Southern Africa Jewish Genealogy SA-SIG
by Anne Lapedus Brest © 2009
Editor: Dr Saul Issroff
Copyright © 2009 Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, SAfrica SIG
and Jewishgen Inc.
As told to Anne Lapedus Brest by Naomi BAUMSLAG (Yodaiken) his daughter in law.
Maurice Simon known as Masie was born in Ireland on the 15th Nov 1892. Of all the YODAIKEN siblings, Maurice was the only child born in Dublin.
The family YODAIKEN/JEDEIKIN came from Zagare. He probably was born there or in Wenden where there were YODAIKEN/JEDEIKINS also and maybe even Voru where there were a lot of YODAIKENS/JEDEIKINS.
He was the son of Bassa (neé) LAPEDUS and Avraham Menachem Mendel JEDEIKIN (YODAIKEN) (In Israel he was known as Avraham)
The YODAIKENS (Jedeikins) emigrated to Ireland in the late 1800s from Lithuania.
There are about 30 different ways the name YODAIKEN is spelt, from JODAIKEN to YUDAIKEN and even DAIKEN where it had been shortened, but all YODAIKENS worldwide are related.
The Irish YODAIKENS use the "Yod" spelling, but the South Africans have favoured the "Jod/Jud/Jed" spelling.
The first actual trace of Bassa and Mendel YODAIKEN as having ever lived in Ireland was in Belfast 1901 census living in Groome Street. Mendel's occupation was listed as scrap metal dealer, but this was a total surprise to the family, as we always thought they went straight to Dublin, which is where they lived and worked.
Maurice Simon YODAIKEN was listed in a Jewish school in Belfast in 1901. He was also listed as in Sam's household in Clanbrassil Street (Dublin)= 1901 census together with Bessie (Paulina).
Meyer YODAIKEN then aged 15 was living with his uncle Zalkind Lapedus (Bassa's cousin) listed in 1901 census as a cigarette worker, Maurice's brother Sam YODAIKEN was the household head. They all stayed with him til they married or left.
Isaac Joe YODAIKEN went to SA in 1901.
Rosie YODAIKEN married Simon LAPEDUS, in Dublin Ireland in 1908 and they remained in Ireland.
Paulina YODAIKEN went to SA married her cousin Louis SAKINOFSKY 1906; Maurice stayed on and worked in Sam's motor business in Ireland.
In 1912 he (Maurice) left for SA whilst his father went to Palestine to "Chadera moshave" (a settlement in the city/town of Chadera, Israel). Maurice set up a motor business in Cape Town, South Africa where his two brothers later joined him.
In 1919 Maurice YODAIKEN married Audrey (Annie) MALLENICK in East Griqualand, Cape Province, South Africa.
Maurice eventually went to Johannesburg, and opened a motor business called "Transvaal Motor Industries." They lived in Linton's Hotel for Ralph's early years in one room which was awful They then got a house in Yeoville and subsequently moved to Dunkeld, (both districts of Johannesburg). He had a successful business especially with the brake lining division.
Maurice YODAIKEN passed away on the 18th May 1965, in Johannesburg, S.Africa.
RALPH EMIL YODAIKEN's story
As told by Ralph YODAIKEN
Ralph had wanted to be a doctor but his father made him work in his Motor Industry business (Transvaal Motor Industries) so when Ralph worked, he always gloves as he felt it would protect his hands when he became a surgeon.
Working at night for a Revisionist newspaper he became an ardent "Betarnik" (a member of the Jewish movement, Betar) and trained in uniform with wooden rifles at a camp waiting for the day when he would go to Israel.
One night he was invited to a darkened office where 3 men wearing fedora hats interviewed him for over an hour. A day later he was told he had been admitted to the Irgin Zvi Leumi (National Military Organization)
He joined the SA IRGUN, trained at Greens Farm and was sent to Italy under an assumed name. Later that month he was asked to hand over his passport which would be sent to British prison camp "GIL GIL." The British Kenyan concentration camp for Jews fighting for the Jewish Land. In Kenya where an escape of the top Irgun commanders arrested in Israel were interned. Five passports were carried by the Chief Rabbi Of Johannesburg, slipped into a loaf of bread and picked up by one of the prisoners.
