A collection of miscellaneous photos from the family archive.
Assortment of photos from my paternal grandparents, some with links - even if merely tangential - to their lives, others without an obvious direct connection to the family history. Posting them here to help make sense of how these pieces may fit in the larger family history.
Some of these photos help provide a better sense of their environment. Others are more mysterious - maybe someone, someday, will come across some of them and will provide some insights.
Palestine - 1910's
There are a few photos from Palestine in the family collection. Six are from Ronya's visit to Palestine in 1909-1910. Three other photos seemingly from the same time but taken by three different photographers: one taken by a friend of the family, Dr. Wallisch, one unknown who wrote a caption in Hebrew, and another unknown who captioned his photo in English.
Turkish policeman in Hebron holding keys to Jewish houses. Undated.
The photo is inscribed in the back (in Hebrew): "A picture of a policeman in Hebron, carrying the keys to the Jews houses."
I don't know who took this photo, when, or why it is in the family collection. It could be related to the voyage my grandmother Ronya Datnowsky took in Palestine in 1909-1910, however the other photos from that trip are printed on different paper, and none have inscriptions in Hebrew. Based on the quality of the photo, I assume it was taken by an amateur, probably a traveller. The handwriting doesn't seem to match Haim Abraham's.
Children of the Dead Sea. Photo Dr. Wallisch.
Assuming ca. 1910
"Dr. Wallisch" might be a misspelling on my grandmother's part and be the same person as "Dr. Wellisch". Dr. Wellisch was Herzl's unofficial representative in Constantinople ca 1903, also Turkish Ambassador in Vienna and Permanent Board Member of the Education Ministry. See his calling card in the family collection.
"ICA colonists in meeting party at frontier of colony".
Undated, assuming ca. 1910
Surprisingly, the caption on the back of this photo is in English. It's not clear who took it, or what the connection is with Ronya or the Abraham brothers.
ICA provided help to independant settlements including Gederah, Haderah, Nes Ziyyonah, and Mishmar ha-Yarden. Between 1900 and 1903 ICA created 4 new moshavot, Kfar Tavor, Yavniel, Melahamia (Menahamia), and Bet Gan. In addition, it established an agricultural training farm at Sejera (Ilaniyyah).
Balkan War and World War One
Wounded Turks in the Balkan War, 1913
My grandmother, Ronya Datnowsky, was a volunteer nurse during the Balkan War in Constantinople.
Mrs. Abramowitz and two other war nurses, 1913 or 1915
Either Balkan War, 1913, or World War One, 1915.
Dr. Feinstein, of the Red Cross, September 1914.
The calendar on his desk helps date this photo to Wednesday, September 23, 1914. The Ottoman Empire would enter the war a little over a month later, on 29 October 1914.
Dr. Feinstein, of the Red Cross.
Wearing the Red Cross uniform, carrying a sword.
Dr. Feinstein, of the Red Cross.
Wearing a Red Cross uniform, holding a sword.
B'nai B'rith, Constantinople
"Ouvroir des Dames du B'nai B'rith" - B'nai B'rith Ladies' Embroidery Club, Constantinople, 1916.
Comite des Dames du Bnei Brit (Ronya, standing, second from the left), 1917.
Bnei Brit Ball (Gedeon/Gisy Abraham with black shorts and white collar), ca 1920
Members of the Jewish Community in Constantinople
Rabbi Dr. David Markus (Marcus), date unknown.
Rabbi of the small Ashkenazi community of Constantinople, David Markus is mentioned in David Rimon's book "HaMaccabi Be'Artzot HaBalkan" (The Maccabi in Balkan States), p96:
Under the influence of a few Zionists who were in Constantinople at that time, the Jews launched an internal propaganda for nationalism and Zionism. Among these Zionist influencers [was] Dr. David Marcus, rabbi of the Ashkenazi community [...]
Moritz and Haim Abraham are mentioned in the same paragraph for their advocacy of Zionism after their arrival in Constantinople in 1908. I assume then that Dr. Markus and the Abraham brothers met through their common activism.
Dr. Baruch Kahane, 1917
To my dear Mr. Moritz Abraham and Mrs. Ronya, in memory of my military service during the Great War. Loschitz, May 1917.
Territorial Army. Rabbi Dr. Baruch Kahane. Imperial and Royal Army (kaiserlich und königliche Armee, or K & K), Regional Command #19, Loschitz (Moravia).
My father added the following information: "Professor at the Rabbinical Seminary of Berlin. Friend of the Auerbach family; [his home is] where we went to celebrate the Passover Seder, where we [Uriel and his brother Gisi] would fall asleep, because it was very long. The meal was prepared by Frau Hase, his non-Jewish landlady who was completely familiar with all the Jewish customs and the complete ritual."
Friends of the Abraham and Datnowsky family in Constantinople
Olga Mizrahi, Ronya Abraham, Dr. Feinstein, Fuchs, Teora (?), 1916.
This appears to be a picnic with friends on the beach. Aside from the people identified on the photo caption, the man in the back with the spectables and mustache seems to be Moritz Abramovitz. See photos of Dr. Feinstein with his uniform above.
Perlmutter, Magnlnik (sp?), Fanny Rubin, Mrs. Abramowitz, Dr. Biram, Ronya Abraham, M. Abramowitz, Moritz Abraham, etc.
This appears to be another picnic with friends, this time in a field. Aside from some familiar faces and names (Perlmutter, Rubin, Abramowitz) are a couple of fez-wearing gentlemen and an unknown man dressed in the English fashion in the back with a cap. Undated, assuming it's around the same time as the beach photo, ca 1916.
Beach party with friends. Constantinople, 1916.
The woman throwing the ball may be Ronya. A man with a sailor cap is playing a Turkish mandolin.
Ronya Abraham with Vladimir Jabotinksy's mother and Dr. Katznelson. Cospoli.
The only inscription next to the photo is "Ronya A. with Vladimir Jabotinksy's mother and Dr. Katznelson. Cospoli."
Ze'ev Jabotinsky's mother is holding Ronya's arm, suggesting some familiarity, I assume from Moritz and Haim's work within various Constantinople Zionist groups. Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the Revisionist Zionist leader, was in Constantinople between 1908 and 1914 on the behalf of the Zionist Organisation (ZO), so I assume this photo was taken during that time, most likely closer to 1914.
I assume "Dr. Katznelson" is not Berl Katznelson, but another the Zionist figure, possibly the person with the beard on the far right, based on the similarity with this photo
I also assume that the other people on the boat are not random passengers, but belong to a group of Zionist leaders. In particular, the man with the white goatee and spectacles (fourth from the left) bears a rather striking ressemblance with Ahad A'ham, founder of "cultural Zionism".
Since Moritz does not appear on the photo, I assume he was the photographer.