to each other. A spontaneous rendition of the 'Hatikvah' bursts from the mouths of the immigrants."
According to Yekutiel Pekta, the original plan had been to use a smaller ship to bring the passengers to the shore while the Dora would safely return to the high sea, reducing the risk of the expensive ship being captured by the British. By now, the wireless connection with the Haganah had been established and brought the news that the small ship was not available after all. The Haganah crew on board discussed with the shipowner how to proceed with a direct landing of the illegal immigrants to shore, when and where to sail to arrive on a dark night without a moon, while waiting for instructions from the Haganah.
Rebellion on the Dora
Soon after the Dora resumed sailing, a rebellion broke out and the Dora stopped moving. The sailors, armed with kitchen knives, demanded additional payment, because the trip taken longer than the two weeks originally agreed upon. In addition, the new plan calling for the Dora to land the passengers directly on the coast meant added risk of being seized by the British and extended the duration of the voyage even further.
The rebellion ended quickly, although explanation on how it was resolved varies. According to Yekutiel Ferke, negotiations and passengers collecting money resolved the issue. Hillel Yarkoni simply noted that "the Danish captain's calm helped restore order", without mentioning money changing hands, while my mother remembered that a show of force on the part of the Haganah had put an end to the rebellion.
Gershon Jonas: "In Turkey, the Greek Captain got cold feet. He thought the British would capture his ship, or that he would be arrested. We had been at sea for two weeks, and another week in Turkey when the Greek sailors said, 'We only got paid for two weeks, and we’ve been three weeks on the way. We won't continue until we get more money.' Four hundred dollars was collected from the Jewish passengers."
Just to be safe, the first captain, who had joined the rebellion, was locked up with his wife for the rest of the trip.
Finally, on August 11, 1939, the Dora received the signal that the coast was clear and that they could attempt to land. To evade detection and look inconspicuous like any dilapidated cargo ship, all passengers were sent down to the belly of the ship and the deck portholes closed.
Soon after, a new danger arose. About 80 kilometers south of Cyprus, an aircraft carrier accompanied by destroyers appeared. A destroyer approached the Dora, illuminating it with its spotlights. Asked to identify itself and its destination, the Dora replied it was just a regular cargo ship headed to a Lebanese port.
Others described the event differently: "A British warship appeared 300 meters away, but the warship left soon after without having detected the Dora. Looking southward in the darkness of the night, the olim could see the lights from Tel Aviv, while the searchlights of the police boat almost touched the ship. Everyone on board was quiet."
The Landing - August 12th
The following day the Dora finally arrived near Eretz Israel. Sailing in the evening along the coast, it adjusted its speed to reach the designated landing beach by nightfall.
The landing had been set to take place on the beach of Shefayim, a kibbutz about 15kms north of Tel Aviv. The location had been chosen for being both approachable, close to a Jewish settlement and far from British military and police installations.
The Haganah was in charge of disembarkation, and the man responsible on behalf of the Mossad was David (Davidka) Nameri, a kibbutznik from Ashdot Ya'akov.
Mordechai Naor describes the landing of another ship, the Poseidon, in 1938. I assume the process was similar for the landing of the Dora and helps convey how much effort and coordination was required to ensure the success of the final phase of the trip:
On the shore, several groups from the Haganah were gathered to assist with the landing of the passengers:
Teams of rowers to transfer the immigrants to shore;
A "water-team" - to assist them from the boats to the beach;
Guides - to bring them to a rendezvous;
A communication team between the shore and the Haganah center in Tel Aviv;
A group to transport the immigrants to the different settlements, and
A first aid unit.
In addition, there also was an armed patrol, illegally armed, to warn of any police activity and prevent it, if necessary.
All night long its passengers were brought ashore and quickly dispersed to adjacent settlements.
Mordechai Naor later details the disembarking of the Artemisia, a small (less than 100 passengers) early illegal vessel (1937). Again, I assume a similar procedure was in place for the Dora, although at a larger scale.
That entire day was taken up with meticulous last-minute preparations for debarkation. The passengers were split up into groups of ten, each group having as its leader one of its members. Men were placed alongside the ladders to supervise the descent. Lifebelts were assembled in one spot in the event there might be a need for them. The boats were checked last of all. Everything was ready for a smooth debarkation. A few hours remained until nightfall, so the ship kept at a safe distance from the shore. Only after it became dark, and the prearranged signals were visible, did the ship drop anchor at a distance of 200 yards from the beach.
The first boat was (sent) to assay the situation on shore and return with rowers. The six best swimmers from among the pioneers were equipped with lifebelts and lowered into the boat, then pulled for shore. After twenty minutes the boat returned with the rowers in it, and it was full speed ahead with debarkation. The immigrants were ferried to shore, group by group, according to the prearranged schedule. After two hours the last boat returned and the crew members took their posts without delay. The anchor was lifted and the ship sailed away.
The Dora dropped anchor and a boat was sent from the ship to the shore. (According to another source: "First, Tzvi Spector swam to the shore to make sure the path was clear.") The boat returned with members of the naval unit of the Haganah. They got on the ship, all the boats were lowered and, group by group, the transfer of the illegal immigrants began.
The immigrants climbed down using rope ladders and got into small boats, with the young men from naval unit of the Haganah rowing them to land, then bringing the boats back to the Dora for the next group. As they got close to the beach, the refugees jumped from the boats into the water and walked the last few tens of meters in the shallow water, to the soft sand.
Yoel Golomb, took part in the landing of the Dora and helped the immigrants come ashore. He recalled:
"During the month of September*, a ship with Olim came into shore and we brought the Olim to Shefayim at night, in complete secrecy. That was an unforgettable experience. We unloaded the Olim, men, women, and children who climbed down the side of the ship on rope ladders. We then brought them into shore. This seemed like a simple operation but [...] we were informed that a British naval vessel had been sighted and was approaching; we managed to get all the lifeboats back onto the deck, except one which we tied to the ship. The ship was named Dora and [...] came from Holland. The ship turned and headed back to Europe and we swam to shore. [...] A message was received from the Dora some time afterwards, saying that it was neither captured nor detained."
*Note: actually August.
Gershon Jonas: "We jumped in the water, the children were taken by boat, and we got to the shore. Haganah soldiers were on land with rifles... I had never seen that before!"
Yekutiel Pekta described the "exemplary" organization on the shore to manage the landing and dispersal of the passengers of the Dora:
On the beach there is a field phone connected to one of the houses where a wireless transmitter is set up to maintain contact with the ship. The members of the naval company take care of transporting the immigrants from the ship to the shore. Groups of guards are blocking a section of the beach to delay the possible arrival of the British police. Some men have flooded dirt roads so that cars cannot pass, others are responsible for the rapid dispersal of groups in the surrounding communities.
At the same moment, in Tel Aviv, the head of Mossad leAliyah Bet and Golda Meir followed the arrival of the Dora. Francine Klagsbrun:
"Shaul Avigur, the head of Mossad leAliyah Bet, and a co-worker slipped into Golda Meir’s apartment on Hayarkon Street. [...] He had decided to monitor the landing of the Dora from the shortwave radio center in the Meyerson (Meir) apartment.
When the Dora reached its destination, the commander on the ground, David Nameri, signaled its arrival. The signals were relayed to the wireless in the Meyerson apartment, where Avigur could receive and send coded messages to the ship. In one heart-stopping moment for everyone in the flat, a British police boat with searchlights ablaze almost spotted the immigrant ship as it neared the coast, but the ship stayed hidden in the blackness of the night. When all seemed safe, it dropped off its passengers, who silently made their way on foot to Kfar Shmaryahu, a nearby agricultural village. The captain lifted anchor and sailed westward into the dark, to begin another mission. "In the early morning hours,” Avigur reported years later, "we said goodnight to our hosts, Golda Meir and Leah Biskin, and went about our business.”
Gershon Jonas: "The Jewish settlements surrounding the ship’s landing area had a festival; they invited the British and got them drunk. Just an empty ship left on shore the next morning was what the British patrol encountered the next morning."
Brach Habas mentions (p.89) that Shai, the Haganah's secret information service, "staged criminal decoy operations in settlements in the coastal area, drawing the police away from the vicinity of debarking immigrants. They obtained advance information concerning patrol-boat movements and were able to intercept messages sent by British spies to the roving patrols. These instructions, as well as the orders given the border police and the lookout towers, greatly facilitated debarkation proceedings. Shai agents kept close track of the wireless communications betwen the lookout towers and the roving patrols. The young men even knew the signals intended for police airplanes and warships."
Yoel Golomb: "The rope that tied the (row)boat to the ship broke and the boat was 'lost at sea'. Davidka Nameri [...] chose me and another fellow to go out looking for the missing boat. [...] We could see the boat far out in the water. I swam out and [...] I managed to get it back to shore and we buried it in the sand."
At 2 a.m., the Dora announced that everybody had unboarded. The Haganah telegraphed Uri Kochba that "the delivery was successful and the mother is healthy". Back in the Netherlands,Gertrude van Tijn was notified by telegraph of the successful landing. She passed the message on to minister Van Boeijen, who could finally breathe a sigh of relief: the Netherlands had gotten rid of 300 refugees without damaging its relationship with Great Britain, and it hadn't cost the treasury a penny.
After landing, the new immigrants were first concentrated in Kfar Shemariahu, and were later distributed in various absorption centers.
One on the immigrants, Regina "Gina" Premo, recalled receiving a fake ID card to help her blend into ther new environment. Likelise, my mother had mentioned being given feake ID papers - although I always understood that this had happened upon her landing on the beach,
The path followed by the Dora
Yekutiel Feteke got off the Dora and was replaced by another wireless operator, Shlomo Lavi. Zvi Spector too got off the ship, replaced by Amiram Shochat. The ship then went out to sea and sailed west. At first, the ship had been intended to bring the members of the Zionist Congress from Marseille to Israel. Then the plan was changed and the ship sailed to Algeria. There, the defense personnel got out of it and returned to Israel.
Three weeks later, Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War Two, and with it the wholesale destruction of Jewish life in Europe.
According to the agreement with the Arteshides brothers, the Dora was supposed to do a second trip, but this agreement was not honored. Only after legal battle some of the money that had been paid in advance to the Greek family was paid back.
The Dora was later captured by the Germans and was at their service between 1941-1942. On December 21st 1942, it was sunken by a British warship near the Djerba harbor in Tunis.
The Dora in the News
Although it was supposed to be kept secret, the departure of the Dora was widely reported in the Dutch, Belgian and British press, and it's a wonder that this unwelcome scrutiny didn't lead to the interception of the Dora by the British Navy.
Between July 14 and August 28, no less than 100 articles and dispatches about the Dora appeared in the press in the Netherlands, including several front-page stories. . In Belgium, more than 40 articles appeared in July. The British press also reported on the departure of the Dora, with at least eight articles, with more mentions appearing in France and as far as Melbourne, Australia. Finally, the Jewish press published dispatches in Palestine and in the USA.
Nottingham Evening Post. July 17, 1939.
The Scotsman. July 19, 1939.
"From the shore hundreds of men and women, and also cattle, could be seen on deck".
Daily Herald. July 20, 1939.
The Belfast NewsLetter. July 21, 1939.
"Jewish refugees face a new future - Departed from Amsterdam with a Panamean coal ship."
De Sumatra Post, July 24, 1939.
Transporting 480 refugees from Northern Europe to Palestine on the eve of WW2 and bringing them safely to the coast of Palestine despite the British blockade required complex planning, difficult negotiations, and the covert coordination of hundreds of refugees spread over multiple hiding places over two countries. The Dora would not have succeeded in reaching the shores of Palestine without the work and dedication of the many people involved.
Here is a list of some of the key people who, with their courage, skills, and generosity, helped save the lives of almost 500 refugees on the eve of WW2.
This section is in memory of the people who made it happen and who deserve our thanks as descendants of the passengers of the Dora.
Ship manager on the Dora, age: 23.
Tzvi Spector was born in Jerusalem in 1916. The Dora was his first mission with Aliyah Bet.
In 1941 Tzvi Spector became a founding member of the Palmach. He disappeared at sea on May 18, 1941, during the first mission carried out by the Palmach as part of the cooperation between the Jewish Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine and the British during World War II ("Operation Boatswain", also known as "The 23 Who Went Down at Sea"). Twenty-three volunteers from the Palmach took part and boarded a British boat with explosives. The mission was to blow up oil refineries in Tripoli, Lebanon, then under Vichy rule, in a bid to deny fuel to Wehrmacht planes and thwart Axis operations in the region. All twenty-three members of the operation vanished before reaching their destination, possibly due to an explosion of unknown origin. Tzvi Spector was the commander of that operation and was 24 years old. Another volunteer among the twenty-three who died in that operation was Amiram Shochat, the emergency captain of the Dora.
Emergency Captain on the Dora, age: 23.
Born in 1915 in Tel Aviv-Yafo.
By the time of the Dora, Amiram Shochat was already a veteran of Mossad leAliyah Bet. He had first served as guide on the Artemisia in 1937, when his job had consisted of appraising the ship, examining its engine, sleeping accommodations, food-storage facilities, etc.
Amiram Shochat disappeared at sea on May 18, 1941, during the first mission carried out by the Palmach as part of the cooperation between the Jewish Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine and the British during World War II ("Operation Boatswain", also known as "The 23 Who Went Down at Sea"). Twenty-three volunteers from the Palmach took part and boarded a British boat with explosives. The mission was to blow up oil refineries in Tripoli, Lebanon, then under Vichy rule, in a bid to deny fuel to Wehrmacht planes and thwart Axis operations in the region. All twenty-three members of the operation vanished before reaching their destination, possibly due to an explosion of unknown origin. Amiram Shochat was 26 years old. The commander of that operation was Tzvi Spector - the manager of the Dora.
An illegal ship was named in his honor in 1946.
| רפאל גדעון (ג'ר)
Led the planning of the Dora voyage with the help of Shmarya Tzameret. Age: 26.
German-born Gideon Rufer, later known as Gideon Raphael (גדעון רפאל). In 1933, when the Nazis rose to power in Germany, he escaped to France, where he studied at an agricultural school in Toulouse, and in 1934, he made aliyah to Palestine, where he was one of the founders of Kibbutz HaZore'a.
Rafael joined the Haganah, and was a commander during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine. He was later sent to Europe on missions to help illegally smuggle European Jews into Palestine in defiance of British immigration restrictions. In 1940, he was sent to Rhodes by the Haganah to negotiate with a representative of Adolf Eichmann for the transfer of 40,000 German Jews to Palestine, but the plan fell apart.
During World War II, he enlisted in the British Army, and fought in the Syria-Lebanon Campaign. After he was discharged in 1943, he began working for the Jewish Agency. He worked in intelligence, as a liaison with Allied forces and Jewish populations in Europe. In 1945, he assisted in preparing the Jewish case for the Nuremberg Trials. He also directed efforts to recover lost Jewish property in Europe and participated in rescue effort in Italy after the end of WW2.
Upon Israeli independence in 1948, he was one of three founding members of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and served as an aide to Moshe Sharett. He later became an adviser to the Israeli delegation at the United Nations. From 1953 to 1957, he was in charge of United Nations and Middle Eastern affairs at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He conducted secret negotiations with Arab officials, and maintained these secret contacts into the 1970s. In 1957, he was appointed Israel's ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, and permanent observer in European and UN institutions in Geneva. He served in these positions until 1960. In 1967, he became Israeli ambassador to the UN, and was serving in this position during the Six-Day War. In 1968, he returned to Israel, and was Director-General of the Foreign Ministry until 1972.
In 1973, he was appointed Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, and served in this position until 1977, when he returned to Israel and retired from the Foreign Ministry in 1978. He subsequently published a book about his career.
He died in Jerusalem in 1999.
Shmarya Tzameret (Tsameret)
|צמרת שמריה (אורי זהבי)||
Oversaw the purchase of the Dora and all operational details up to the departure of the Dora, along with Gideon Rufer. Age: 28.
Born in 1910 in Cleveland, USA, the eldest son of Jewish Russian immigrants, Tzameret made Aliyah on his own as 15 year-old after his father's death. One of the founders of Kibbutz Bet Hashita in 1936, he joined Mossad leAliyah Bet in 1939 and operated from the central office in Paris.
In 1940, Tzameret took part in failed negotiations with Eichman to try to let a large number of Jews immigrate from Germany. (Bracha Habas, p 128).
After the war, he was sent to Europe to resume his activities organizing illegal immigration of Jewish survivors (Bricha), first from Italy then from Marseille. From 1945 to 1947, he served as commander of the Marseille station.
As part of his activities with Mossad LeAliyah Bet, Shmarya Tzameret was involved with the ships "Dora" (July 1939), "Darian 2" (March 1941), "Tel Hai" (March 1946), "Yagur" (July 1946), "Chaim Arlozorov" (February 1947), "Exodus" (July 1947), and "Independence" (December 1947).
Shmarya was married to Hadasa and had 4 children. He died in 1964 in a work accident at the olive factory of his Kibutz, Beit-Hashita.
His younger brother, Joe Tzameret, lost his life fighting in the Spanish Civil War with the Lincoln Brigades.
Uri Kochba (Walter Koch)
Emissary of the Hechalutz movement from Palestine in the Netherlands. Age: 29
Uri Kochba (Walter Koch) was born in 1910 in Lissa (Leszno), on the German-Polish border. His family emigrated to Germany following WW1. A member of Zionist youth movements, he made aliyah in 1934 and joined Kibbutz Naan.
In 1938, Kochba was sent to the Netherlands as an emissary of the Hechalutz Zionist movement, in order to assist Jews emigrating to Palestine.
In June 1940, following the German invasion of the Netherlands, Kochba was arrested as a British subject and was interned in a series of detention camps. He was liberated on May 10, 1945.
After his liberation he returned to Kibbutz Naan. Uri Kochba died in November 2001.
Served as Gideoni (Wireless Radio Operator) on the Dora.
Born in 1915 in Hungary, his family made Aliyah in 1928 and came to Jerusalem. He received a master's degree in mathematics, physics and philosophy from the Hebrew University. After joining the Haganah, he took a signaling course then built a primitive transmitter, creating the first wireless connection between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and later to Gush Etzion. In 1939 he was sent to Europe to help organize the rescue of Jews and returned on the Dora.
In 1951 he established the Bezeq School of Telecommunication in Jerusalem. He retired from his position as director in 1981. He died in 2001.
He wrote about the story of the Dora on the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 1989.
David (Davidka) Nameri
Oversaw the disembarkation of the Dora in Palestine. Age: 30.
David Nameri was born in Skidzieĺ, Belarus, in 1908. He made aliyah in 1926 at age 18. He worked at drying out the swamps, then moved to Kibbutz Gesher and Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov.
He joined the Haganah, then was in charge of the Stockade and Watchtower campaign ("Wall and Tower" settlements) in the Bet Shean Valley and Jordan Valley between 1936 and 1939.
David Nameri was a founder and senior officer of both Mossad leAliyah Bet and Palmach (lieutenant general commander).
He took part in the earliest Aliyah Bet operations, overseeing the disembarkation of the Poseidon and the Artemisia, both in 1937. He scouted locations where boats could come ashore, improved the radio communication system between ships and shore, and organized the disembarkation phase of the ships.
"David Nameri, Operations officer of 'HaMossad for Aliyah Bet,' was responsible for the last stage of the Haapala - disembarking the immigrants from the ships and receiving them on the country's shores. The Fourth Palmach Battalion was assigned to secure the area where the Haapala ships arrived and their disembarkation to shore. The moment a report came about the departure of a Haapala ship from Europe, the Fourth Battalion HQ was responsible to prepare for its arrival. The HQ decided on the disembarkation point, gathered men and arms, planned the security of the shore and the roads leading to it and prepared a list of the neighboring settlements to absorb the immigrants.
From 1947 to 1949, Davidka Nameri was sent by the Jewish Agency to the United States to work in procurement. He and his family returned to Israel in 1949 and went to Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov. Nameri was the executive officer in charge of immigration by sea, land or air. He oversaw Operation Wings, the aerial immigration of Jews of Baghdad, Iraq. From 1960 to 1965, Nameri was chief executive of the Ministry of Transportation.
Davidka Nameri died in 1966.
Davidka's wife, Dvora, became a Gideonit (radio operator) for the Haganah in 1939 and contributed to monitoring and deciphering British secret messages from a Haganah's listening post. She later wrote a book in his memory: “David Nameri; By Him and About Him” (Kibbutz Meuchad, 1974)
Took part in the disembarkment of the passengers of the Dora.