Whilst it is not possible to state with any certainty the name of the prisoner who actually used Ralph's passport to escape it is of interest to note that at the Camp at the time there was a prisoner with the name of Yodaiken. Very many years later whilst on a visit to Israel Ralph and Naomi had the opportunity to meet this cousin. Although the two men had never previously met or knew of each other's existence the meeting was a very emotional one
Ralph persuaded a biochemist he knew casually to give him his passport for a good cause. The biochemist gave the passport reluctantly and regretted his action for years until he met up with Ralph again 70 years later in Washington. The escape from Gil Tgil to Nairobi, on through Uganda, and from the Congo to Paris, is too complicated and time consuming to record here. With 4 companions, he flew from Jhb to Benghazi, Rome, Bologna and finally to Meina on Lago Majora.
In 1947 Ralph was sent to Italy to work with and train Jewish DP's from the concentration camps, who had walked across the Alps to reach Italy, to fight in Palestine. The camp he worked in was listed as a convalescent home and was inspected by the Red Cross and the Joint. Not only did they have training but took people in ships to Palestine and guns from La Spezia. He had a fake number tattooed on his arm for Red Cross or Joint inspectors. Ralph was listed as a Polish refugee who was unable to speak – a mute. With the help of an Italian guide, he transported refugees in covered trucks to La Spezia on the East coast then back to the camp. Not long after this they had to disband the Home due to gun activity being noted.
Eventually he left Stressa and boarded the first Israeli passenger ship in Genoa. He stood all the way across the Mediterranean to Sicily at then Haifa because the hold was crammed with seasick refuges. From Haifa he went to a Military training camp in Telatvinsky and from there was picked up by Moshe Dayan and joined his commandoes and fought the war of Independence. With their backs to Tel Aviv, they fought on and off again war all the way down to El Auja on the Egyptian border.
Ralph accepted the flag of surrender for the Israelis following a battle with the Egyptians at the Faluga Gap.
After fighting in Israel as a machalnik and saving several of the men under his command Ralph returned to South Africa to pursue his medical studies to become a Pathologist. At that time anatomy was not taught in Israel and med. students had to go to Edinburgh for anatomy and Pathology training. On qualifying as an MD Ralph, who had specialized in Pathology and lectured at Wits University in Johannesburg.
In 1963 Ralph and his wife Naomi (also a Professor Baumslag) and his family left South Africa to settle in Atlanta, Georgia where he became a Professor of Pathology at Emory Medical School in Atlanta, an institution funded by the Coca Cola family. And later the Director of Occupational Medicine in the US Dept of Labour.
Ralph remained in this position until his retirement and he and his family live Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
(Note from Anne Lapedus Brest) Ralph YODAIKEN visited my YODAIKEN and LAPEDUS families in Dublin in about 1954. I still remember how all the children in the street, when they saw him, how their eyes came out on stalks and they all stared at the tanned and very handsome young South African walking down the street.)
Ralph Emil YODAIKEN (born Jhb, SA) m Naomi Baumslag (born Jhb.SA) and they are both Professors. They moved to the USA in 1963 with two children and their daughter, Ruth was born in the USA.
| || || || |
|1. Victor Joel YODAIKEN b 1957 Jhb. S.Africa m Beth KIRKHART |
| ||1. Aaron Robert YODAIKEN b.1995, USA|
| ||2. Chaia YODAIKEN b.1998. USA|
|2. Barry David YODAIKEN b. S.Africa |
|3. Ruth Tamara YODAIKEN b. Buffalo, USA). Ruth is a Lawyer in Washington DC, works for the Federal Trade Commission|