Born 1919 in Germany, Golomb came to Eretz Israel in 1936 with Youth Aliyah. He first lived in Kibbutz Naan, then in Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov, and later joined Kibbutz Revivim in 1939 in Rishon Letzion. Yoel Golomb was selected in July 1939 by the kibbutz to participate in the first naval course of the Haganah. The course was designed to train sailors to help in Aliyah Bet. Training consisted of rowing and sailing in the Yarkon River and at sea, swimming, lifesaving, and other seamanship tasks.
After the outbreak of WW2, took further naval training, this time focusing on sabotage tactics for land and sea, in order to help the British in their fight against the Nazis and joined the British Navy in 1941.
Shani, Chaim (Sergei)
Took part in the disembarkment of the passengers of the Dora.
Born 1920, made Aliyah in 1935. Lived in Tel Aviv and belonged to the Noar Haoved movement. In 1939, he participated in the first naval course in the Exhibition Halls in Tel Aviv. In August 1939, while attending the course, he helped take immigrants off the Dora when it landed at Shefayim.
Lived in Kibbutz Naan, then in Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov. Joined Kibbutz Revivim in 1939 in Rishon Letzion. Volunteered for the Palmach in 1941 and was attached to F Company at Kfar Gileadi under the command of Yitzchak Rabin.
He later participated in disembarking the immigrants off the “Chana Senesh” in December 1945 at Nahariya.
Dov 'Berchik' Magen
Took part in the disembarkment of the passengers of the Dora.
Born 1915 Panza, Russia; Came to Palestine in 1935.
Quoted by Chaim Shani: "Berchik also took part in that (Dora) operation."
He was an instructor of the Palyam's 'No. 1 Naval Officers' course, in 1945 with Shmuel Tankus. In June 1946, Dov (Berchik) Magen was the commander for the "Josiah Wedgwood", with 1,259 immigrants, and of the Pan Crescent (renamed "Atzmaut") in 1947.
Head of Mossad leAliyah Bet. Monitored the landing of the Dora from Golda Meir's apartment.
Prior to leading Mossad leAliyah Bet, Shaul Avigur had been among the defenders of Tel Hai in 1920. Since 1933 he had been the coordinator the Haganah and was instrumental in forming SHAI, the intelligence wing of the Haganah along with Reuven Shiloah in 1934.
A senior Haganah member experienced in underground work and held in high esteem, Avigur joined Mossad leAliyah Bet in 1939, and was key in the success of the efforts of illegal immigration.
During Israel's War of Independence, he acted as David Ben-Gurion's deputy defense minister. In 1953 he was appointed the founding head of Lishkat Hakesher, also known as "Nativ", an Israeli organization that maintained contact with Jews in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He headed the organization until 1970.
Gertrude van Tijn
Gertrude van Tijn helped organize the voyage of the Dora, despite the opposition of the chairman of the Committee for Jewish Refugees, David Cohen.
Born in Braunschweig, Germany, in 1891, she came to the Netherlands in 1915. A Zionist since 1916, she started working for JNF in 1917.
In April 1933 she began to assist with the growing number of Jewish refugees from Germany. She then became the representative of the Joint Distribution Committee in Holland and a member of an advisory committee of the League of Nations' Commission for Refugees. She joined the Committee for Jewish Refugees, and helped organize Jewish emigration from Germany between 1933 and 1940. A key member of the Committee, she oversaw everyday operations, was responsible for managing the finances, headed its emigration department, and became the contact person for foreign aid organizations.
She was the co-founder and secretary of Werkdorp Nieuwesluis (the Work Village in Wieringen), a farm founded in 1934 in the Wieringermeer polder in North Holland that trained refugees of varying ages and vocations in agricultural work as well as construction, the raising of cattle and poultry, domestic work, gardening, cabinetry, locksmithing, and other practical work.
She declined the opportunity to leave the Netherlands during the German invasion of May 1940, and continued her work with the Committee until its dissolution in March 1941. In September 1943 she was sent to the Westerbork concentration camp and then Bergen-Belsen. In July 1944 she was among those Jews exchanged from Bergen-Belsen for Germans in Palestine. Afterwards the Dutch government in exile offered her a position in London to work with displaced Jews; she traveled through liberated Europe and Switzerland in this capacity until the end of the war.
She died in Portland, USA, in 1974.
Covered the cost of the Dora voyage with his business partner Salomon Flörsheim, and possibly others.
Born in 1893 in Lubeck, Germany, Siegfried Kramarsky was a German banker, art collector and philanthropist. He settled in Amsterdam in 1923. With his partner, Salomon Flörsheim, Kramarsky took over the "Lisser & Rosenkranz" bank in Amsterdam which he headed from 1923 until 1938.
From 1933 to 1939, Kramarsky was active in enlisting support for Jewish victims of the Hitler regime who had fled to the Netherlands.
While in Amsterdam, Kramarsky compiled a large art collection that included works by Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Seurat, Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh, including the Portrait of Dr. Gachet which was sold in 1990 by his heirs for $82.5 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Siegfried Kramarsky and his family came to the United States after fleeing the Netherlands in 1940, aided by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a family friend who later became the first president of Israel.
His wife, Lola Popper Kramarsky, was active in the Youth Aliyah movement and was president of Hadassah from 1960 to 1964.
Siegfried Kramarsky died in Manhattan in 1961.
Salo (Salomon) Jakob Flörsheim
Participated in financing the Dora voyage with his business partner Siegfried Kramarsky, and possibly others.
Born in 1893 in Hamburg, Germany. Died in 1979 (86) in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel
S. J. Flörsheim and his family emigrated to Amsterdam, Netherlands around 1922, and he continued to work in private banking and brokerage business in Amsterdam, where he joined with another emigrant from Hamburg, Mr. Siegfried Kramarsky, a well known art collector.
In 1944 the Flörsheims were deported first to the Westerbork camp, then to Thereisenstadt, where they survived the war. Salo and his wife Eva made Aliyah during the 50’s and settled in Kfar Shmaryahu, where Eva passed away in 1975, and Salo in 1979.
He befriended many Rabbis, scholars, and community leaders, and was personally acquainted with the early leaders of the State of Israel, including presidents Weizmann and Ben Zvi.
He was an active philanthropist who practiced charity without fanfare. In the late 30’s, he urged family and friends to flee Hitler’s Germany. His home was often the refugees’ first stop, for a day, week or month, and for those who could not afford it, he even paid for the trip, thus saving many families from the Holocaust.
Contributed to financing the voyage of the Dora.
Saly Mayer, 1882-1950. Swiss businessman, friend of Gertrude van Tijn. Chairman of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities from 1936 to 1943, and Representative of the Joint Distribution Committee in Switzerland from 1942.
In the spring and summer of 1944, Saly Mayer was approached by the Nazis who offered to spare the life of Hungarian Jews in exchange of 10,000 trucks and supplies. Although the deal ultimately fell through, Saly Mayer is credited with saving thousands (up to 200,000) of Hungarian Jews by employing "every imaginable dilatory tactic" over several months of negotiations. He "walked the tightrope of negotiating with the Nazis to save Hungarian Jews while refusing the Nazis' requests for resources that would have prolonged the war."
After the end of the war he became a middleman on behalf of the Joint in financing illegal immigration to Palestine.
Rudolf "Ru" Cohen
Head of the Deventer Association, the second largest group of pioneers who boarded the Dora in Amsterdam
Brother of David Cohen, from Deventer, Netherlands. Ru Cohen founded the Deventer Association for Vocational Training for Palestine Pioneers in 1918 in Deventer, and continued to be its driving force until his end.
The goal of the Deventer Association was to provide agricultural and vocational training (hachshara) for Jewish boys and girls in preparation for immigration to Palestine. The "Palestine pioneers" (Halutzim) were placed with farmers near Deventer or with a furniture makers. Originally designed for Jewish youth from the Netherlands, the organization took on refugees from Germany and Eastern Europe in the late 1930's.
Ru Cohen was deported and died in Bergen-Belsen in 1945.
According to records from Mossad leAliyah Bet, the Dora carried 480 passengers to its destination. A few sources mention slight variations: Gertrude van Tijn, who took part in the rescue operation, cites 310 passengers in Amsterdam, including 50 pupils from Werkdorp Nieuwesluis, with an additional 157 passengers in Antwerp, for a total of 467, while some authors have rounded the number to 500.
Two lists of passengers have been found so far: one from Amsterdam, with 183 names, and one from Antwerp, with 171 additional names, for a total of 354. The difference between the 480 given by Mossad can be explained by the fact that the two lists were compiled by Zionist groups and only include thoses passengers who belong to their groups. Other passengers not affiliated with any Zionist organization, such as wealthy families who could afford to pay for their voyage, or important - or well-connected - individuals, were not included in those lists.
If we accept the total number of passengers as 480, we can break down as follow: 354 (74%) were halutzim while an additional 126 (26%) were refugees not affiliated with Zionist training organizations. It seems that most, if not all, the unlisted passengers (i.e. refugees) boarded from Amsterdam. The list from Antwerp seems to be all-inclusive.
List of passengers who boarded the Dora in Amsterdam, 16 July 1939
Source: Dutch National Archive (Courtesy Rina Offenbach, Director BeNetivei Haapalah, Illegal Immigrant Database and Information Center, Atlit Detention Camp, Israel.)
I compiled the Amsterdam list below from several lists provided to the authorities by Jewish organizations. This list doesn't include all the passengers who boarded from Amsterdam for several reasons:
- 183 names appear on the Amsterdam lists. However, contemporary reports from the press and later accounts from organizers put the total number of passengers in Amsterdam at about 300, with Gertrude van Tijn citing 310 passengers.
- The Amsterdam lists were compiled by several pioneer organizations, mainly Hechalutz, Mizrachi, Deventer and the Werkdorp Wieringermeer. Hence, passengers not affiliated with these groups don't appear on those lists.
- Several reports mention the presence of children on the Dora (Yoel Golomb, Gershon Jonas, and Flip Cohen - although Cohen mentions them boarding in Antwerp), but none appear on the lists that have been found so far.
- Over the years, several people have contacted me with information about relatives who boarded from Amsterdam whose names don't appear these lists, confirming that the available lists are not comprehensive.
Note: Four names on these lists were crossed out, without further explanation. My assumption is that these are people who may have decided at the last minute to not board the Dora, or were unable to do so.
Although incomplete, the Amsterdam list includes interesting demographic data on the passengers:
- Men: 80% (146)
- Women: 20% (36)
- German: 69% (126)
- Dutch: 9% (16)
- Polish: 8% (14)
- "Stateless": 7% (13). (It is not clear if these "stateless" passengers were of Polish or German origin.)
- Hungarian: 3% (6)
- Czechoslovak: 1% (2)
- Danzig: 0.5% (1)
- England: 0.5% (1)
- Unknown: 1.5% (3)
- 76*: Werkdorp Wieringermeer, a large hachshara center that held 300 halutzim.
(* according to the list provided to the auhtorities by the Wieringermeer Werkdorp. This number may have been inflated and include several refugees not affiliated with the Werkdorp.)
- 59 (or 60): Deventer Association, distributed over several locations
- 29: Mizrachi (religious Zionist) Kibbutz Dat veEretz (דת וארץ, ”Religion and Country”) in Beverwijk
- 7: Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel
- 3: Kibbutz Misrachi (religious Zionist) in Franeker
- 2: Berg-Stichting, Laren (Jewish orphanage)
A few individuals came from additional locations: Markelo, Almen, Zenderen, Zeddam and Delden.
For the list of additional passengers who boarded from Amsterdam, see further down under "Additional Passengers".
Note: Dates of birth are given as they appeared on the original lists with the following format: dd.mm.yy
|Name||Hebrew Name||Organization, Group||Group||Last adress?||D.O.B
|Place of Birth||Nationality||Notes|
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||Henriette, Korte Meerhuizenstr. 3||26.8.12||Amsterdam||Polish*||
Susanna Henriette Abram was born on August 26, 1912 in Amsterdam, the daughter of Isak Abram, a diamond cutter, and Gesiena Nieweg.
||ברונו אברמציק||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||"De Vondelhof"
Bruno Abramczyk was born on December 2, 1919 in Jastrow (now Jastrowie, Poland).
Note: This may be the same person as ברונו סנו אברמציק who joined, then left, Kvutzat Shiller.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||3.1.12||Lauterbach||Stateless|
|| אלטברגר, ראובן
|The Deventer Society||F.H. Evers "De Eekhorst", Hummelo||18.11.19||Köln||Czechoslovak||
Reuven (Karl) Altberger was born in Köln-Lindenthal on November 18 1919, the son of Lazar (Ludwig) Altberger and Regina Elias.
According to www.aachener-nachrichten.de, his brother Samuel ("Sanny") Altberger was also aboard the Dora: "[Samuel] left on an illegal emigration ship together with his younger brother Karl".
Reuben died in Denver in 2016, at the age of 97.
||Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||Euterpestr. 41 Amsterdam-Z||27.9.14||Naumburg||German|
Aufrichtig, Hedwig (Hedy)
||The Deventer Society (Den Haag)||Den Haag||L. Beestenmarkt 135||23.7.16||Vienna||German||
Hedwig (Hedy) Aufrichtig was born July 23, 1916 in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Siegfried Aufrichtig and Flora Holzer.
||Miriam Timnah: תמנה מרים||The Deventer Society (Gouda)||Gouda||Ridder van Katzweg 61||10.11.19||Berlin||German||
Margot Sophie Bagainski was born in Berlin on November 10, 1919, the daughter of Hermann Bagainski and Helene Bagainski, née Ruschin.
Between 1936 and 1938, Margot attended hachshara, first in Groß Beeren (today's Brzeźno Trzebnica), then between October 1937 and 1938 in Havelberg.
She boarded the Dora with her husband, Heinrich Timendorfer. In Israel, she changed her name to Miriam and adopted her husband's new name: Timnah (תמנה מרים). She first lived in Kibbutz Ma'ayan Tzvi.
Margot's father Hermann was shot in 1942. Her two brothers were killed by the Nazis: Julius in Chełmno in 1942, and Arno in 1944, at the age of 19.
Margot's stepmother Margarete and two half-siblings survived the war and later moved to a kibbutz.
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam||Kasernestr. 4||28.7.19||Beuthen||Stateless|
|Baum, Günter (Guenter)
|| אלון גדעון
|The Deventer Society||MIDDELBEEK bij Voorst||bij Frederiks
Papenstraat 45, Deventer
Gideon Alon (Günter Baum) was born in Waltrop, Westphalia. He fled Germany in 1936 and came to the Netherlands were he received his training for immigration with his two brothers Werner and Helmut.
In Israel, he lived in Kibbutz Hulata. He joined the Jewish Brigade during WW2. He married Franka Hirsch.
He died in 1972 in Kiriat Motzkin, Israel.
His brother Menachem Alon (born Werner Baum) moved from the Netherlands to Denmark on the eve of the Nazi occupation, then was smuggled to Sweden, from where he immigrated to Israel in 1941. His other brother Helmut remained in Sweden.
|| לביא ברוך
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||15.1.17||Laasphe||German||
Berthold Beifuss, the son of Hertz and Mina Beifuss, was born in Laasphe, Germany in 1917.
He fled Germany one day before his 19th birthday in 1936 for the Netherlands. From there he emigrated to Palestine in 1939. He first lived in Kibbutz Maoz Haim, then in Kibbutz Dorot. He changed his name to Baruch Lavi (ברוך לביא).
He died in Kibbutz Dorot in 2001.
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||24.10.18||Den Haag||Dutch||
Source: Photo: Kibboets-op-de-Klei.pdf(pdf)
|The Deventer Society (Deventer)||Deventer||Papenstraat 45, Deventer||21.3.18||Unterberg-Eisenstadt, Austria||German*||
Peretz Benedict was born in March 1918 in Unterberg-Eisenstadt, Austria, the son of Ignatz (Yitzhak) and Berta Benedict. Upon graduation from high school he continued his studies at the School of Commerce. In the summer of 1935 he graduated and worked at the Jewish Museum in his hometown.
Franz Benedict changed his name to Peretz Benedict ( פרץ בנדיקט).
||The Deventer Society (Rotterdam)||Rotterdam||20.9.13||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Max Frederik Leopold Benima was born on September 20, 1913 in Amsterdam, the son of Benjamin Benima and Sara Polak.
His profession before his immigration was office employee. He married Susanna Henriette Abram on 14 june 1939 in Amsterdam. Susanna Abram was another passenger on the Dora.
|| בנימין יהודה יוליוס (אוש)
Benjamin Yehuda Julius (Osh)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||24.3.21||Königsberg||German||
Benjamin Yehuda Julius (Osh) was born in Königsberg on March 24, 1921, the son of Bernhard and Hedwig Julius.
Julius Benjamin changed his name to Benjamin Yehuda Julius (Osh) (יהודה יוליוס בנימין (אוש)).
||בנימין עוזי רודולף (רודי)
Binyamin Ozi Rudolph (Rudi)
|The Deventer Society (Almelo)||Almelo: Erve "De Kooi"||tijd. Celebesstraat 49E Den Haag||1.1.17||Barmen||German||
Ozi Rudolph Binyamin (Rudolf Benjamin) was born on January 1, 1917, the son of Albert and Anna Benjamin in Barmen, Germany.
Benjamin worked as a laborer for three years in the Netherlands for various farmers. He traveled to a weekly conference where he met with Jewish friends who had come from Germany and were also staying with peasants. His first place of residence in Israel was Snir.
Source and photo maapilim.org.il
||Markelo: Op het Reef Kerkspeelchor K. 51||G.W.A Brunnekreeft, Op, 't Reef, Kerspel
Goor K.51. Gem. Markelo
"Zoornik" may be Zvornik, now in Bosnia.
|Bergmann, Jaacob (Jakob)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||16.1.14||Gr. Rackchen||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||22.8.21||Breslau||German|
|Bienstock, Fritz (Binstock)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||23.3.21||Vienna||German|
|| מור בינג מרים מריאנה
Mor Bing Miriam
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||1.3.21||Nürnberg||German||
Daughter of Sigmund and Charlotte Bing. She was a member of Habonim. She first resided in Hadera and changed her name to Miriam Mor Bing (מור בינג מריאנה).
|Birnbaum, Ruth (Grete)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||12.5.22||Hamelin (Hameln)||German||
Ruth Keret (née Grete Birnbaum) was born on May 12, 1922 in Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany, the eldest child of Max Birnbaum and Margarete Goldstein.
Grete Birnbaum changed her name to Ruth Keret.
||The Deventer Society (Herwikerwaard)||Herwikerwaard||p.a. Veldhorst||23.11.21||Stettin||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||7.2.21||Köln||Stateless||
Hanna Blau attended the Gut Winkel hachshara center in Spreenhagen near Berlin in 1937-1938. She fled Germany and came to Holland in early 1938.
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||29.7.12||Huesen||German|
||The Deventer Society (Voorschoten)||VOORSCHOTEN||Veurssche weg 348||19.12.19||München||German|
|Boehm (Böhm), Walther (Walter)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||17.8.19||Breslau||German||
Yaakov Aloni (Walter Böhm) was born on August 17, 1919 in Breslau, the son of Hans and Hilda Böhm.
He fled Germany and came to Holland where he attended the "work village" of Wieringermeer.
In Israel, he first lived in Kibbutz Naan. He enlisted in the Palmach and first served six months in the Coast Guard Unit, then in Company C (Gimel) of the Palmach until 1946. Later, he enlisted in the Palmach unit that accompanied the supply convoys to Jerusalem, and later fought in the Palmach's Harel Brigade.
He joined Kfar Giladi in 1959. He had two sons.
He passed in December 1996 at the age of 77.
|Bonze Mirjam (or Bomze, Marie?)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||18.4.21||Vienna||German|
||Kibbutz Misrachi, Franeker||Franeker, Harlingerweg 45 (Kibbutz Misrachi)||22.4.20||Nürnberg||German|
||The Deventer Society (Colmschate)||COLMSCHATE||G. Beekman, De Snippeling C.6 Colmschate||3.8.16||Frauenkirchen||German|
|Brück, Walter (Walther)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||1.12.19||Bingen||German||
David Barkai (Walter Brück) was born on December 7, 1919 in Bingen, Germany, the son of Karl and Lily Brück.
Walter (Walther) Brück changed his name to David Barkai (דוד בריק).
|Calmann, Ludwig (Kalman, Callman)
|| קלמן אריה
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||12.5.17||Ratibor||German||
Assuming this is the same as Arieh Kalman (אריה קלמן) listed in maapilim.org.il.
His first place of residence in Israel was Kibbutz Beit Hashita.
||Berg-Stichting, Laren||Berg-Stichting, Laren (North Holland)||7.4.15||Groningen||Dutch|
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam||Amstellaan 235||28.3.18||Groningen||Dutch||
Justus Hartog Cohen was born on March 28, 1918 in Groningen, the son of Levie Cohen and Flora Steren. His father was a civil servant of the Jewish Community. His mother Flora died in March 1931, less than two weeks before Justus turned thirteen. His father then married Rosa Boutelje, and Justus doesn't seem to have been sent to an orphanage.
In December 1935, Justus joined the Beverwijk kibbutz where he remained until March 1938. From there he moved to Groningen. In May of the same year he then moved to Leeuwarden, then in September to Amsterdam. In the spring of 1939, he returned to the Beverwijk Kibbutz, now located in Velsen-Noord. There he awaited his departure to Palestine with a group of 29 Palestine-goers. He left on Sunday morning July 16, 1939 with the ship "Dora" from the port of Amsterdam.
Justus Cohen married Betje Simmeren.
Justus Cohen died in Israel on October 10, 1973, during the Yom Kippur war at the age of 55. No details are available about the circumstances of his death.
||The Deventer Society (Utrecht)||UTRECHT||Croeselaan 144||15.3.11||Dinslaken||German|
|Cohen, Philipp (Flip)
|| כהן אורי
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam||Kastanjeplein 3||30.5.18||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Uri Cohen (Philip Cohen, nickname "Flip") was born in Amsterdam on May 30, 1918, the son of Jacob Cohen and Sara Brandon.
Philipp "Flip" Cohen changed his name to Uri Cohen (אורי כהן).
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||27.5.19||Berlin||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||27.2.20||Berlin||German|
||Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||21.1.15||Königsbad||German|
|| בן אהרן שרה
Ben Aharon, Sara
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||13.12.11||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Sara Ben Aharon (Sara Dinner) was born on December 13, 1911 in Amsterdam, the daughter of Israel Dinner and Henrietta Auerbach. She was the eldest of four children. Her siblings were Lea (1913), Joseph Hirsch (1915) and Esther (1920).
Sara joined the Kibbutz Franeker in October 1935. Her brother Joseph Hirsch would join her there a month later. In January 1936, she moved to the Beverwijk Kibbutz. Then in November of that year, she left for the "Berg foundation" in Laren (N.H.). She then returned from Laren in September 1937 and started working at the Jewish Home for the Disabled on Weesperplein in Amsterdam. On July 19, 1938 she returned to Kibbutz Franeker. Finally, in the spring of 1939, Sara returned to the Beverwijk kibbutz, now located in Velsen-Noord. There she awaited her departure for Palestine with a group of 29 Palestine-goers. Sara left the Netherlands on Sunday morning July 16, 1939 with the ship "Dora" from the port of Amsterdam.
Sara married Zeev Wolfgang Ben-Aharon. The couple had three children.
Sara died in Kvutsat Yavneh, Israel in 2007, at the age of 95.
Sara's parents emigrated to Palestine with her sister Esther in 1937. Her other sister, Lea, had already left for Palestine in 1935. Her brother Joseph Hirsch also came to Israel after attending Kibbutz Franeker for two years.
|Ebel, Siegismund (Sigismund)
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||"De Vondelhof"
"Born on 28-07-1915 in Beuthen, Germany, now Poland. He stayed on the farm on Deurningen no. 17 with the Arnold ten Kate family in the municipality of Weerselo from November 1936 to April 1938. Sigismund came from London to Deurningen. He left for the club building at Brink 70 in Deventer. From here he went to Klarenbeek near Voorst and later to the youth hostel in 'De Assumburg' in Heemskerk. From May 1939 he worked at the 'youth aliyah' the Vondelhof in Amsterdam, after which he left for Palestine with the Dora in 1939."
|Englard, Leo (Leiba)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||7.7.21||Przemyśl (Pshemishl)||German||
Leo Englard, born July 7, 1921 in Pshemishl, Poland, lived in Berlin. He attended school until the age of fourteen and a half, at which point he started to work, assumedly as an apprentice or trainee.
Starting in November 1936, Englard went to Hachshara, first in Munich, then Schniebinchen, then Elgut in Silesia. After Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938), he fled to the Netherlands where he continued his Hachshara in Wieringen.
In Israel, he changed his name to Arie. Englard served in the Jewish Brigade during the war. In 1947, he married Fanny Dominitz, a German Holocaust survivor. The couple had known each other in Germany and had corresponded throughout the war. The couple had two daughters and lived in Moshav Beit Hanan.
Leo Englard died in 2004.
Leo Englard's mother and sister were murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.
|Fischer, Ernst, Jacob
||(Almen: Het Laren)||ALMEN: Het Laren||p.a. Woestenenk||17.8.18||Frankenthal||German||
Ernst Fischer did his hachshara in Jägerslust (Flensburg) until Kristallnacht in November 1938. After the November 9-10 attack, he was incarcerated in Sachsenhausen. He was released on December 28, 1938. He then fled to the Netherlands.
||Kibbutz Misrachi, Franeker||Franeker, Harlingerweg 45 (Kibbutz Misrachi)||8.1.18||Beuthen||German|
||פרידמן מאיר||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||5.11.17||Postawie||Polish||
Meir (Meyer) Friedman went for training (hachsharah) in the Netherlands to prepare for immigration. There he met his partner and future wife, Susi (Zuzi) Katz (Shulamit Bar-Shalom), who also boarded the Dora to Eretz Israel.
Meyer first lived in Kibbutz "Rodges" (Kfar Avraham near Petah Tikva), a religious kibbutz named after the farm in Germany (in Fulda, Hesse) where some of the founders of the religious kibbutz were trained. After about two years, Meir and Shulamit (Susi) Katz went to Kvutzat Yavne [another religious kibbutz]. There they married in 1942 and in 1944 their eldest daughter was born.
Note: Assuming "Mejer Frydmann", as he appears on the passenger lists is the same person as "Meir (Meyer) Friedman" listed on the maapilim.org site, even though the birth dates and nationalities don't match: Maapilim has birth date: 1918 and nationality: Lithuania.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||16.10.10||Bullay||German|
|Goldbach, Ilse (Frank, Horin)
||חורין אילזה||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||25.11.14||Marktbreid, Germany||German||
Ilse Goldbach was born 25 Nov 1914 in Marktbreit, Bavaria, the daughter of Abraham and Carla Goldbach. She had a younger sister, Martha, and a brother. She fled to the Netherlands in March 1939.
Married name: Ilse Horin; previous married name: Frank.
According to her son: "She immigrated to Israel on the ship "Dora" in August 1939. She arrived in Israel on the coast of Shefayim. They were lowered with the help of activists in the country and taken to hiding places before the English found them."
Her sister Martha Speier also came to Israel with Aliya Bet on the "Pacific" in November 1940. The ship was intercepted by the British and she was interned in Athlit.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||25.8.07||Recksdorf||German|
|Goldschmidt, Julius, Ernst
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||30.03.20||Berkach||German|
|Goldstein, Lilo (Liselotte, Lieselotte)
|| טחובר לילו
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||12.2.18||Berlin||German||
Lilo Tachover (Lieselotte Goldstein), was born February 12, 1918 in Berlin, the daughter of Jacob and Julia Goldstein. She attended a hachshara center in Germany in 1937-1938.
Lilo married Avraham (Alfred) Tachover (Tachauer) in 1941. She lived in Kibbutz Gvar'am. She died in 2006.
|Gottlieb, Mary (married name: Weisskopf Miriam)
||וייסקופף מרים,וייסקופף מרי
Weisskopf. Miriam (Mary)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||15.12.21||Vienna||German||
Miriam (Mary) Weisskopf was born Mary Gottlieb on December 15, 1921, the daughter of Mendel and Esther Gottlieb, the only child to wealthy parents. With the annexation of Austria by the Germans, she left her home in Vienna and went to the Netherlands to receive training for her immigration. On Kristallnacht, Mary was home in Vienna and witnessed riots that hit her family's apartment.
She married Herward (Zvi) Weisskopf, another passenger on the Dora. The couple lived in Kfar Yedidya and had two children. She opened her home and became a foster family for children, including Holocaust survivors. She worked as a postal agent.
She died in 2001 at the age of 80 in Kfar Yedidya.
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||Pres. Brandtstr. 74||13.9.18||Amsterdam||Polish||
Marianna Goudsmit was born on September 13, 1918 in Amsterdam, the daughter of Philip Goudsmit and Jette Israels. Her profession before immigration was seamstress.
Photo: 1940, Tel-Aviv
|The Deventer Society||25.5.15||London||English||
Norris Griver was born on May 25, 1915 in Bethnal Green, in the East End of London. His father was Russian and his mother British. He was an electrician by trade.
His story is unique among the passengers of the Dora. The only citizen from England, he seemingly had no reason to attempt a risky voyage to Palestine as an illegal immigrant. A British national, he wasn't a dispossessed refugee fleeing National Socialism, and was eligible for a legal immigration visa. His son explains:
"My father was an ardent Zionist and wanted to get to Palestine. I believe he was associated with Habonim, and spent some time at the David Eder Farm in Sussex, UK, for hachshara. As a UK citizen, he had a valid visa to Palestine, but it was used by a European refugee, so he had to get to Palestine illegally."
"After leaving London, he spent a few months in Europe, in Paris and in Amsterdam. To the best of my knowledge, he was waiting for a way to get to Palestine for the whole of this period, and I assume the waiting was under the auspices of the organizations arranging Aliyah Bet. He eventually got to Palestine on the Dora."
"On landing, he was taken to Raanana, and then he joined the Kibbutz Anglo-Balti, which was in Binyamina at the time and eventually set up Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee."
"On 7th May 1940 he joined the British Army at Sarafand (today Tsrifin) and served in the Middle East until the end of 1944, when he was posted to the UK. After VE Day he served in Belgium, Holland and Germany and was finally demobilised in London in early 1946. He married in 1947 in London where he set up a successful electrical contracting business, and lived there till his death in February 2000. His two children live in Israel."
Source: Photo and message from his son, Jon Griver, May 2021.
||גרוס שמעון||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||14.5.18||Vienna||German||
Shimon (Simon) Gross was born in Vienna on May 14, 1918, the son of Arieh Leib Gross.
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||3.1.13||Boskowitz||German|
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||2.1.14||Breslau||Stateless||
"Mordechai (Martin) Grünpeter was born on January 2, 1914 in Breslau, Germany, to Emil Grünpeter and Recha (nee Juliusburger). His father was a butcher, a profession that was passed down in the family from generation to generation. He ran a traditional Jewish home, and at the same time was a German nationalist."
Martin Grünpeter changed his name in Israel to Mordechai Sela.
|Gusdorf, Hans Rudolf
||גדרון ראובן (הארו)
Gidron Reuven (Haro)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||10.4.21||Berlin||German||
Reuven Gidron (Hans Rudolf Gusdorf) was born in Berlin on April 10, 1921, the son of Max and Helena Gusdorf. His father was a merchant who was away for the week and was only home on the weekend. He was raised by his mother and a nanny. He was named after two cousins, Hans and Rudolf, who had fallen in World War I. Later he would receive the nickname "Harrow", made up from combining both names.
|Gutmann, Gustav Gerhard
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||28.9.20||Berlin||German|
|| גוטמן אלחנן
|Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||13.12.15*||Burgpreppach||German||
Elhanan (Heinemann) Guttman was born on December 13, 1915, (or December 28, 1919 according to maapilim.org.il), in Burgpreppach, Germany, the son of Meyer and Amelia Guttman. he belonged to the Ezra youth movement.
He provided the following details on maapilim.org.il: I did not finish school because of the rise of the Nazis. At the age of 17 I was sent to the Czech Republic to study in a yeshiva and learn carpentry. The Nazis did not allow me to return to Germany, so I traveled through Austria, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands to be trained in the organization of the Agudat Israel workers' movement. After many difficulties we sailed in July 1939 from the port of Rotterdam [Amsterdam]."
Heinemann changed his name in Israel to Elhanan Gutman. He married Hanna Eschwege, another who came to Israel in 1945.
||גד-אדווין האס||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||13.1.20||Manheim||German||
Edwin Haas was born on January 13, 1920 in Manheim, Germany, the son of Karl Haas and Anna Kayem. His father Karl died in 1927 when Edwin was seven years old.
Edwin was married and had two children. He died in Haifa in 2007, at the age of 87.
His two sisters Tamar (Getrud) Demayo (Haas) and Lilly Kahn (Haas) emigrated to Israel.
|Heineberg, Walther (Walter)
|| היינברג גבריאל
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||28.7.20||Düsseldorf||German||
Gavriel (Walter) Heineberg was born in Düsseldorf on July 28, 1920. He belonged to the Habonim.
Changed his name to Gavriel Heineberg in Israel. He first resided in Hadera. He married Shoshana Herrmann. The couple had three children.
||וולף הירש חווה (אווה)
Chava Hirsch Wolff
|The Deventer Society (Apeldoorn)||APELDOORN: "Het Apeldoornsche Bosch"||15.9.16||Berlin||German||
Eva Hirsch was married to Yehuda (Fritz) Wolff, another passenger on the Dora.
||Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||13.11.19||Düsseldorf||German|
||רפאלי משה (מוזס)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||29.3.20||Berlin||German||
Moshe Raphaeli (Manfred Hirsch) was born in Berlin on March 29, 1920. He was a member of Habonim. He fled Germany in July 1936* at the age of 16 and came to the Netherlands where he went for training for immigration in Werkdorp Wieringermeer. After three years of training, he boarded the "Dora" to Israel.
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||21.6.18||Vienna||German||
Abraham Hochberger was born on June 21, 1918 in Vienna.
He died in March 1998 (79) in the state of New York.
|| בר תקוה חיים
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||6.11.16||Schreiberhau||German||
Heinz Hoffmann was born on November 6, 1916 in Schreiberhau (Lower Silesia), the son of Julius Joseph and Clara Hoffmann.
He changed his name to Haim Bar-Tikva (חיים בר תקוה)
|Horowitz, Marcus (Max)
|| הורביץ מרדכי
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||17.1.14||Frankfort||German||
Mordechai (Marcus) Horowitz was born in Frankfurt am Main, on January 17, 1914. His father Jacob and grandfather were rabbis in the community. They were Orthodox and opposed Zionism. Mordechai's grandfather was from Hungary. His father graduated in philosophy from university and established German-Jewish cultural and social enterprises. Mordechai's mother came from a Zionist home, and in her youth had visited Israel. All five children of the Horowitz family were in Zionist youth movements and immigrated to Israel.
Mordechai attended a Jewish elementary school, a trade school and worked in a textile trading house. He was a member of the Kadima movement and went to training in the Netherlands on a farm established by Dutch Jewry. There he stayed for two years and worked in the vegetable garden and barn.
After his arrival in Israel, he first stayed with his sister in Givat Haim. He later moved to Kibbutz Beit Hashita. He changed his name to Mordechai Horowitz.
Mordechai did not start a family. He died in 1985 at the age of seventy-one.
||Moshe Israel||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||7.9.20||Schlawe||German||
Moshe (Manfred) Israel, was born in 1920 in Schlawe, a small town not far from Stolp in the former Pomerania. Manfred Israel fled Germany in the Spring of 1938 for the Netherlands where he joined the Werkleute group in Werkdorp.
In Israel he changed his name to Moshe. He first lived in Kibbutz Hasorea, then became a member of Kibbutz Kefar Menahem in 1942. He is the author of "Waehle sagt mir die Erinnerung" (Moshe Israel, Altius Verlag, 1996), a collection of poems, a play, and a diary.
|Jacob, Leopold Siegfried
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||10.6.17||Berlin||German||
Leopold Siegfried Jacob was born on June 10, 1917 in Berlin.
He fled from Berlin and came to the Netherlands in the fall of 1936. He came to the Franeker Kibbutz on October 10, 1936. He did an internship with a cattle farmer in Achlum, a village about 7 km southwest of Franeker. He then left Franeker at the end of April 1938 for Amsterdam. From there he boarded the Dora in the summer of 1939.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||18.7.16||Hamburg||German||
Ernst Jacobsohn was born on July 18, 1916 in Hamburg.
He fled Germany and came to the Netherlands where he trained for his immigration in Werkdorp Wieringermeer before boarding the Dora.
He later immigrated to the USA. He was married and had two sons. He died in 1996 at the age of 80 in Nassau, Rensselaer County, New York.
Ernst Jacobsohn's entire family—parents, aunts and brother were killed in concentration camps.
|Jonas, Max Gerhard
||Gershon||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||16.4.21||Berlin||German||
Born in Berlin in April 1921.
After completing school in 1937, Gerhard attended a private Jewish school to learn English in order to attend University in England. Having become an ardent Zionist, he decided to go to Palestine instead. He left Germany in September 1938 for Holland to follow agricultural training in Werkdorp Wieringermeer, then made the decision to go to Palestine against his mother's wishes in January 1939.
Changed his name to Gershon in Palestine.
"I was sent to Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in the Jordan Valley in November 1939. It was very hot and very primitive. We lived in a wooden house, six in one room; there was also a tent. Up until 1943 I was farming, draining swamps and planting bushes. [...] In 1943 I volunteered for the Palmach. A unit was established of young German Jews to act as guerillas behind German lines, (in case) the war would reach Palestine. [...] In 1944 I volunteered to the ‘Jewish Brigade’ along with 5,000 other Jews in Palestine.”
Gershon died in 2012 in Bnei Dror, Israel.
Source: Oral account by Gershon Jonas recorded by his family ca. 2003-2008, and ca. 2012. Via Annette Jonas Galula.
|| כהן שמחה
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||5.7.20||Lichtenfels, Germany||Stateless||
Siegbert Kahn left Germany in October 1936 for Werkdorp Nieuwesluis (Werkdorp Wieringermeer).
He changed his name to Simcha Cohen in Israel. His first place of residence in the country was Sha'ar HaNegev.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||24.2.16||Vienna||German|
|Kapelner Heinrich (Kapellner)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||31.3.20||Köln||Polish|
||The Deventer Society (Weelsche Broek)||WEELSCHE BROEK||p.a. Gerritsen||1.7.16||Nyirgelse||Hungarian||
Maybe same as Katz, Albert
||(Assuming Deventer society, based on the address: Papenstraat 45, Deventer)||Papenstraat 45, Deventer||Hungarian||
Maybe same as Katz, Abraham
||בר-שלום שולמית (זוזי) Shulamit Katz Bar-Shalom (Zuzi)||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||25.7.18||Posen||German||
Shulamit Katz Bar-Shalom (née Susi Katz) was born on July 25, 1918 in Posen, Germany (now: Poland), the daughter of Eliezer and Hedvig Katz. She grew up in Berlin after having come to Fuessen at a very young age.
||נבו גרשם (קצב)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||15.7.20* (05/07/1920)||Berlin||Stateless||
Gershom Nevo was born Gerhard Katzenstein in Berlin in 1920 to an assimilated Jewish family, although his maternal grandfather was a rabbi in Poland. His father was a journalist, publicist and activist in the Social Democratic Party, and party representative on the Berlin City Council. When the Nazis came to power, he was forced to flee and the family dispersed.
Gerhard Katzenstein changed his name to Gershom Nevo (גרשם נבו (קצב))
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||28.1.20||Berlin||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||22.9.18||Berlin||Stateless||
Ernst Kaufmann appears in two photographs taken by Roman Vishniac in the training camp Werkdorp Wieringermeer in 1939. See Joods Cultureel Kwartier.
|Kleestadt, Hans (Klestadt)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||19.4.20||Geseke||German|
|Kornicker, Peter, J.
||Dan Karni||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||14.12.17||Breslau||German||
Peter Kornicker was born in 1917 in Breslau, the son of a lawyer and notary, Georg Kornicker. He went to Holland to do his Hachschara.
In Israel, he changed his name to Dan Karni. At first, he resided in a kibbutz. He then joined the Jewish Brigade from 1942 to 1946, and sustained a serious injury in combat. He later joined the Israel Army, which he did not leave until the age of 55. An official in the Ashkelon City Council, he also volunteered for the police department and for Magen David Adom. He lived in Ashkelon and died in 1986.
Source: Mitteilungen des Verbandes Ehemaliger Breslauer, via Knut Bergbauer.
||Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||27.10.20||Stuttgart||Polish|
||The Deventer Society (Klarenbeek bij Voorst)||KLARENBEEK bij Voorst||Papenstraat 45, Deventer||20.3.20||Goslar||German|
|Leefsma, Eduard (Eddy)
||(Zenderen)||ZENDEREN; near Borne||1.5.17*||Den Haag||Dutch||
Eduard (Eddy) Leefsma was born on 31-05-1917 in The Hague, the son of Mozes Leefsma, commercial agent, and Marianne Snijders.
He stayed in Hasselo no. 55 with the family of Jan Lambertus Snuverink on the farm 'De Bongerd' from June 1938 to February 1939. He came from Diepenveen to Hasselo, then stayed with the Smit family in Zenderen. From the about thirty pioneers who lived in the municipality of Borne, ten stayed at this address over the years.
In July 1939 Eduard left for Palestine on the 'Dora'. He later married the widow Clara Helena Goldschmidt-Leefsma. They had two children together.
His parents, sister Ella and brothers Raphaël and Fritz all died in concentration camp Sobibor, Poland."
Eddy died 28-01-2009 in Israel.
Eddy Leefsma's letters and documents (1939-1995) are kept in Yad Vashem: "Eddy Leefsma, born in Utrecht, 1917, (who) made aliyah to Eretz Israel in 1939."
*Note: the passenger list where Eduard Leefsma's name appears has an incorrect date of birth. The correct date is May 31, 1917, as recorded in his birth record.
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||26.4.19||Berlin||German|
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||7.10.20*||Essen||Polish**||
Kurt Levie was born in Essen, Germany, on October 7 1920, the son of Hugo Levie and Olga Henriette Schweizerz.
Kurt attended hachshara in Lehrgut Gut Winkel (Germany) from 1935 to 1937. According to the Gut Winkel register, he was a Dutch citizen (and not Polish as recorded on the passenger list). His residence was listed as Kaldenkirchen, near the Dutch border in 1936. He may have joined another hachshara between 1937 and his arrival in the Netherlands in 1938 as his personal file in the Amsterdam Archives show he lived in Grüsen, Germany before coming to Amsterdam.
He came to Amsterdam in April 1938, and first lived on Weesperstraat, the main street of the Jewish quarter. His personal file in the Amsterdam Archives marked him as "V.O.W." (Vertrokken onbekend waarheen: "left town, destination unknown") as of December 1939. By then he had already left on the Dora five months before. The same card shows that his profession was auto mechanic.
Kurt's Military register provides a sad detail about his family. Next to his father's name is a handwritten note: "krank zinnig (geen curator)", meaning: "insane, no guardian".
Kurt married Hetty (Heintje) Worms, another immigrant on the Dora.
*Note: The Amsterdam list has 7.10.1912, but 1920 is the correct year as it appears on two different hachshara lists and in his personal file in the Amsterdam Archives.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||6.7.18||Berlin||German|
|Lewinsky, Hans, Arnold
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||6.12.19||Neustettin||German||
Hans Lewinsky attended hachshara in Lehrgut Gut Winkel (Germany) starting in August 1935. His residence in 1936 was listed as Polzin.
|Lewinsohn, Kurt (Curt)
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||?.12.12||Osterode||German|
|Lewy, Ruth (Levy)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||22.3.21||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||20.2.10||Posen||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||20.10.21||Düsseldorf||German||
Hans Loeb appears in two photographs taken by Roman Vishniac in the training camp Werkdorp Wieringermeer in 1939. See Joods Cultureel Kwartier.
Hans Loeb's photo by Roman Vishniac, (c) Erven Vishniac / International Center of Photography New York.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||22.7.20||Schoneberg||German|
||The Deventer Society (Hall, bij Eerbeek)||HALL, bij Eerbeek.||p.a. H. J. Maaldering 23.
Papenstraat 45, Deventer
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||Topaasstr. 7. p/a. Koopman||21.9.12||Lubschan||German|
||The Deventer Society (Hummelo)||HUMMELO||J.E. Hupkes, Op de Kip, A, 109 Hummelo||25.3.20||Wissek||German||
Alfred Mainzer was born in Wissek, Prussia (now Wysoka, Poland). He lived in Baden-Baden (Baden-Oos) and attended Hachshara in Germany together with his twin brother Herbert Mainzer.
||מיינצר עמרי רוברט
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||27.5.20||Lüdinghausen||German||
Robert Mainzer left Lüdinghausen for the Netherlands in October 1936 to follow his hachshara in Werkdorp Wieringermeer.
Robert changed name in Israel to Omri Mainzer. His first place of residence in Israel was Hadera. He married Laura Bender, a holocaust survivor who came with the Biriya, an Aliya Bet vessel in 1946.
|Maks, Rita (Heintje Hendrika)
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||23.10.14||Haarlem||Dutch||
Heintje Hendrika Maks was born on October 23, 1914 in Haarlem, Holland, the daughter of Gerard Maks and Lea de Klijn. Her professions before immigration were: nanny, maid, then "none".
A registration card kept in the Amsterdam archives provides a detailed list of her addresses over the years:
All locations between 1935 and 1938 are small municipalities and villages, suggesting she was receiving agriculture training in various farms. The date of her immigration to Palestine is incorrect if she was on the Dora. She left Israel and returned to the Netherlands in 1948, then immigrated to the UK.
She married Albert Charles Bennell. The couple settled in Sydney, Australia.
Rita Benell (Maks) died in 1916, at the age of 101. An inscription on her grave ("Safe in the arms of Jesus") indicates that she had converted.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||28.5.21||Berlin||German|
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||30.9.16||Erfurt||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||29.2.20||Breslau||German|
|Mattuscak, David (David Matuszak)
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||24.7.17||Gelsenkirchen||Polish||
David Matuszak, born in Gelsenkirchen, lived in Köln.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||31.1.21||Gr. Strelitz||German|
|Meyer, Behrend (Meyer Berend, Leo), (Mayer, Berend Leo)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||26.2.14||Hamburg||German|
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||28.4.12||Berlin||German||
Walter Münzer was born on April 28, 1912 in Berlin, Germany, the son of Max Münzer and Hedwig Dzialowsky.
Walter fled Berlin and came to the Netherlands as a pioneer with the Deventer Association and stayed in the association building at Brink 70. Walter then stayed in Hasselo no. 60 at the Gerhardus Leuveld family farm 'de Kogelboer' in the municipality of Weerselo, from February 1937 to February 1939. After his stay in Hasselo he left for the youth hostel 'De Assumburg' in Heemskerk.
His father died in 1933, his mother was a victim of the Holocaust. His sister Dorothea survived the war, she left for Palestine.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||3.5.20||Dortmund||German|
||The Deventer Society (Hasselo)||HASSELO 5||p.a. Sanderman
Papenstraat 45, Deventers
Born 04-08-1920 Hamburg, Kurt Nattenheimer moved to Bad Oldesloe in 1937 and worked as a messenger. He was incarcerated in Buchenwald for two weeks following Kristallnacht.
He left Germany and went to the Netherlands where he became a pioneer with the Deventer Association. He lived in Weerselo until the end of June 1939. From there he went to "De Korenbloem" in Deventer, where he stayed until mid-July, before leaving for Palestine on board the Dora.
In Palestine, he joined the Jewish-Israeli Police Brigade.
This is probably: Kurt Nattenheimer (Netta), who married Gerda Gila Lipper and lived on Kibbutz Gal'ed. see geni.com. One of the founders of Kibbutz Gal'ed was Giora Yoseftal who had been involved in the early stages of the Dora trip. See: wikipedia.org
His parents emigrated to Chicago in 1939, where his father died in 1942.
|Niedermann, Simon E. (Ernst)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||8.9.20||Frankfort||German|
|Noahfeldt, Wolfram (Noafeldt)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||2.4.21||Königsberg||German|
|Nussbaum, Paul, Karl (Paul)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||27.3.20||Berlin||German||
Paul Nussbaum was born in Berlin to Otto and Sophie Nussbaum. His father was a teacher and his mother was engaged in commerce. Yoram received a general education and continued his studies at an agricultural school. At the age of 14, he joined the Werkleute movement. In 1938, at the age of 18, he moved to the Werkdorp Wieringermeer kibbutz in the Netherlands, and from there immigrated to Israel on the Dora.
In Israel, he changed his name to Yoram Nussbaum. He first joined Kibbutz Hazorea, then Kfar Menachem. There he met and married Rachel Gross, an Auschwitz survivor.
Imbued with a socialist worldview, his political involvement led him to participate in various activities for public and social issues, and he worked extensively on the kibbutz's political committee. When he reached retirement age, he devoted himself to studies at the Hebrew University, at the Buber Institute, and at Givat Haviva. Yoram and Rachel had two daughters and a son. Yoram Nussbaum died 02/09/2001
||The Deventer Society (Ellecom)||ELLECOM||G. Frederiks,
|Oppenheimer, Marcus (Markus)
|| אופנהיימר מרדכי
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||15.8.19*||Marktbreid||German||
Mordechai (Marcus) Oppenheimer was born in 1919 in Marktbreid, Bavaria, the son of Issachar Bernard, a teacher, and Klara Oppenheimer. He was the twelfth child out of fifteen.
Marcus Oppenheimer changed his name in Israel to Mordechai Oppenheimer (מרדכי אופנהיימר).
|Oppenheimer, Walter (Oppenheim ?)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||30.12.17||Stateless|
|Polak, Edmund (Pollack)
||The Deventer Society (Voorst)||VOORST||Gasthuismolensteeg 14, Amsterdam||23.11.13||Vienna||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||14.3.16||Wriesen||German||
Bernd Radzewski was born on March 14, 1916 in Wriesen, Brandenburg, Germany, the son of David Radzewski and Frieda Neustadt.
Bernd was married and had two children. He died in Ness Ziona, Israel.
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||31.8.19||Stanislawo||Stateless||
"Born 31-08-1919 in Stanislav, Russia. Deceased in 2010 in Omer, Israel.
He stayed on the farm on Hasselo no. 46 (municipality of Weerselo) with the family Jan Willem Huiskes from June 1937 to February 1938. He came here from Amsterdam, where his parents lived. After his stay in Hasselo he left for Brummen and a year later to Heemskerk. He left in July 1939 to Palestine with the 'Dora'. He married Deborah Schönfeld.
His parents and his brother Gerchon survived the war. His brother Rubin and sister Erna died with her family in the Holocaust.
Source and photo: hoorlogsdodendinkelland.nl
Alternate name: Rawet, Samuel Judel
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||12.2.18||Altona||Polish|
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam||Pl.Muidergr. 27||3.1.13*||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Eliyahu (Elias) Reens was born in Amsterdam on October 3, 1913, the son of Levie Reens and Duifje Waagenaar. His father was a diamond cutter from Amsterdam. His mother died in September 1932, when Elias was 18 years old.
Elias Reens changed his name to Eliyahu Reens (אליהו רינס).
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||9.9.20||Hungarian||
Hermann Riez was born on September 9, 1920, in Miskolcz (Miskolc), Hungary, the son of Ilona Rapaport and Elek Riez.
According to his family card held in The Hague Archives, Herman came to The Hague in May 1935 from Miskolcz, Hungary, where his brother Simon had a sewing workshop where shirts were made. His sisters Lydia and Etel and their mother Ilona also lived in The Hague. Herman was in Kibbutz Beverwijk for his training from October 1937 to March 1938. He then continued his education in Kibbutz Franeker until 13-01-1939. In the spring of 1939 Herman returned to Beverwijk, now in its new location in Velsen-Noord. There he awaited his departure to Palestine with a group of 29 Palestine-goers. Herman left the Netherlands on Sunday morning July 16, 1939 with the ship "Dora" from the port of Amsterdam.
His mother, Ilona, was murdered in Auschwitz 21-09-1942.
His brother Simon was murdered in Auschwitz 31-12-1942. Simon's wife Cecilia was murdered in Auschwitz 21-09-1942.
His sister Etelka was murdered in Auschwitz 21-01-1943 along with her husband Jacob Fonteijn.
||Berg-Stichting, Laren||Berg-Stichting, Laren||3.9.15||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Jakob Roodveldt was born on September 3, 1915 in Amsterdam, the son of Levie Roodveldt and Heintje van Thijn, the middle child of a family of four sons and two daughters. His mother died in 1921 when Jakob was six, and his father, a merchant, died in 1924, when Jakob was nine. After losing his parents, Jakob lived in the Jewish Boys Orphanage "Megadle Jethomim" (Amstel 21, Amsterdam) beginning June 1925, at the age of ten.
According to the register of the orphanage, he was an optician, although, considering his young age, this probably meant he was an optician apprentice. A later registration card indicated that he had no profession.
He joined the Franeker Kibbutz in June 1936, where he began his agricultural training for immigration. He left Franeker and returned to Amsterdam in May 1938. From there he left for Palestine aboard the Dora.
His sister Mietje joined him in Kibbutz Franeker in July 1937, where she remained for only three months. She too fled Europe on the Dora. Aside from Jakob, she would be the only sibling to survive the war.
All of Jakob's remaining siblings were killed in the Shoah.
Note: The date of Jakob's departure for Palestine is incorrectly recorded as February 1941 in his family card kept in the Amsterdam Archives
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam||5.5.14||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Mietje Roodveldt was born on May 5, 1914 in Amsterdam, the daughter of Levie Roodveldt and Heintje van Thijn, in a family of four sons and two daughters. Her mother died in 1921 when Mietje was seven, and her father, a merchant, died in 1924, when she was ten. She then lived in the Jewish Girls Orphanage on Rapenburgstraat 171 in Amsterdam.
She joined the Franeker Kibbutz in July 1936, a month after her brother Jakob. There she began her training for immigration. Her profession was listed as housekeeper. She left Franeker three months later and returned to Amsterdam in October 1937. From there she left for Palestine aboard the Dora, along with her brother Jakob.
Aside from Jakob, all of Mietje's siblings were killed in the Shoah.
Her Family card in the Amsterdam Archives incorrectly has her departure for Palestine as March 1942.
|Rooz, Isaak (Isaac)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||22.2.19||Hungarian|
||Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||15.11.20||Magdeburg||Stateless|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||29.6.17||Thorn||German||
This may be the same person as Heinrich Rosenberg, also born in Thorn, who did his hachshara in Jägerslust (Flensburg) until November 1938.
||The Deventer Society (Vierakker)||VIERAKKER||H. Wagenvoort, Vierakker||12.1.10||Iwan Unger||German|
|Rosenblatt, Eli (Rosenblatt Sofer Avraham Eli)
|| רוזנבלט קרא אברהם עלי
Abraham Eli Rosenblatt Karo
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||30.6.21||Berlin||German||
Eli Abraham Rosenblatt Karo was born in Berlin on 30/06/1921, the son of Yitzhak Yehuda and Esther Sofer.
Eli Rosenblatt (Rosenblatt Sofer Avraham Eli) changed his name to Abraham Eli Rosenblatt Karo (אברהם עלי רוזנבלט קרא)
|Rosenfeld, Josef, Joachim (Janos J.
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||24.12.13||Breslau||Hungarian||
Appears on one list as "Janos J. Rosenfeld, Hong" (Hungarian); and as "Josef Joachim Rosenfeld, Hong, 24.12.13, Breslau". Assuming both entries point to the same person. This could also possibly be a brother of Frida Fuchs (nee Rosenfeld) from Breslau, who had a brother named Hans Joachim Rosenfeld, born in 1913.
|Rottenberg, Lucia (Luzia)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||22.8.21||Vienna||German|
||Enschede Hachscharah Agudas Yisroel||10.12.15||Berlin||Polish|
||The Deventer Society (Zandvoort)||ZANDVOORT||p.a. Waldeck Breederoodeweg 45 a.||28.2.21||Berlin||German|
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||Gasthuismolensteeg 14, Amsterdam||21.6.14||Berlin||German||
Born 21-06-1914 in Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany.
Günter was a pioneer of the Deventer Association. In January 1937 he lived for a short time, together with Walter Münzer, another Dora passenger, in the association building at the Brink 70 in Deventer. Before coming to this address, he had lived at two other addresses in the municipality of Weerselo, namely Hasselo No. 42 and Deurningen No. 21.
Günter stayed on the farm of the Sanderman family in Hasselo No. 5 (municipality of Weerselo) from November 1938 to February 1939, after which he left for Weesperstraat 2 in Amsterdam. At this address was located the building of "Hagnosas Ourechiem", the Association to Support Emigration. In July 1939 he left for Palestine on the Dora.
His father Moritz Russ died in Berlin in 1941. His mother Jettel Kaiser was gassed in the extermination camp Chelmno (Kulmhof).
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||8.2.18||Berlin||German||
Werner Sallein is most likely Werner Joseph Sallein, aka Joseph Sallein, born December 8, 1918 (and not February 8*) in Berlin.
He married Elizabeth Sallein in Haifa in February 1946. His wife Elizabeth, also born in Germany, had emigrated to the USA in 1938 and had become a US citizen in 1944. The couple then emigrated to the USA in December of 1946. Werner Joseph Sallein became an American citizen in 1949. At the time he was a mechanic. The couple had two children.
Werner Joseph Sallein died in November 2001 (82) in San Francisco.
*Note: The passengers lists contain several instances of incorrect birth dates, typically with one digit missing. In this case, "8.2.18" on the passenger list may have been "8.12.18". Considering the very few results for this name, and his presence in Haifa in the 1940's, it is quite likely that this is indeed the same person.
|The Deventer Society (Enschede)||ENSCHEDE||Prinsenstraat 12||27.2.17||Arnhem||Dutch||
Amos Sanders (Adolf, Benjamin) was born on February 27, 1917 in Arnhem, Netherlands, the son of Klara Sanders. He belonged to the youth hechalutz movement (תנועת נוער חלוצית) and pursued agricultural training (Hachshara).
In Israel, he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Sde Nehemia in 1939, where he remained until 1950. He then joined Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv in 1962.
Amos married and had three children. He died in December 1990 at the age of 73.
|Schelasnitzki, Horst (Schelanitzky)
||Kibbutz Misrachi, Franeker||Franeker, Harlingerweg 45 (Kibbutz Misrachi)||1.6.21||Darkehmen||German|
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||19.08.1919||Heilbronn, Germany||German||
Kurt Scheuer was born in Heilbron, Germany on August 19, 1919, the son of Albert and Emma Scheuer. He lived in a religious home until the age of 17.
At the age of 17 he fled Germany because of the anti-Semitism and came to the Netherlands. There he went to Werkdorp Wieringermeer, a "working village" for his hachashar. He appears on several photographs taken by Roman Vishniac in the training camp in 1939. (See Joods Cultureel Kwartier.)
In Israel he lived in Kibbutz HaZore'a. He changed his name in Israel to Reuven Scheuer.
Information and portrait photo from maapilim.org.il
|| חנוך אילן
|The Deventer Society (Deventer)||DEVENTER||Papenstraat 45
B. Oosterink, Brinkweg 28, Rheden
Ilan Chanoch (Heinz Schönebaum) was born on April 23, 1917 in Hörde-Dortmund, the third son of Emil and Bertha Schönenbaum.
Coming from a very modest background, with the rise of the Nazi regime in 1933 he was forced to drop out of school to help support the family. In 1937 he set out for agricultural training in preparation for immigration to Israel, at a Jewish-owned mansion in East Prussia, where he worked in agriculture.
When the estate was confiscated by the Nazis he managed to reach the Netherlands. There he worked for a farmer. As the danger to Jewish life in Germany increased, Hamok was asked by his parents to help save his younger brother Gad [Gerhard / Gerd Schönebaum]. Enoch took advantage of his connections and managed to rescue him and bring him to the Netherlands.
Prior to his aliyah on the Dora, Hanoch was tasked with organizing the luggage of all the candidates for aliyah staying with various farmers throughout the Netherlands.
After the Dora arrived and dropped the anchor on the shore near Herzliah, in the hours of darkness, after they [all] had left the ship, despite the personal risk, Ilan Chanoch decided to make sure that all the illegal immigrants had left the ship. While scanning the ship he found his friend Uzi Binyamin sleeping and rescued him, saving him from going back to the burning Europe.
With other "Dora" immigrants, he joined the "Mahar" company, which later became Kibbutz Gvar'am. In 1943 he married Elisheva and a month later left for Syria and Lebanon as a civilian driver in the British Army.
In 1947 he was accepted as a member of Darom Yehuda ("Southern Judea" was a transport cooperative which was later absorbed by Egged). During the War of Independence he was the only bus driver in the southern region. Courageously, he drove an armored bus at the head of convoys on the southern roads and assisted in maintaining the transportation connection between the southern and central settlements.
He managed to get illegal immigrants from Nitzanim Beach under the noses of British soldiers as workers who were returned due to lack of work that day. He became known for having rescued a convoy that was ambushed in the Yazur area and for evacuating the children of Kibbutz Nitzanim and Kibbutz Be'erot Yitzhak under attack by the Egyptian army.
He continued to work with Egged and took an active part in the social and economic activity in Kibbutz Gvar'am.
Ilan Chanoch died in September 2009 at the age of 92 in Kibbutz Gvar'am.
His brother Gerd managed to remain in hiding in the Netherlands during the entire duration of the war.
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||11.9.19||Frankfurt am Main, Germany||German||
Hermann Zwi Selka was born in Frankfurt am Main on September 11, 1919, the son of Fritz Shlomo Selka and Sophie Selka.
He said: "I attended an eight-grade Jewish school in the community. After that I worked for a carpenter until August 1937. That month I moved to training in the Netherlands, from there in 1939 I boarded the ship "Dora".We left Antwerp and the ride was smooth, with no disruptions and distractions. We arrived on August 11, 1939, near Kibbutz Shefayim."
He married Dina Wolf. Changed name in Israel to Zwi Selka.
Zilka died in July 2017, aged 105.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||6.7.21||Altona||German||
Kurt Siegel's name appears on a list of the Jüdische Jugendhilfe from April 1937, indicating that he attended a hachshara center in Germany that year. He was a member of Hashomer Hatzair. (On this list, his birth date is July 8, 1921.)
|Sigal, Markus (Segal)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||24.4.18*||Groningen*||Dutch||
Marcus Segal was born on April 29, 1918 in Amsterdam, the son of Abraham Segal and Leentje van Sijs. One of six children, his mother died in January 1927 when Marcus was not yet nine years old. In June of that year, Marcus was taken to the Central Israelite Orphanage in Utrecht where he lived until he started working in Kibbutz Beverwijk in October 1937. His father remarried a year later in 1928.
In October 1937 Marcus Segal joined the Mizrachi (religious Zionist) Kibbutz Dat veEretz in Beverwijk,where he remained until March 1938. He then continued with his training in Kibbutz Franeker until February 1939. In the spring of 1939 he returned to Beverwijk, now in a new location in Velsen-Noord. There he awaited his departure to Palestine with a group of 29 Palestine-goers. Marcus left the Netherlands on Sunday morning July 16, 1939 with the ship "Dora" from the harbor of Amsterdam.
Marcus's entire family was murdered in the Shoah:
Note: His date of birth and the spelling of his last name on the passenger list are incorrect. His name is Segal in the military register), and date of birth is 29.4.1918.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||27.1.21||Berlin||German|
||(Zeddam)||ZEDDAM||Gasthuismolensteeg 14, Amsterdam||30.4.19||Berlin||German|
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||16.12.20*||Ustrzyki||Polish||
Ascher Singer, born 26 December 1920 in Ustrzyki Dolne, Poland.
Source: Index card from the National Association of Jews in Germany ("Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland"): collections.arolsen-archives.org
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||4.2.12||Baden||German|
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||Frederikstr. I8 a.||16.8.19||Neuhof||German||
Ewald Sondheimer was born 16-08-1919 in Neuhof-Fulda, Germany, the son of Nathan Sondheimer, merchant, and Lina Sommer. He was the youngest of a family of three children. The family left for Hünfeld in 1929 then to Kassel in May 1933.
Ewald fled Germany and came to the Netherlands in 1936, the rest of the family followed a year later. He then came to Deurningen as a farmer in October 1936 and then moved to the club building at Brink 70 in Deventer. He became very active with the Hachshara movement. He stayed on a farm on Deurningen no. 17 with the Arnold ten Kate family in the municipality of Weerselo from October 1936 to April 1938. Ewald was a pioneer of the Deventer Association. His parents and sister Elli emigrated to Brazil in February 1939. Ewald - who wanted to go to Palestine - and his sister Liesel - who had married in Amsterdam - decided to stay in the Netherlands. He lived among others in the 'Youth Aliyah' the Vondelhof.
His attempts to get an English visa failed, and in the autumn of 1939 he illegally left for Palestine with other pioneers aboard the Dora. After coming to Eretz Israel, Ewald changed his name to Shlomo and founded a new kibbutz with other pioneers from the Dora.
He lived there with his wife Hava Eva Levy, whom he knew from the Netherlands and with whom he married in Palestine. After a few years they left for Emek Hefer, where they started their own settlement Nira. Their two children were born here. In the 1970s, he engaged more in local politics and soon rose to leadership positions. In his function as "Regional Council deputy", he actively participated in the exchange between Israel and Germany. He died in November 1996 in Beit Yitzchak, Israel.
His sister Liesel Wijnman and her family died in the Holocaust. His sister Elli survived and moved back to Germany in 1957 with her family. His mother Lina left for Israel in 1952 after the death of her husband and lived with her son Ewald.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||14.8.21||Koblenz||German|
|Spatz, Max (Maks)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||1.4.20||Worms||Polish|
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||26.8.18||Baden||German|
|Spuch, Oskar (Oscar)
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||2.1.18||Wieden||Polish|
|Steiner, Ladislaw (Laszlo)
||The Deventer Society (Deventer)||DEVENTER||Papenstraat 45, Deventer||5.11.11||Hüdin||Hungarian|
||The Deventer Society (Gouda)||GOUDA||Catharina-Hoeve,R.v. Catsweg 61, Gouda||13.11.17||Mattesberg||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||29.9.21||Breslau||German|
|| כוכבי רפאל (רפי)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||4.5.20||Berlin||German||
Changed name in Israel to Raphael (Rafi) Kochavi.
Rafael Sternberg was born in Berlin in 1920 and grew up in a Zionist home. He studied at the Theodor Herzl Zionist School, learned Hebrew which he spoke and wrote fluently, and was a member of the Kadima and later Habonim youth movements. In 1936, at the age of 16, he arrived for hachshara training in the Werkdorp Wieringermeer in the Netherlands. Together with his friends, he immigrated to Israel on the Dora and arrived directly at Kibbutz Haboneh (?) (הבונה) in Hadera.
Rafael Kochavi lived in Kibbutz Dorot where he was a teacher. He married Chava (Pines?) Hirsch in 1951. He had two daughters and four sons. He died in 1981.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||15.8.14||Halle||German|
||מקס מאיר (מאגי) שטופלמן
Max Meir Stoppelman
|Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||19.5.19||Hamburg||German||
Max Stoppelman was born on May 19, 1919, in Hamburg, the son of Gerson Stoppelmann and Auguste Loebenstein. Max had three sisters, Grete/Gretchen, Hedwig, and Ilse, and one brother, Alfred. His father, Gerson, ran a butcher's shop. Max's mother died in 1935 when he was sixteen years old.
Max was married and had four children.
Max Meir Stoppelman died in 1990, at the age of 70 in Bitzaron, Israel.
His father Gerson and his sister Ilse fled Germany to the Netherlands on December 31, 1938. From there they hoped to emigrate to the USA, expecting that their place in the visa waiting list would allow them to leave in the Spring of 1940. The German invasion of the Netherlands prevented them from fleeing to America. Gerson Stoppelman was deported to Auschwitz where he was murdered in October 1942.
His two sisters Hedwig and Grete Grete/Gretchen managed to flee to the United States via the Netherlands and survived the war.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||25.12.20||Bochum||Stateless|
|| ברוך סביר (שטרסבורגר) (בבו)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||13.10.18||Ulm||German||
Berthold (Baruch) Strassburger was born in Ulm in Germany on October 13th, 1918, the eldest son of Ferdinand (Nathan) Strasburger and Alice (Nordlinger) Strasburger. He was raised in a "family in which Jewish tradition merged with Western culture". His father served as rabbi of the city of Ulm until his early death in 1927.
Baruch went for hachshara training in Werkdorp Wieringermeer in the Netherlands.
He later changed his name in Israel to Baruch Svir (ברוך סביר). He first joined Kibbutz HaZore'a, then help found Kibbutz Algbish (?) in Raanana. He later joined Kibbutz Kfar Menachem in 1943, where he worked as a sheperd, then later became the chief accountant in the 1950's. Baruch died at age 64 in 1982.
Baruch's younger brother Helmut (Hanan) made Aliya with Aliyat Hanoar (Youth Aliya) in 1938. Their mother Alice was deported to Theresienstatd in August 1942, then to Auschwitz in January 1943 where she was murdered.
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||8.11.14||Westemburg||German|
||יען שטראוס יוסף||The Deventer Society (Krajenburg bij Hengelo)||KRAJENBURG bij HENGELO||Papenstraat 45, Deventer||5.4.16||Bamberg||German||
Member of Habonim.
Assuming married Rita Wollenberg, another Dora passenger. First resided in Givat Haim.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||13.11.19||Baden||German|
|Tausz, Jene (Jennö)
||The Deventer Society (Assenburg)||ASSENBURG: "Heemskerk"||Jeugdherberg, "Assumberg", Heemskerk||30.7.18||Pápa||Hungarian||
"He came from Budapest on 16 June 1938 to the association building at the Brink 70 in Deventer and left for Deurningen a week later."
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||19.10.21||Breslau||German||
Benno Teichmann did his Hachshara training in Ellguth, Upper Silesia. (The leader there was Giora Josephtal). On November 10, 1938, during the Novemberpogrom, Benno Teichmann and his comrades from the Ellguth Hachshara were arrested by the Gestapo and incarcerated in the Buchenwald concentration camp.
After his release from Buchenwald, Benno Teichmann went to see his parents in Breslau to say goodbye. On February 15, 1939 he left Ellguth with other members of the hachshara camp and fled to the Netherlands.
He later wrote a report about Ellguth for Yad Vashem.
|The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||Uithoornstr. 44||7.4.17||Pless||German||
Heinrich Timendorfer was a member of Maccabi Hatzair. He joined the the hachshara center in Havelberg in July 1938. His wife Margot (née Bagainski) sailed with him on the Dora.
In Israel, he changed his name to Schmuel Timnah (שמואל תמנה).
|van Amerongen, Emil (Emanuel)
||The Deventer Society (Buurssen, em. Haaksbergen)||Buurssen (em. Haaksbergen)||13.6.18||Haarlem||Dutch||
Emanuel van Amerongen ("Emil") was born on June 13, 1918 in Haarlem, the son of Abraham van Amerongen, a merchant, and Saartje Peper.
Assuming that Emanuel van Amerongen later changed his last name to Amram.
Emanuel's parents Abraham and Saatje van Amerongen were murdered in Auschwitz on September 24, 1942 (58).
||The Deventer Society (Amsterdam)||Amsterdam||22.4.18||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Alida Verdoner was born on April 22, 1918, the daughter of Moses Verdoner and Naatje Zurel.
Before immigration, she was a domestic servant.
|Wajntrob, Dwojra (Waintrob, Dwoire, Deborah)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||6.10.17||Warschau||Polish||
Possibly Dwojra Wajntot, born 6 July 1917 in Warsaw, from a post-war employment record dated 1934 in Fulda.
|| עירון ורשבציק דוד ארנסט (דודי)
Eron Varshevchik David Ernest (Dudi)
|The Deventer Society (Hengelo)||HENGELO||Deldenerstr. 57||4.5.19||Copenhagen||Danzig||
Ernst David Eron (Warschawczik), also known as "Dudi", was born in Copenhagen on May 4, 1919, the son of Absey and Rose Warschawczik. He was a member of Habonim.
First place of residence in Israel was Givat Haim. He belonged to Giora Yoseftal's group in Kibbutz Gal'ed.
He said: "The ship sailed from Amsterdam and also docked in Antwerp. Half of the illegal immigrants were pioneers from the pioneering training program (hachshara) in the Netherlands and Germany, and the rest were refugees, almost all from "Greater Germany". The ship sailed without stopping all the way to Turkey, to the port of Pinika, where we met the ship "Tiger Hill" with a yellow flag of medical quarantine, after being deported from the Eretz Israel. In Pinika our ship waited for a wireless message from Eretz Israel. A week later we arrived in Israel without being caught.
He served in the British Army from 1942 to 1946. Married, he had three children.
He died in 1999 at the age of 80 in Ramat-Efal, Israel.
|Weinberg, Carla (Karla)
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||29.6.09||Hamburg||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||27.5.16||Wupperthal||German|
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||2.3.22||Dortmund||German|
|Weisskopf, Herwarth (Herward)
|| וייסקופף צבי הרווארד (בובי)
|Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||7.3.17||Ratibor||German||
Zvi (Herward) Weisskopf was born March 7, 1917, the son of Isidor (Yitzhak) and Tzila Weisskopf. Before immigrating, he lived in Ratibor and was a tanner by profession.
He said: "The journey was arduous. The sea was wavy and the ship was very crowded. Ernest Mohl was also on the Dora, he later died in Kfar Yedidya."
He joined Kibbutz HaZore'a, a kibbutz in northern Israel established in 1936 by members of the German Werkleute movement, a Jewish socialist movement which later evolved into a Labour Zionist movement. There he worked in agriculture, and as an electrician. As part of his work as an electrician, he developed a vaporizer for disinfecting incubating eggs.
He was married to Mary Gottlieb (Miriam Weisskopf), another passenger on the Dora. The couple had two children.
Zvi Weisskopf died in 1994 at the age of 77 in Kfar Yedidya.
||The Deventer Society||29.10.15||Emden||Stateless||
Isaak Windmüller was born 23 October 1915 in Emden, Germany, the son of a butcher and cattle dealer Moritz Windmüller and Jette Windmüller (née Seligmann), and had four siblings.
After the German authorities had withdrawn their father's business license, the family fled to the Netherlands in 1933. While in Groningen, Isaak and his brother Max joined a group that organized the emigration of young people to Palestine, and Isaak became the leader of this group, while Max completed his agricultural training on a farm near Assen in preparation for emigration to Palestine.
When Isaak embarked on the Dora, his brother Max accompanied him. Max, who was already on board, was persuaded by Rue Cohen, the organizer of the training for Palestine pioneers, to go ashore again; he was to continue to help build the Hachsharah, which brought young Jews from Germany and Austria to Palestine on Dutch farms. Max let himself be talked into staying in the Netherlands to give co-guidance to the Palestine pioneers.
Isaak left Holland on the Dora and arrived in Mandatatory Palestine in August 1939. During the war he served in the British army. After 1945, Isaak Windmüller found a new home in Israel.
In early 1942 Max Windmüller was incarcerated in the Westerbork Camp, from where he escaped. Later that year he joined the Westerweel resistance groupof Joop Westerweel. Max Windmüller was involved in the escape route to Spain that the Westerweel group organized for Palestine pioneers. It is estimated that around 400 of them, including his own brother Emil, were saved from certain death thanks to his work. He was betrayed and arrested while attempting to free Palestine pioneers from a prison in Paris. Deported to Buchenwald, he was killed by a guard during the death march to Dachau on April 21, 1945, one day before the column of prisoners were to be liberated by the US army, and two weeks before the end of the war.
Isaak Windmüller died on January 1st, 1999 in Israel.
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||7.9.16||-||German|
|Wollenberg, Rita (Strauss)
||יען (שטראוס) וולנברג ריטה||The Deventer Society (Brummen)||BRUMMEN||p.a. Beker||23.7.20||Elberfeldt||German||
Member of Habonim.
Assuming married Josef Strauss, another Dora passenger. First resided in Givat Haim.
|| וולף יהודה (פריץ) (פפי)
Wolff, Yehuda (Peppi)
|The Deventer Society (Deurningen)||DEURNINGEN||H. Leufeld, Deutningen H.6o||1.10.14||Bingerbrück||German||
Yehuda (Fritz) Wolff was a member of Habonim. He married Eva Hirsch, another passenger on the Dora. His first place of residence in Israel was Givat Haim.
|Wolff, Willy, Günter
||(Delden)||Delden: Wiene G.79||G.Wijnbergen,G.79, Wiene, Ambt-Delden||15.2.18||Strigau||German||
This may be the same person as Gideon Wolf, born on a slightly different date (5.2.18) who appears on the maapilim list.
|Wolkowicz, Szyje, (Wollkowicz, Szyje)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam||Jekerstr. 5||4.3.19||Zelow||Stateless|
|Worms, Hetty (Heintje)
||The Deventer Society (Den Haag)||DEN HAAG||15.12.16||Amsterdam||Dutch||
Heintje Worms was born on December 15, 1916 in Amsterdam, the daughter of Abraham Worms and Sophia Kesner. The couple had nine children.
Heintje's mother died in June 1921 when she was just five years old. In November 1922, Heintje was placed in the Central Israelite Orphanage in Utrecht. Her father then died in March 1926 when she was nine years old.
She left the orphanage and came to Rotterdam in 1936. She then went to the municipality of Apeldoorn in 1937. In October 1938 she joined the Jewish "Youth Farm" in Gouda, a training boarding school for Palestinian pioneers where pupils learned to work the land, with courses in horticulture, livestock and dairy work, and prepared for emigration to Palestine.
She left Gouda in June 1939 and returned to Amsterdam, from where she boarded the Dora. Alone from all Dutch registration cards, her occupation is recorded as "Palestine pioneer".
Heintje married Kurt Levi, another immigrant on the Dora.
Heintje's brother Joseph (Joop) was killed in Auschwitz on September 30, 1942 at the age of 22.
Her brother Jacob Worms survived the war. So did her brother Leendert who immigrated to Palestine.
Note: The date of her departure for Palestine is incorrectly recorded in her family card as December 31, 1940
|Wreschinsky, Walter (Wreschinski)
||The Deventer Society (Warnsveld)||WARNSVELD|| Rouvenhorst
Gasthuismolensteeg 14, Amsterdam
||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||Werkdorp Wieringermeer||4.2.11||Berlin||German|
List of passengers who boarded the Dora in Antwerp, 19 July 1939
Source: The Foreign Police in Belgium ARA; Foreign Police files, A177.761 (via Janiv Stamberger)
The list contains 171 names, with 107 men and 64 women.
Note: the Antwerp list only contains passengers' names and dates of birth. All additional information has been derived from other sources.
|Name||Hebrew Name||Date of Birth||Place of Birth||Nationality||Notes|
Erna Arndt (Koenigsberger) was born on November 14, 1906 in Liegnitz, Poland, the daughter of Dr. Med. Paul Koenigsberger and Lydia Koenigsberger.
Erna married Georg Arndt in 1929. The couple had one daughter.
Georg Arndt was born in May 1896 in Regenwalde, Poland. He married Erna Koenigsberger in 1929. The couple had one daughter.
George Arndt married Koenigsberger in 1929. The couple had one daughter.
Israel Austern's name appears in the Palestine Gazette of 25th November, 1943, for the registration of a newly formed business partnership named Sabon "Esther" dealing in perfumery and cosmetic goods, located 18b, King George Street, Tel Aviv.
Hilda Bauer was born in Gießen and moved to Frankfurt/Main in 1934. She married Walter Krauthammer, another Dora passenger.
Bertha Bromberger (née Buchaster) was born October 27, 1913 in Leipzig, the daughter of Chaim Leib Buchaster and Feige Rachel Ruchl Hasenlauf. Her parents were originally from Bochnia in Galicia (Austria-Hungary) and came to Leipzig. The couple had thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters. Two of the sons died in childbirth and a third at the age of nine.
She married Moshe Moritz Bromberger. The couple had two children and lived in Rishon leZion.
In 1939, Berta's parents fled to Milan, where they stayed until 1940. They attempted to flee to Palestine, where six of their children were already living, but their ship was stopped by Italian forces in the Libyan port of Benghazi and sent back to Calabria from Africa. After that, the couple was interned in the Ferramonti di Tarsia internment camp. In December 1943, they were transferred to the Rovigo prison, then to Auschwitz.
Bertha's father died in 1944. Her mother Feige was murdered in Auschwitz, and so was her brother Jakob. In addition to her sister Marie (Marja) and her brother Nathan who fled with her to Palestine on the Dora, five (?) other siblings emigrated to Palestine and survived the Shoah: Eliyahu, Zeev Wolf (Isaak), Ester Elsa Shomer, Simi Selma (Shlomit Kaufthiel) and Toni.
Marie (Miriam, Marja) Stienmesser (née Buchaster) was born on April 09, 1911 in Leipzig, the daughter of Chaim Leib Buchaster and Feige Rachel Ruchl Hasenlauf. Her parents were originally from Bochnia in Galicia (Austria-Hungary) and came to Leipzig. The couple had thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters. Two of the sons died in childbirth and a third at the age of nine.
She married Hermann Zvi Stienmesser. The couple had one son and lived in Rishon leZion.
In 1939, Marie's parents fled to Milan, where they stayed until 1940. They attempted to flee to Palestine, where six of their children were already living, but their ship was stopped by Italian forces in the Libyan port of Benghazi and sent back to Calabria from Africa. After that, the couple was interned in the Ferramonti di Tarsia internment camp. In December 1943, they were transferred to the Rovigo prison, then to Auschwitz.
Marie's father died in 1944. Her mother Feige was murdered in Auschwitz, and so was her brother Jakob. In addition to her sister Bertha and her brother Nathan who fled with her to Palestine on the Dora, five (?) other siblings emigrated to Palestine and survived the Shoah: Eliyahu, Zeev Wolf (Isaak), Ester Elsa Shomer, Simi Selma (Shlomit Kaufthiel) and Toni.
Nathan Buchaster was born on September 13, 1912 in Leipzig, the son of Chaim Leib Buchaster and Feige Rachel Ruchl Hasenlauf. His parents were originally from Bochnia in Galicia (Austria-Hungary) and came to Leipzig. The couple had thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters. Two of the sons died in childbirth and a third at the age of nine.
In 1939, Nathan's parents fled to Milan, where they stayed until 1940. They attempted to flee to Palestine, where six of their children were already living, but their ship was stopped by Italian forces in the Libyan port of Benghazi and sent back to Calabria from Africa. After that, the couple was interned in the Ferramonti di Tarsia internment camp. In December 1943, they were transferred to the Rovigo prison, then to Auschwitz in June 1944 where they were murdered
Nathan Buchaster married Zvia Lotte Segal and had two children.
Nathan's father died in 1944. His mother Feige was murdered in Auschwitz. So was his brother Jakob.
In addition to his sisters Berta and Marie (Marja) who fled with him to Palestine on the Dora, five (?) other siblings emigrated to Palestine and survived the Shoah: Eliyahu, Zeev Wolf (Isaak), Ester Elsa Shomer, Simi Selma (Shlomit Kaufthiel) and Toni.
Paul Burak was born on July 30, 1900, the son of Moshe Borak from Kolomyya (Ukraine) and Klara Bratel, from Eisleben (Germany).
"When the Nazis came to power in Germany, my father left for the Netherlands where he joined a group that organized for immigration to Israel because no country would accept them. There he prepared for immigration to Israel.”
"My father boarded the "Dora" after a problem was solved with the Dutch authorities. They reached the shores of Shefayim and from there a group of friends smuggled them away from the surrounding communities before the British arrived. "
Paul Burak died in 1993 at the age of 92 in Giv'atayim.
Hanna Feldmann is mentioned in Günter Stillman's book "Berlin - Palästina und zurück" (p.78) as one of only three Communists on the Dora besides him.
He mentions that in 1944, "Hanna Feldmann also wanted to go back to Dresden to her relatives, friends and comrades." In October 1946, her name was on a list of forty-eight "anti-fascist Germans" requesting entry permits back into the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, "because they did not want to stay in Palestine".
She presumably returned to East Germany around 1947.
Source: "Berlin - Palästina und zurück Erinnerungen", by Guenter Stillmann (Berlin Dietz, 1989.)
|Fink, Isidor (Isy)
Izzy (Isidor) Fink was born on December 3, 1919 in Cologne, Germany. He attended an elementary school and due to his skills skipped a number of classes. His studies in high school were interrupted by the rise of the Nazis to power. He completed his studies in a Jewish school.
Izzy was a member of Hashomer Hatzair. When he turned twenty, in May, he was smuggled to Belgium, where he prepared for immigration to Israel.
In Israel, Izzy lived for a while in the village of Nachman, near Raanana, and from there joined Kibbutz Ein Hashofet. In 1943 he joined Kibbutz Kfar Menachem.
A year earlier, in 1942, Izzy enlisted in a transport unit with the Jewish Brigade. During World War II, Izzy served in Egypt, Libya, Malta, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. He later took part in the Six Day War as part of a transport unit.
He got married in the early 1950s and had three sons.
Izzy Fink died in 1998 at the age of 99.
|Finn, Hilde (Hilde Judith Finn)
||13.10.1917 (listed as 3.10.1917 on the Antwerp list)||Berlin||Stateless||
Hilde Finn was born in Berlin, 13 October 1917. She attended a 10-day leadership course ("führerkursus") in the Gut Winkel Hachshara in April 1936.
Hilde Judith Finn, by then a "stateless" resident of Berlin, attended the Hachshara center of Ahrensdorf (Hachschara-Landwerk Ahrensdorf) from September 1936 to Janury 1937. The "reason for departure (from Ahrensdorf)" is marked as "hard to classify".
Robert Frank is listed in the records of the "Vermögensverkehrstelle" (Assets Transfer Office) of the Nazi-era "Ministerium für Handel und Verkehr" (Ministry of Commerce and Transportation). A decree concerning the Reporting of Jewish assets of April 26, 1938 required all Jewish citizens to report their total domestic and foreign assets, where such assets exceeded 5,000 Reichsmarks, and the Vermögensverkehrstelle was created three weeks later to oversee the transfer of such Jewish assets into Aryan hands.
His name also appears in the Dachau Concentration Camp Alphabetical Prisoner List, date unknown.
Frieda (Frida) Fuchs (nee Rosenfeld) was born on December 3, 1907 in Breslau, Germany, the daugher of Anton Rosenfeld and Klara Rosenfeld (nee Militscher). She had one sister, Margot (1906), and at least two brothers: Hans Joachim (ca. 1913) and Rudolf (ca. 1916). Her father was originally from Ostrava (now the Czech Republic) and was a shoemaker. She married Paul Fuchs in 1933 in Breslau, also a shoemaker.
Paul Fuchs was born on March 29, 1908 in Breslau, Germany, of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, Emma (nee Fischer). He had at least three brothers and one sister: Fritz (1896), Siegfried (1906), Herbert (1908), and Sophie (1909). After his father died, he was brought up in an orphanage. From 1930 he worked as a shoemaker. He married Frida (Frieda) Rosenfeld in 1933 in Breslau.
|Goldenhar, Abraham (Goldenhaar)
Photo source: Foreign Police files, A177.761, via Janiv Stamberger
|Goldenhar, Hanni (Hani Einhorn)
Photo source: Foreign Police files, A177.761, via Janiv Stamberger
Herbert Gotthilf belonged to Maccabi Hatzair and joined the Havelberg Hachshara training center in May 1938.
Born 16 August 1920 in Berlin, the daughter of Siegfried Gutmann, merchant.
Leo Halpern, born in Berlin 31 December 1920.
Lothar Hanauer was born on March 30, 1907 in Wiesenfeld, Thuringia, Germany, the son of Moses Hanauer, a cattle rancher, and Pauline Hanauer (Steinheimer). The Hanauer family came from a long line of cattle traders who had lived in Wiesenfeld since at least 1780. Lothar had two brothers: Benno and Max, and three sisters: Irma, Ida and Erna.
Lothar Hanauer was incarcerated in Buchenwald following Kristallnacht on November 11, 1938, and was released on November 30, 1938. He was incarcerated again in Buchenwald on December 28, 1938, from where he was released shortly after on January 3, 1939. At the time of his incarceration, his profession was businessman("Kaufmann").
After fleeing Germany he reached Antwerp from where he boarded the Dora.
Lothar's parents were deported to Theresienstadt; his mother Pauline Hanauer died there on January 25, 1943 (68), his father Moses Hanauer on February 10, 1943 (67).
Lothar's sister Ida was deported to Izbica, Poland in 1942 and disappeared in the Shoah. His sister Irma Siegel was deported to the Łódź Ghetto, where she was murdered in 1942. (Irma Siegel's daughter, Karola Ruth Siegel, was sent by her mother to an orphanage in Switzerland at age 10 in 1938 and survived the war. She later emigrated to Palestine where she joined the Hagannah, then later to the USA where she became a sex therapist, talk show host, author, professor, better known as "Dr. Ruth".)
Lothar's brother Benno emigrated to England in June 1939. His brother Max emigrated in July 1939 to San Francisco. His sister, Erna (later Erna Fingerhut), fled to England.
Samuel Herzberg was born on February 26, 1912 in Poland, the son of Yaakov Gershon and Frida Hertzberg. At the age of two months his parents moved to Vienna, Austria, where he went to school, gymnasium and applied to study medicine at university. His mother passed away, and his father who owned a shop was very ill. After his father's death he closed the store and left Austria. He traveled through Germany to Belgium, was in the Mercksplatz camp from where he immigrated to Mandate Palestine.
He said: "Received high fever while sailing. [After landing in Israel,] he went to his uncle, Yosef Cedar, who was one of the founders of Ramat Hasharon, but the situation was difficult and there was no work, so he enlisted in the Jewish Brigade." His first place of residence in Israel was Hadera.
He married Hanna (Hanse) Pinas who had hid during the war with her family in Holland. She came with the Aliya Bet ship the "Yagur" which was intercepted and was deported to Cyprus.
Born in Wolbeck, April 4, 1916.
Born 25 Oct 1920 in Berlin.
Married to Louis Leonardo Katz.
Source: Joke Stans
Married to Elisabeth Katz.
Source: Joke Stans
||30.9.1919||Sokal, Poland||"Stateless", formerly Polish||
Toni Katz was born on September 30, 1919, in Sokal (Poland, now Ukraine), the daugher of Leo Katz and Frida Tabak. The family came to Gera in Thuringia, Germany, when she was three years old.
After leaving school at the age of 14 due to the Nazi anti-Jewish policies, she became an apprentice in a department store in Gera, later to be dismissed after it became "Aryanised" in 1935. She then joined Bar Kochba, a Zionist youth group.
In the Summer of 1938, she went for hachshara in "Kibbutz Jägerslust" in Flensburg, in the north of Germany. Her training was cut short after only a few months by the events of Kristallnacht. Arrested during the night of the "November Pogrom", she was released the next day and forced to go back to Gera. Coming home, she discovered that he parents had been deported ten days earlier during the "Polenaktion".
She had planned to cross the border with Poland to be reunited with her parents in Krakow, but the day before her departure, she received an invitation to go on an illegal ship for Palestine. She called her parents in Krakow asking for their advice, and after they told her to go so that she at least would be safe, she accepted the offer.
She then hid with friends of the family for several months until she received the signal that the ship was finally ready. She made her way across Germany, then crossed the Belgian border illegally, then spent a month hiding in Antwerp, again waiting for the arrival of the Dora.
She described many details about her trip: leaving with a backpack with a blanket and a pair of shoes, the sleeping arrangements, being anchored in Turkey for several days, eating watermellons, the crew rebellion.
After landing, she first lived in a kibbutz in Raanana, then went to a new kibbutz, Maoz Haim. In the early 50's she left for Paris to marry Uriel Abraham.
Her parents disappeared in the Shoah, probably killed in Belzec in the fall of 1942.
Her younger brother Yitzhak immigrated in 1937 with Aliyat Ha-noar.
Incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Orianenburg. Released on 24 December 1938.
Walter Krauthammer was born on January 28, 1912 in Velbert, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, then moved with his parents to neraby Bottrop in 1913. As a young man, he worked in a clothing store, until the implementation of the Nazi racial laws. In 1936, he became "stateless" after the National Socialist state had revoked the German citizenship of Walter, his parents and his brothers.
On April 15, 1936, he left his family and came to Gut Winkel, a hachshara center in Spreenhagen (Brandenburg), where he took part in an agricultural course in preparation for immigration to Palestine. He married Hilde Bauer, another Dora passenger. He died in Hazafon, Israel.
Walter's father, Adolf Abraham Krauthammer, was born in Eastern Galicia and came to Germany in 1902. He took part in the First World War as a soldier and was naturalized in 1923. A merchant, first with an egg trade and later with a furniture, his business went bankrupt during the Great Depression of 1932. On the day of the Jewish boycott of April 1, 1933, he was forced by the Nazis to walk through the streets with a sign that read "I am a Jewish pig". Following the the pogrom night of 9/10 November 1938, he was taken into "protective custody" and imprisoned in the police prison. After his relase, in poor health, Adolf Krauthammer lived on Jewish welfare. He died on January 13, 1941.
Walter's mother, Cilli (also Cipa Malka) Krauthammer, born Dier, also came from Eastern Galicia. Under the Nazi regime, she not only suffered from racial persecution as a Jew and a Pole, but also became the victim of the National Socialist euthanasia program. After falling ill with chronic encephalitis in 1937, she was considered "unworthy of life" and was taken to a sanatorium on September 21, 1940, where she was most likely murdered by gas on the same day.
Walter's youngest brother, Heinz Krauthammer was born in 1925. At the age of 15, he lost his mother Cilli when she was killed under the euthanasia program in September 1940. He then lost his father four months later in January 1941. His brothers Max and Walter having fled to Palestine, he first lived in a Jewish children's home in Cologne and in the Zionist training facility at Gut Winkel where his brother Walter had previously stayed in 1936. Starting in 1941, he lived with his uncle Josef Krauthammer. On January 27, 1942, at the age of 17, Heinz was deported along with this uncle's family to the "Reichsjudenghetto" in Riga, then was transferred in 1943 to the Kaiserwald concentration camp in Riga. In 1944, he was deported to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig, then a few days later to the Buchenwald concentration camp. On September 16, 1944, he was taken to the "Bochumer Verein" forced labor camp. On March 21, 1945, he was transported back to the Buchenwald main camp. The trace of the twenty-year-old is lost in Buchenwald. In all probability Heinz Krauthammer did not experience the liberation of Buchenwald by American troops on April 11, 1945.
Walter's oldest brother, Max Krauthammer, fled Germany without a passport at the end of June 1933. He reached France illegally via Holland and Belgium. After a Zionist-inspired agricultural retraining course, he arrived in Palestine in September 1934.
Born in Dresden on May 19, 1919.
"With difficulty he managed to escape from Germany; in June 1939 he went to Palestine.*"
Died in Israel on June 3, 1997.
Source: *Mentioned in Victor Klemperer's diary: Leidensgefährten 1933-1945 (Companions in suffering 1933-1945)
Else Littauer was born on July 23, 1908.
Else Littauer boarded the Dora with her husband Jakob Littauer. The couple left their daughter behind in Germany because young children couldn't travel on "illegal" ships. The Littauers were identified as "Hebrew-Christians".
Jakob Littauer was born on July 15, 1904.
Jakob Littauer boarded the Dora with his wife Else Littauer. The couple left their daughter behind in Germany because young children couldn't travel on "illegal" ships. The Littauers were identified as "Hebrew-Christians".
|Mahler, Sigismund (Shimon)
Shimon (Sigismund, Sigi) Mahler was active in the Dror youth movement in Antwerp, beginning in 1933.
Starting in early 1939, he took an active part in organizing the departure of members of the HeChalutz movement from Antwerp aboard the Dora.
After arriving in Palestine, he took part in the founding of Kibbutz Beit Oren in Magdiel. In October 1942, he enlisted in the British army. later joining the Jewish Brigade.
In 1946, he came to the Netherlands as a representative of the United Kibbutz Movement (HaKibbutz haMeuchad, and represented the organization abroad until 1967.
Shimon Mahler took two photos aboard the Dora included on this page.
Source and photos: Ghetto Fighters House Archive
Emil Malz belonged to Maccabi Hatzair and started his Hachshara training 4 January 1938 (location unknown). His residence then was Saarbrücken.
||23.4.1905||(first name unreadable)|
Born in Wronke (Prussia until 1919; today: Wronki, Poland), Willi Mendel attended the Havelberg Hachshara training center for 10 months, from January to October 1937. He then left for Urfeld/Bonn.
Possibly Max Milich, born 3 Apr 1914 in Rava. (*Rava could be Rava-Ruska in Poland / Ukraine, or Rawa Mazowiecka, Poland). He attended a Hachshara training facility in Germany (location and dates unknown). No further details available.
|Offen, Juljusz (Julius)
Profession: bank official (bankbeamter)
||8.7.1913 (3 Jul 1913)||
Born 3 Jul 1913. Place of Incarceration:Sachsenhausen; Date of Entry; 15 Dec 1938.
|Protter, Hermann (Benno)
|3.1.1914||Koln||Polish (assumed because of deportation)||
Hermann (Benno) Proter was born on January 3, 1914 in Cologne, the son of Lejzor Lippa (Eliezer, Leopold) Proter and Rosa (née Hochhaus). His father Lejzor was born in the then Austrian province of Galicia, and came to Cologne with his parents in 1900. Hermann had two brothers and one sister: Jakob (1911), Joseph (1918), and Selma (1921). The Proter family belonged to an Eastern Jewish Orthodox community. After the end of the First World War, Leopold Proter founded a factory for protective work clothing.
In the mid-1930s, Hermann's parents made sure that their children Jakob, Joseph and Selma left Germany. Benno Hermann and his father however did not leave and were deported on October 28, 1938 as part of the so-called Poland action to Zbaszyn (Bentschen). From there they managed to reach Gdansk (Danzig). They later boarded a ship to Holland, then reached Antwerp by train in January 1939.
Hermann Benno boarded the Dora with his sister Selma.
Hermann Benno Proter died in 1979 (aged 65) in Texas.
Hermann's mother Rosa also fled to Belgium. She was then deported to Auschwitz in September 1942 where she was presumably murdered. Hermann's father Lejzor died on July 29, 1944 in a Belgian hospital.
Hermann's siblings all survived the war. His eldest brother Jakob Proter emigrated to Palestine in 1936. His younger brother Joseph (later Joseph "Yubshen" Porat) managed to emigrate to Switzerland in 1937 and from there came to Palestine in 1942. His sister Selma was a passenger on the Dora.
Selma Proter was born on June 4, 1921, in Cologne, the daughter of Lejzor Lippa (Leyzer, Leopold) Proter and Rosa (née Hochhaus). Selma had three brothers: Jakob (1911), Hermann (1914), and Joseph (1918).
Selma left Germany in the mid-1930s. She boarded the Dora together with her brother Hermann Benno.
Selma's mother Rosa wsa deported to Auschwitz in September 1942 where she was presumably murdered. Her father Lejzor died on July 29, 1944 in a Belgian hospital.
Her brothers all survived the war. Jakob Proter emigrated to Palestine in 1936. Joseph (later Joseph "Yubshen" Porat) managed to emigrate to Switzerland in 1937 and from there came to Palestine in 1942. Hermann Benno was a passenger on the Dora.
Hugo Rauner was born on February 10, 1915 in Hargesheim, the son of Arthur and Augusta Rauner. His father had a grocery store and was a founding member of the town's sports club.
Hugo escaped right after Kristallnacht, in 1938. He told his parents he would pick them up to go to Israel and asked them to wait for him beneath the town clock on a certain day, but when he arrived, the neighbors told him that the Nazis had already taken them.
Hugo's three siblings, Erika, Walter and Wolfgang also managed to escape to Palestine. Hugo's father, Arthur was deported in 1942 to Theresienstadt, where he was killed. His wife Augusta also perished in the Holocaust.
Hugo died in 1997 in Netaniya, Israel.
Source: Testimony of Osnat Lester, Hugo's daughter, in www.haaretz.com.
||31.1.1907||Berg, near Landshut||
Kurt Roer was born January 31, 1907 in Berg near Landshut, in the Greater Munich area. His father Moritz Roer was a cattle and hop dealer in Landshut. Kurt Roer's occupation was also given as cattle dealer.
Following the November 9/10 Kristallnacht Pogrom, Kurt Roer was held in the Landshut regional court prison, and was then taken to the Dachau concentration camp on November 12, where he was incarcerated until his release on January 5th, 1939.
On March 1st, 1939, Kurt Roer left Landshut. He stayed for a short time at the Gut Winkel Hachshara farm near Spreenhagen.
Kurt's father, Moritz Roer (born November 18, 1870), died on October 20th 1936 in Landshut. His mother, Selma Roer (born 08/16/1880, born Marx), fled to Porto Alegre in Brazil in 1939. Kurt Roer had a sister, Ilse (born 31.3.1905), whose fate is unknown.
|| זקסנהאוז פנחס
Born into a family of Polish descent, he held Polish citizenship which allowed him and his wife to leave Germany. He was married to Irmgard Berkhausen (Miriam Sachsenhaus), another Dora passenger.
Changed his name in Israel to Pinchas Sachsenhaus.
|| זקסנהאוז מרים
Maiden name: Berkhausen. Born in Lünen, Germany.
Wife of Pinchas (Philip) Sachsenhaus, another passenger on the Dora. She changed her name to Miriam Sachsenhaus.
||12.11.1915||Obbach, Unterfranken, Bayern,||
Born in Obbach, Unterfranken, Bayern, Germany, November 12, 1915.
Deported to Dachau after Kristallnacht. Emigrated to Palestine, then to the USA. Died in Chicago, 1996.
Source and photo: geni.com
Charlotte (Lotte, Lotchen) Stendig was born on January 26, 1921 in Germany to Rebecca and Moritz Stendig, the third child in a family with three older brothers and three younger sisters. She grew up in a Jewish home where kosher and Jewish holidays were observed. The family owned a store and Lotchen remembered her childhood as a happy childhood.
With the rise of the Nazis to power and the expulsion of Jewish children from schools in Germany, she joined the Habonim movement, where one of her brothers already belonged, while another one was in the Mizrahi movement. In 1936 she was in urban training (hachshara) in Cologne with HeChalutz, then a year later in the Elgut training camp in Silesia for agricultural training. In 1938, while she was in Elgut, her parents were deported. Later in November, on Kristallnacht, dozens of villagers from the area with the support of the local police broke into the property and beat its occupants. The young men were taken into custody and the girls were expelled and scattered in all directions. The HeChalutz organization succeeded in freeing the young men from the concentration camps, and they and the girls were sent to farms in Belgium and the Netherlands.
One day they were notified to gather at a certain place to prepare for the ride. For many hours they rode in a truck and walked in the woods, and at the end of the journey Lotte arrived with her friends to the port of Antwerp.
She recalled in an interview with the Ha'apala museum: "I was brought to training (hachshara) in Urfeld [a village close to the Belgian border], and from there was taken in a tarpaulin-covered truck with about ten people (without instructors), as far as Antwerp. The road to the Belgian port was smooth, greased with bribes."
There they boarded the ship "Dora". "After a month of sailing on the Dora, problems with the foreign crew, on the way we saw a ship from afar with a yellow flag on which people sang the Hatikva. We reached Shefayim near the beach, walked in the water and went up without being discovered, everything was beautifully organized."
She spent one day in Shefayim and then came to Givat Haim where she joined a group of halutzim from Germany who were already there. In December, the group moved to Raanana.
In Israel, Lotte changed her name to Yael and married Kurt (Gideon) Neuhaus, who was an immigrant from the “Patria." The couple lived in Kibbutz Gal'ed.
Her youngest brother immigrated with the youth aliyah and one of her older brothers arrived with Aliyah Bet.
Her parents, one brother and the younger sisters were in a camp in Poland. In June 1942, her mother and little sister were sent to Warsaw. She remained in contact with uncles and parents in Poland through the Red Cross until 1942.
She died in 2019, at the age of 98 in Kibbutz Gal'ed.
Albert Aron Stern was born on July 30, 1916 in Geisa, Thuringia, the son of Adolf Avraham Stern and Sitta/Zita Sidonie Stern (Schwahn). He had an older brother, Martin Werner, and a younger sister, Marga.
The following excerpts are drawn from Albert Stern's 1956 declaration related to German compensations: I was born on July 30, 1916, the son of the cattle dealer Adolf Stern and his wife Sitta (Zita, Sidonie), both from Geisa in Thuringia. [...] I was a German citizen. My parents were wealthy people, they had an extensive cattle and horse trade and several fields (two and a half hectares with forest) until the beginning of the Hitler regime in 1933."
"I attended elementary school in Geisa for 4 years and then went to the humanistic Progymnasium in Geisa. I was a gifted student and my aspiration was to become a qualified businessman. The financial circumstances of my parents made it possible for me to attend a commercial college without any problems."
"However, the special political conditions in Thuringia (the National Socialists Sauckel and Frick and the anti-Semitic hatred that started there early on) forced me to leave high school at the beginning of 1933. My plans to become a business graduate came to an abrupt end. Around mid-March 1933, I [began] a commercial apprenticeship, but had to give up this job in April 1933 because after the April 1, 1933 boycott my Jewish boss was no longer able to make a living."
"As a Jew, I was not able to find another apprenticeship position until 1936. In 1936 I began to work as an agricultural trainee [with a farmer]. . However, the National Socialist authorities forced him to dismiss me. After I had tried in vain for another apprenticeship for a long time [...], I found an apprenticeship near Bonn in a small workshop, and I was only allowed to stay there temporarily."
"Starting on July 1, 1937 I went to the tugboat shipping company of [Lucy] Borchardt in Hamburg. I worked there from July 1st to July 28th, 1937 as an apprentice in the port, and then about 3 months on a steamer." [Lucy Borchardt owned a shipping company and in 1935 she organized the seafaring hachsharah, a preparatory program that enabled young German Jews to learn a trade and thus qualify for emigration to Palestine.]
A search warrant was issued in Hamburg against Albert and the ship's captain advised him to disappear. Left unmentioned in Stern's declaration, it is very likely that the reason Stern was wanted by the Gestapo was for his Communist activities which are described in Günter Stillmann's memoir.
"After I worked for Borchardt in August 1938 as a temporary stoker for a few days, I worked as a stoker in the hospital of the Jewish community in Hamburg from August 20, 1938 until December 12, 1938. [...] From then on, [...] I was forced to stay illegally in my fatherland because I - at that time already a 22-year-old Jew - was wanted by the Gestapo. So I had to try to leave Germany [...] in order not to fall into the hands of the Gestapo."
Albert came to Eretz Israel in 1938 to visit his brother, Martin Werner Stern who had emigrated there in 1937. Despite all his entreaties Albert refused to remain and returned to Hamburg.
"I fled across the German-Belgian border between Christmas and New Year 1938. [...] When crossing the border, I was shot in the left hand by the border police; it was between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. I bandaged my bleeding hand and came to Antwerp in a car, which dropped me off at the Refugee Committee there."
"My crossing to Palestine was on the steamer "Dora", which brought illegal refugees to Palestine. This illegal crossing had to be paid for, either in cash or in property. Since I had no cash, I had to give up what little I had. For my confirmation [bar mitzvah] I had received a heavy, golden Schaffhausen watch with a golden hinged lid worth about 300RM, and I owned a heavy gold ring worth about 150RM. I had also bought a new leather jacket and a pair of new ski boots in Cologne, both together for about 200RM All these things - my only possession of monetary value - I had to give for the crossing. I claim these total of 650 RM as emigration costs." [in 1939, 2.5RM = $1; adjusted for inflation, 650RM amounts to $5,000 in 2022.
In Israel, Stern first lived in Kibbutz Plugat Hayam (later moved to Mishmar HaYam), near present-day Kiryat Haim, with the goal of getting jobs in the Port of Haifa. He later settled in Rishon Lezion.
Albert Stern married Esther Wassertheil in 1940, another passenger on the Dora he had met during his stay in Antwerp. Originally from Galicia, she had emigrated with her family to Antwerp as a young girl and worked in the diamond industry. During WW2, both Albert and Ester volunteered for service in the British Army. Albert Stern wrote: "In 1942 I was drafted into the military and stayed there until [May] 1946. First I worked in the diamond industry. Then I was unemployed, [then] in 1948/1949 I took part in the Jewish war of liberation." The couple settled in Tel Aviv, then in Ramat Gan, and started a family. Two sons were born to Esther, and seven grandchildren.
Albert Stern is mentioned in Günter Stillman's book "Berlin - Palästina und zurück" (p.78) who paints a rather different portrait. There he is said to have been one of only three Communists on the Dora besides him. According to Stillmann, Albert Stern met again with Günter Stillman in the street in Tel-Aviv in 1940. At the time, Stern worked in the diamond industry as a disk grinder and was an active member of the local Palestinian Communist Party which was still illegal, due to the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact. Stern then helped Stillman get hired as a disk grinder and introduced him to the local Party cell where they would work alongside until Stillman's departure in 1947.
Albert's brother, Martin Werner Stern emigrated to Palestine in 1937. His sister, Marga Blumenthal, emigrated to the USA in 1938.
Albert Stern's parents, Adolf and Sitta Stern were deported to the Belzyce ghetto in May 1942 and disappeared in the Shoah.
Hillel Storch is listed in the records of the "Vermögensverkehrstelle" (Assets Transfer Office) of the Nazi-era "Ministerium für Handel und Verkehr" (Ministry of Commerce and Transportation). A decree concerning the Reporting of Jewish assets of April 26, 1938 required all Jewish citizens to report their total domestic and foreign assets, where such assets exceeded 5,000 Reichsmarks, and the Vermögensverkehrstelle was created three weeks later to oversee the transfer of such Jewish assets into Aryan hands.
Assuming this is the same person as "Heinrich Storch", born on 16.1.1899, incarcerated in Sachsenhausen, 2 Dec 1938.
||5.10.1913||Aurich, Lower Saxony||
Siegfried Stoppelmann was born on October 5, 1913, in Aurich, Lower Saxony, Germany.
Following Kristallnacht (November 10, 1938), he was incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Released with the promise of leaving Germany within 24 hours, he instead hid for three weeks in a pigeon shed. He was then taken to Antwerp with others "in a box with the inscription 'Beware of Glass'". From there he boarded the Dora.
In 1957, Siegfried, his wife Edith (formerly Kahn) and their son Gerschon moved back to Germany, to the state of Bremen. He was a member of the board of the Israelite Community of Bremen, then chairman of the community. He received the Federal Cross of Merit First Class presented by the mayor of Bremen. He died December 31, 2002 (89), Bremen, Germany.
Esther Wassertheil was born on March 6, 1917 in Chrzanow, Poland (Galicia). As a young girl she emigrated with her family to Antwerp, Belgium. There she worked in the diamond industry.
In Antwerp she met her future husband, Albert Stern. Together they fled Europe on the Dora. At first they lived in Kibbutz Plugat Hayam, then settled in Rishon Lezion. They were married in 1940.
During World War II, Ester and Albert both volunteered for service in the British Army. At the end of the war, she was released, returned to Israel, and reunited with her husband. The couple settled in Tel Aviv, then in Ramat Gan, and started a family. Two sons were born to Esther, and seven grandchildren.
Ester Stern died in 2016 at the age of 99 in Ramat Gan.
Incarcerated in Sachsenhausen (Inmate list 12 Dec 1938)
Assuming this is Markus Deresiewicz, born 15 June 1905, whose name is listed in the records of the "Vermögensverkehrstelle" (Assets Transfer Office) of the Nazi-era "Ministerium für Handel und Verkehr" (Ministry of Commerce and Transportation). A decree concerning the Reporting of Jewish assets of April 26, 1938 required all Jewish citizens to report their total domestic and foreign assets, where such assets exceeded 5,000 Reichsmarks, and the Vermögensverkehrstelle was created three weeks later to oversee the transfer of such Jewish assets into Aryan hands.
Markus Deresiewicz (15.06.1905) and Anna Deresiewicz (11.10.1905) also appear on a list of unclaimed Holocaust-era assets, derived from the Austrian State Archives in Vienna. When the Germans occupied Vienna in 1938, they required all Jewish residents to complete a detailed declaration of valuables, including bank accounts, insurance policies, real estate, art, etc.
From these two lists, one can assume that Mordohe (Markus) and Anna Deresiewicz were Austrian citizens (or at least resided in Austria after the March 1938 anschluss), and were refugees with the means to buy a place on the Dora, as opposed to halutzim.
Assuming the correct date of birth is 11.10.1905 and that this is Anna Deresiewicz, born 11 October 1905, whose name is listed in the records of the "Vermögensverkehrstelle" (Assets Transfer Office) of the Nazi-era "Ministerium für Handel und Verkehr" (Ministry of Commerce and Transportation). A decree concerning the Reporting of Jewish assets of April 26, 1938 required all Jewish citizens to report their total domestic and foreign assets, where such assets exceeded 5,000 Reichsmarks, and the Vermögensverkehrstelle was created three weeks later to oversee the transfer of such Jewish assets into Aryan hands.
Whereas most passengers of the Dora belonged to Zionist organizations and embraced the ideal of building a Jewish homeland, some were just refugees desperate to leave Europe.
A 1948 application for financial aid from the Joint in Italy provides an interesting summary of the trajectory of Siegfried Wallach, a refugee who seems to have been one such passenger.
Born in Vienna in 1921, Wallach was a commercial high school student and an apprentice with a transport shipping company. Five months after the Anschluss, he fled Austria and arrived in Brussels illegally in September 1938, where he received assistance from the Joint. In November, he was interned by the Belgian authorities as alien in Merksplas, a refugee camp near Antwerp, where he remained until August 1939, at which time he boarded the Dora.
Born in Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany. Later (?) changed name to Abraham Hacker. Died in Israel in 1989.
Born in Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Maiden name Mary Burak. Died in Israel in 1980.
Candidates who didn't not board the Dora
A handful of names are crossed out and are missing the red checkmark used to indicate people who boarded the Dora.
|Name||Hebrew Name||Organization, Group||Group||Last adress?||D.O.B||Place of Birth||Nationality||Notes|
|* Katz, Benjamin
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||* Name crossed out on list; maybe did not board the Dora.|
|* Katz, Ignatz
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||* Name crossed out on list; maybe did not board the Dora.|
|* Kohn, Mozes (?)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||* Handwritten list, name hard to read.
* Name crossed out on list; maybe did not board the Dora.
|* Rubinstajn, Hanna
(Rubinstein, Channa, Chana)
||Mizrachi Kibbutz Dat veEretz, Beverwijk||Amsterdam Beverwijk: Velsen-Noord||16.7.17||Lodz||Polish||
* Name crossed out on list; maybe did not board the Dora.
Hanna Rubinstein, born in Lodz July 1917. Moved to Breslau January 1936.
This list includes the names of additional Dora passengers not included in either the Amsterdam or Antwerp lists that were provided by the various Zionist organizations. It is assumed that most, if not all, of these passengers boarded in Amsterdam, as the Antwerp list seems to be comprehensive.
Since there were an estimated 300 to 350 passengers in Amsterdam, but the existing lists contain only 183 names, there may have been 120 to 170 passengers who came aboard in Amsterdam who did not belong to pioneering groups. These may have been wealthy individuals or families, and/or leaders of various organizations.
To date, an estimated 100 names remain to be identified.
Total number: 25
Additional passengers who boarded from Amsterdam
|Name||Hebrew Name||D.O.B||Place of Birth||Notes|
|Altberger, Samuel ("Sanny")
||17.07.1912||Frankfurt am Main||
Samuel ("Sanny") Altberger was born on July 7, 1912 in Frankfurt am Main, the son of Lazar (Ludwig) Altberger and Regina Elias, the sixth of nine children. The family originally came to Germany from the Czech-Hungarian border area at the beginning of the 20th century. His father was a shoe dealer who had three shops on the market square. Sanny's mother died in 1927, and two years later so did his father.
Sanny fled to the Netherlands to escape Nazi persecution and found work in Amsterdam. He then made it to Palestine on the Dora, together with his younger brother Karl Altberger. But in 1939, Samuel decided to return to Europe to join a Czech volunteer group and fight the Nazis and wanted. However, he was arrested up in southern France and locked up in the Drancy camp, then was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau on August 12, 1942.
There he survived two and a half years in the coal mines of Auschwitz. He was then sent to Theresienstadt after a "death march". After the war, he emigrated to the United States. There he married a survior of the Ravensbrück concentration camp. He worked in Dallas as a driver in a food company. The couple had no children, his wife had become infertile as a result of "experiments" in the concentration camp.
Sanny Altberger died in 1989.
Six of Sanny's siblings survived the war. His brother Arnold died in 1942 as a forced laborer searching for mines in the eastern war zone. His sister Rosa was killed in Auschwitz.
The presence of Sanny Altberger on the Dora is documented in an article in aachener-nachrichten.de, and in eschweiler-juden.de. They note that Samuel Altberger "left on an illegal emigration ship together with his younger brother Karl". Karl Atberger was a documented passenger on the Dora.
Following his release from the Buchenwald camp, Simon Berlinger fled to Holland. There he became the director of De Vondelhof, a Jewish orphanage established at the end of 1938 by "Aliyat Hanoar" in Amsterdam for children that were refugees from Austria and Germany. Berlinger immigrated to Israel in August 1939, aboard the ship "Dora".
His passage on the Dora is mentioned in "Vorig jaar in Jeruzalem: Israël en de Palestinapioniers", by Lisette Lewin: "'Incredible!' said Simon Berlinger in Haifa when I remarked that he had been lucky to win a place on the Dora as a young German chalutz."
Other sources with further biographical details mention Berlinger's educational work in Germany, but nothing about Amsterdam or details of escape. Assuming it is the same person, but need confirmation.
Born in Berlichingen, Germany, in 1914, died 2010. Head of the Jewish district school in Braunsbach. After the 1938 November Pogromnacht, was interned in Buchenwald, from where he was released after three months, with the order to leave Germany. Fled to Palestine in 1939. Lived in Haifa. Campaigned until his death for the reconciliation between Jews and Germans. The Rabbinatsmuseum in Braunsbach was renamed "Simon-Berlinger-Haus" in his honor.
Other sources (Geni.com) for a Shimon Berlinger have: born on June 11, 1914 in Schöntal, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Son of Ahron Berlinger and Babette (Betty) Berlinger. Died in Haifa in 2010 at the age of 96.
Other mentions of Simon Berlinger as Cantor, Religion teacher and youth leader from 1934 to 1936.
|Cosmann, Fritz (Shimon)
||March 10, 1910||Recklinghausen, Germany||
Fritz (Shimon) Cosmann, was born in Recklinghausen (Westphalia), Germany, on March 10, 1910. His parents Otto an Anna Cosmann were prosperous merchants who owned a large department store which sold clothing, fabrics, curtains and rugs. Fritz studied law at the University of Heidelberg. After Hitler’s seizure of power, Fritz - who had until then had llittle to no connection to Judaism or Zionism - joined Hechalutz, the Zionist pioneering organization. He then left Germany and came to the Netherlands, where he attended the hachshara program in the Wieringermeer polder between February 1936 and January 1938. During that time he changed his name to Shimon, probably the name he had been given at birth, but hadn't used until then. His whereabouts between January and July 1938 are unknown.
His departure for Palestine aboard the Dora on July 15, 1939 is recorded in the local municipal registers.
Upon his arrival in Palestine, Shimon's group was at first assigned for further farm training in kibbutz Ramat Hashavim near Kfar Saba in the Sharon Valley. His group was later sent to Gvar'am, a new Kibbutz founded in 1942, in the northern edge of the Negev desert between Ashkelon and the Gaza Strip.
In 1948, Shimon married Mien (Mink) Zion. The couple had two children. In the late 1950s, Shimon became secretary of the kibbutz, the highest leadership position. In 1965 Shimon and Mien left the Kibbutz and moved to Kiryat Tivon, near Haifa. He worked in the Haifa's central office for “Wiedergutmachung" until his retirement in 1980.
Shimon died on October 25, 2001. His son Gad died during the October Yom Kipur War.
Source: Marcelle Zion, niece of Fritz Cosmann. Jerusalem. (2020)
Ernst Dehmel is mentioned in Günter Stillman's book "Berlin - Palästina und zurück" (p.78) as a passenger on the Dora, and one of only three Communists on the Dora besides him.
|Elsoffer, Siegfried Adolf
Siegfried Adolf Elsoffer, called "Friedel", was born June 1918 in Berlin. He joined Hashomer Hatzair, where he met his future wife Regina ("Gina") Milgram. Gina and Friedel tied the knot in the presence of a hastily arranged minyan. The day after the wedding, they left Berlin via train headed West to Holland. There they stayed in a hotel where foreigners had to report to the police. One morning, the guards came to their hotel room and arrested Friedel.
Friedel was let go against the promise to leave the Netherlands. The couple then moved to a refugee hotel in Amsterdam, staying with a group of young refugees - 17 to 19/20 years old (One person was 33)
One evening in July, someone came with a list of names and said - "you, you, you and you, come". They walked from the Hotel to the harbour, it was pretty quick, maybe a 10 minutes stroll.
Friedel and Regina had a daughter in Palestine in 1940. Friedel served in the British Army and was a POW in the Altengrabow camp. After his release, he immigrated to the UK around 1947 and changed his name to George Samuel Elsoffer. He lived in Surrey abd died there in 1967.
Source: Mimi Premo
|Elsoffer, Regina ("Gina") (née Milgram)
Regina (maiden name Milgram, July 1,1920 in Kattowitz) spent her late childhood and teenage years in Berlin. She joined Hashomer Hatzair, where she would meet her future husband Siegfried ("Friedel") Elsoffer. Gina wanted to leave Germany after Kristallnacht, but her parents, especially her father, did not permit her to leave unless she married, so she married Friedel in the presence of a hastily arranged minyan. The day after the wedding, the couple left Berlin via train and headed West to Holland.
Her parents had wanted to see them off at the train station, but Gina had refused, explaining that they needed to be unobtrusive when they left, and that she knew that her parents would be emotional at the station if they saw them off. She never saw her parents again.
In Holland, Gina went to the Gerrit Rietveld Academie art school to continue her apprenticeship. The young couple stayed in a hotel where foreigners had to report to the police. One morning, the guards came to their hotel room and arrested Friedel as an illegal immigrant. Gina and Friedel were (then) both in a refugee camp for illegal immigrants during their time in Holland, until they were ready to leave on the Dora.
After their arrival in Israel, Gina decided the kibbutz life was not her style, and moved in with a relative in Haifa. Gina and Friedel had a daughter in Palestine in 1940. After her husband left, sher remained in Nahariya.
Gina later remarried, had more children and eventually immigrated to the USA in the 1950s with her husband and children. Regina (now called Gina Merkel) turned 100 in 2020 and lives in New Jersey (2020). She is in good health, still sharp and has such a clear memory.
Gina's mother and sister were killed in the Shoah. Her older sister Laja (Lotte) along with her husband and their young daughter were murdered during the war. Her older brother Gedalja (Gedalya) was arrested with his father Simon in October of 1939, taken to Sachsenhausen, and then deported to Lublin. From there he was likely murdered at Majdanek. Two of her brothers survived the war. Her oldest brother Joel Milgram was hidden in Berlin by his future wife from 1941 until the end of the war. He immigrated to the United States with her and her daughters in the late 1940's, and died there in his 90s. Her younger brother Jakob (Yaakov) left with Youth Aliyah and lived in Givat Brenner, where he spent the rest of his life.
Source: Mimi Premo
||20 May 1901||Oswiecim||
Bernard Färber was born on May 20, 1901, in Oświęcim, Poland (Auschwitz). Bernard, his wife Cirl Fradel Hoffnung and their newborn daughter Mindel fled Germany and came to Holland as illegal immigrants in May 1939.
As young children were not allowed on board of the Dora due to the uncertainties of the illegal trip, the parents - not forseeing the invasion of Holland a year later - boarded the Dora alone, leaving their three-month old infant child Mindel behind in the care of a relative, with the intention of having her join later through other means.
(Their daughter Mindel later lived in the Jewish Orphanage in Leiden from 1941 to 1943; She was then sent to the Westerbork camp in March 1943, but was saved by having a Palestine Certificate. She was later deported to Bergen Belsen, then was sent on a transport to Palestine as part of an exchange program at the end of June/early July 1944, where she was collected by her mother in the Atlit camp, then reunited with her parents in Haifa.)
||July 23, 1913||Rossosz, Poland||
Schulim Friedmann and her partner Hertha Helena Schwarz left Amsterdam for Palestine by ship in July 1939. Schulim Friedmann's departure for Palestine in July 1939 is recorded in Stadsarchief Amsterdam.
Source: Henny Houweling-Zwart, Hertha Schwarz's niece.
Note: Although her presence on the Dora cannot be confirmed, I believe it is beyond reasonable doubt as it was the only Aliyah Bet ship that ever sailed from Northern Europe before the war, and regular maritime lines to Palestine sailed from the Adriatic and Mediteranean.
||May 24, 1921||Munich||
Walter Henle was born May 24, 1921 in Munich, the youngest son of Albert and Anna Henle, from Reutlingen. Two years later, Anna Henle's marriage ended in divorce and she married Dr. Julius Mainzer, from Nuremberg, in 1923.
Walter fled Germany and arrived in the Netherlands on March 30, 1939 as part of a Kindertransport. He briefly stayed in Rotterdam, then was transferred to the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam after a few weeks, and was then able to board the Dora. Walter's departure is documented in a file kept in the Dutch National Archives, under "Walther Israel Henle". The file confirms that he left Holland on July 15 1939 by sea with the S.S. Dora, "destination unknown".
On September 30, 1938, as a result of the "Fourth Decree of the Reich Citizenship Law" revoking the medical license for all Jewish doctors, Dr. Julius Mainzer lost his ability to practice medicine. On March 18, 1939, less than six months later, Julius and Anna Mainzer fled Germany and came to Amsterdam. Their efforts to emigrate to America from there were unsuccessful. In October 1943 both were interned in the Dutch transit camp Westerbork. On January 20, 1944, Julius and Anna Mainzer were deported to Theresienstadt, and probably murdered in Auschwitz on October 30, 1944.
Walter's younger brother, Fritz Richard Henle, born January 16, 1916, also managed to emigrate to Palestine.
|Hoffnung, Cirl Fradel
||14 October 1909||Podgorze||
Cirl Fradel Hoffnung was born in Podgorze (Poland), 14 October 1909. Together with her husband Bernard Färber and their newborn daughter Mindel, she fled Germany and came to Holland as an illegal immigrant in May 1939.
As young children were not allowed on board of the Dora due to the uncertainties of the illegal trip, her parents - not forseeing the invasion of Holland a year later - boarded the Dora alone, leaving their three-month old infant child Mindel behind in the care of a relative, with the intention of having her join later through other means.
(Their daughter Mindel later lived in the Jewish Orphanage in Leiden from 1941 to 1943; She was then sent to the Westerbork camp in March 1943, but was saved by having a Palestine Certificate. She was later deported to Bergen Belsen, then was sent on a transport to Palestine as part of an exchange program at the end of June/early July 1944, where she was collected by her mother in the Atlit camp, then reunited with her parents in Haifa.)
Raphael was born in Germany in 1909, the son of Herman Mohl. After the Nazis came to power, he decided to leave Germany. He wanted his sister to join him but she refused and did not leave.
He sailed from a port in the Netherlands in 1939. They came to Shefayim beach and got help from people who were waiting for them at the beach, helped them go ashore and smuggle them out.
He joined Kibbutz Yagur and changed his name to Raphael. He died in Moshav Kfar Yedidya.
Source: as told by his grandson: maapilim.org.il
||Frankfurt am Main, Germany||
Jacob Oppenheimer came to Holland in 1936 from Frankfurt am Main.
He said: "In 1939, we were brought to Heemskerk (15 miles from Amsterdam), where we had to wait for a couple of weeks. On July 14th, I was brought to the house of Dr. Pinkhof in Amsterdam. I was very religious and couldn't travel on Shabbat. The house wasn't far from the harbor, so on Saturday, they came and picked me up and they took me straight to the Dora. It was a small ship, full of people, but we never felt unsafe on the ship. The only danger we feared would come from the British."
He later lived in the moshav Kfar HaRoeh and worked for the Israeli Ministry of (?)
Source: Chaya Brasz.
|Schwartz, Hertha Helena
||August 8, 1910||Bonn||
Hertha Helena Schwarz and her partner Schulim Friedmann left Amsterdam for Palestine by ship in July 1939. Herta celebrated her birthday (August 8th) on the ship, according to her daughter. She died California 1996.
Source: Henny Houweling-Zwart, Hertha Schwarz's niece.
Note: Although her presence on the Dora cannot be confirmed, I believe it is beyond reasonable doubt as it was the only Aliyah Bet ship that ever sailed from Northern Europe before the war, and regular maritime lines to Palestine sailed from the Adriatic and Mediteranean.
|| כרמי דן
Dan Karmi (Lutz Weinberg) was born on May 26, 1920 in Berlin, the son of Fritz and Hedwig Weinberg.
Lutz Weinberg changed his name to Dan Karmi (דן כרמי)
Additional passengers who boarded either in Amsterdam or Antwerp
The following passengers are known to have been on the Dora, but there is no information regarding their place of departure.
|Name||Hebrew Name||D.O.B||Place of Birth||Notes|
|| בר נטע שאול
Bar Neta, Shaul
Shaul Bar Neta (Lutz Brant), son of David and Margareta Lutz.
|| ארסטר יעקב
|22/11/1903||Nowosielec, Galicia (Poland)||
Oskar Erster was born in Nowosielec, Galicia on November 22, 1903, the son of Abel Erster (from Bolekhiv, Galicia) and Miriam Ginzberg.
His father had a farm and a steam processing plant in the village of Novelslice. As a child he moved to Vienna. He was the youngest among thirteen brothers and sisters. In Vienna he began to study at the university and at the same time ran a furniture factory.
After Kristallnacht he fled Vienna, via Germany to the Netherlands, where he boarded the ship "Dora".
After his arrival in Israel, he lived in Bne Brak and worked as a carpenter.
He married Sara (Sonia) Epstein, originally from Warsaw.
Six of his siblings perished with their families in the Holocaust.
||Hannah (Hanni) Katz||05.07.1924||Berlin||
Johanna Jacob was born on July 5, 1924, in Berlin. An orphan - her mother died in childbirth, she was abandoned by her father Ludwig and was adopted by an uncle.
According to her "Jewish Association Card", she started elementary school in Berlin in 1931. She then attended the Jewish elementary school ("Jüdische Volksschule") in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) on September 1936.
She fled Germany with her uncle and aunt and came to either the Netherlands or Belgium*.
"[Johanna] escaped Germany as an orphan with the help of an uncle, made it to Palestine alone at the age of fifteen only days or weeks before the outbreak of the war. [...] [Her] uncle [...] put her on a ship."
In Israel, she changed her name to Hannah, going by Hanni. She lived in Israel until 1955.
Her uncle and aunt perished in the Holocaust.
Although the available information is incomplete or even contradictory (i.e. her landing in Haifa), she was most likely a passenger of the Dora. The dates of her landing ("July or August 1939"), and the two locations mentioned ("Holland or Belgium") point to the Dora as the only possible Aliya Bet ship. Had she been a legal immigrant, she would have most likely sailed from the Adriatic, the Mediterranean, or the Black Sea on the Polonia which left from Constanza in Romania, as there were not maritime lines to Palestine from Northern Europe as far as I can tell. I assume that the Haifa landing is a mistake.
The mention of Johanna's uncle "helping" her board the ship most likely means that he paid for her passage. While the halutzim went for free, the other passengers had to pay to help defray the cost of the voyage.
|Lushinsky Lornst Wachim (Yitzhak) (Luti)
||לושינסקי לורנסט ואכים (יצחק) (לותי)||Germany||
Member of Habonim. First place of residence in Israel: Raanana.
|Melamed, Zeev (Willy)
||מלמד זאב (וילי)||26/06/1907||Łańcut, Poland||
Zeev Melamed (Willy), was the son of Mordechai and Chaya Leah. His first place of residence in Israel was Tel Aviv.
Because his name doesn't appear on the lists provided by the pioneer organizations, and because of his age, he was most likely a refugee who could afford to pay for his passage on the Dora and would have sailed from Amsterdam.
Source and photo: maapilim.org.il.
Nahum (Monio) Perlmutter was born in Poland, but lived with his family in Vienna as a baby and grew up there.
He was married to Malka Perlmutter, another passenger on the Dora.
|Perlmutter, Malka Emilia
||פרלמוטר מלכה עמליה
Perlmutter, Amalia (Malka)
Amalia (Malka) Bogomilny, (בוֹגוֹמִילְני) was born in Poland and immigrated to Vienna with her family when she was a child. She married Nahum (Monio) Perlmutter, another passenger of the Dora, and was in the first months of her pregnancy when she immigrated for Israel.
|Shtenzig Kushnerov, Rachel
||שטנציג קושנרוב רחל||Germany||
Member of Habonim.
Note: "Rachel Shtenzig Kushnerov" is a spelling approximation of שטנציג קושנרוב רחל
Yehoshua Shafik (Schpuch) was born in Vienna in 1918 to a family of 3 children, the son of Menachem Schpuch and Jozefina Pnina Trister. Yehoshua's father fought in World War I and did not return, so he did not know his father. His mother was born in Shinova, Poland. She worked as a bank clerk but it was difficult for her to support the three children and at the age of 5 Joshua was sent to a Jewish orphanage in Vienna.
In Israel, Yehoshua enrolled in the British Army. He joined the excavation corps and was deployed to Greece where he was captured by the Germans and worked in captivity for about 5 years in coal mines. Upon his release, he returend to Israel and worked in a bank in Afula where he met his future wife.
Yehoshua died in 1994 at the age of 76.
His mother was murdered in the Shoah.
|| וולר חיים
Haim (Heinz) Waller was born on May 21, 1920 in Schwiebus (Swiebodzinbut), the son of Sally Waller and Rosa Waller. Brother of Herbert Waller.
Heinz Waller changed his name to Haim Waller (חיים וולר).
|Zamiri (?), Moshe
Possible Additional Passengers (Possibly Duplicates or Unconfirmed)
Passenger names from maapilim.org.il not in the Amsterdam or Antwerp lists. Since these are all hebraized names, they could be duplicates of passengers already listed under their original German names in the Amsterdam or Antwerp lists.
|Name||Hebrew Name||D.O.B||Place of Birth||Notes|
Presence on the Dora unconfirmed. According to maapilim.org.il Gershon and his brother Dan immigrated to Israel in 1939-1940, perhaps boarding the ship "Dora".
Dan Yaron (Ernest Kardos) was born in Vienna, the son of Emerik and Leontine Kardos, in a family of five children - two sons and three sisters. At the end of 1938 or 1939, Dan and his brother Gershon Yaron (born Hans Kardos) fled Vienna and came to the Netherlands, where they probably attended a training camp for hachshara. The sisters were sent to England where they were housed with a Christian family and lived the rest of their lives as Christians. Two sisters lived in Canada and one in the Netherlands.
Ernest Kardos changed his name in Israel to Dan Yaron. Dan and his brother Gershon came to Kibbutz Naan and served in the Jewish Brigade in Egypt and Italy.
Dan Yaron (Ernest Kardos) died in 1983 at the age of 67.
Presence on the Dora unconfirmed. According to maapilim.org.il Gershon and his brother Dan immigrated to Israel in 1939-1940, perhaps boarding the ship "Dora".
Born in Vienna, the son of Emerik and Leontine, in a family of five children - two sons and three sisters. At the end of 1938 or 1939, Dan and his brother Gershon (Hans) fled Vienna and the Netherlands. They were probably in a training camp in the Netherlands. The sisters were sent to England where they were housed with a Christian family and lived the rest of their lives as Christians. Two sisters lived in Canada and one in the Netherlands).
Changed his name to Gershon Yaron. The brothers came to Kibbutz Naan. In Israel, the two brothers served in the Jewish Brigade. Served in Egypt and Italy.
This may be the same person as Günter (Willy) Wolff from the Amsterdam list, whose date of birth is 15.2.18.
Gideon Wolf was born 05/02/1918 in Germany, the son of Michael and Emmy. Belonged to Habonim. First place of residence in Israel: Raanana, Israel.
He enlisted in the Palmach in 1942 and served until 1945. He was then drafted in the 92nd Battalion in 1948. After his release from the army in 1949, he lived in Kibbutz Gilad and Kibbutz HaHotrim. He later lived in Kiryat Motzkin.
- Special thanks to the following researchers:
- Chaya Brasz, for graciously allowing me to post a translation of her article on the Dora, which marked the beginning of this project.
- Rina Offenbach, Director BeNetivei Haapalah, Illegal immigrant database and information center, Atlit Detention Camp, Israel, for sharing the original Amsterdam passengers lists, and help over the years.
- Bernd Philipsen, for the trove of contemporary press articles about the Dora, and for his never-ending help and support.
- Janiv Stamberger, for sharing the Antwerp passengers list. (Source: The Foreign Police in Belgium ARA; Foreign Police files, A177.761).
- Knut Bergbauer, for providing information on Martin Grünpeter, Manfred Israel, Peter Kornicker (Dan Karni) and Benno Teichmann.
- Jaap W. Focke, for sharing the story of Cirl Fradel Hoffnung and Bernard Färber.
- Miriam Keesing, for sharing the story of Walter Henle, an undocument passenger of the Dora.
- Yvonne Löken, a teacher from the Hans-Carossa-Gymnasium in Landshut, Germany, who provided information on Kurt Roer as part of a student project.
- Special thanks to the following people who shared the stories of their relatives:
- Myriam Daru, for information on her relative Walter Brück (David Barkai) (2018)
- Annette Jonas Galula, for the transcript of her uncle Gershon (Gerhard) Jonas's memories of his passage to Palestine on the Dora. (2018)
- Marcelle Zion, for sharing the story of her uncle Fritz Cosmann. (2020)
- Steven Kahn, for information on Siegbert Kahn (Simcha Cohen) (2019)
- Shlomit Proter, for information on Hermann (Benno) Proter. (2020)
- Henny Houweling-Zwart, for information on Hertha Helena Schwarz and Schulim Friedmann. (2018)
- Mimi Premo, for sharing the stories of Siegfried ("Friedel") Elsoffer and Regina ("Gina") Merkel (Nee Milgram). (2020)
- Jon Griver, for sharing the story of his father, Norris Griver. (2021)
- Samuel Katz, for sharing the story of his mother Hannah Katz (Johanna Jacob), who most likely boarded the Dora as an orphan refugee at the age of fifteen. (April 2021)
- Noam Ben-Avram, for sharing the story of his father Bruno Abramczyk. (April 2022)
- Additional thanks to these contributors for their help:
- Erik Post, for translating Chaya Brasz's Dora article
- Liron Katz, for translating Hillel Yarkoni's article
- Cor Bart, for identifying the location of the youth group dancing the hora
- Primary Sources
- Yoel Golomb's recollections
- Yekutiel Pekta's reminiscences on the 50th anniversary of the Dora: maapilim.org.il
- The "Dora" - The story of the illegal immigrant ship.(Hebrew) Sfinot maapilim me’alef ad tav. Tel Aviv, 2005.
- Related Links:
- The Dora on maapilim.org.il (Hebrew)
- Partial list of Dora passengers on the maapilim.org.il site (Hebrew)
- Palyam.org: Ha'Mossad Le'Aliyah Bet
- Wertheimer Haapalah Project
- Paul H. Silverstone's Aliyah Bet Project
- "Be Strong and Brave! A small youth movement in a sea of history. The Hashomer Hatzair Antwerp (1920-1948)". . Master thesis History Department University of Ghent 2012-2013..
- Purchase of the Dora: www.turkusteamers.com
- Fate of Tzvi Spector and Amiram Shochat: info.palmach.org.il
- "Dodenschip Dora; Een oude kolenboot redde honderden Joden ondanks Nederlandse tegenwerking". Vrij Nederland, May 1, 1993.
- Haapala - Clandestine Immigration, 1931-1948. Ministry of Defence Publishing House and IDF Museum. English edition: 1987
- The Gate Breakers. Herzl Press/Sharon Books/Thomas Yoseloff, 1963
- Machseh Lajesoumim; A Jewish Orphanage in the City of Leiden 1890-1943 (pages 221-222). library.oapen.org, www.aup.nl Amsterdam University Press, 2021
- The Ambiguity of Virtue: Gertrude van Tijn and the fate of the Dutch Jews. Harvard University Press, 2014
- "From Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel".. Schocken, 2017
- "Berlin - Palästina und zurück. Erinnerungen".. Dietz Verlag Berlin, 1989
- "Generation Exodus: The Fate of Young Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany".. Brandeis University Press, 2001
Please contact me if you have any more information to contribute to this page. I am particularly interested in hearing from descendants of passengers, organizers or crew members of the Dora.
Please contact me if you want to use content from this page. I am always happy to share my work but ask you contact me first and credit the source.