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Chapter XIII

Partial List of Children on the Train

 

chi157.jpg
Jewish children leaving the Czech train
(train marked with the letters CSD)

 

Up until that day, the Repatriacni Tabor Dablice camp had received only a limited number of illegal Jewish refugees who crossed the Czech border on their on their way to Germany or Austria. Only Rabbi Herzog's persistent requests to the Czech government and UNRRA resulted in these children going to Deblice.

When possible, the Czech authorities facilitated the reunification of families. A few children were met by relatives who had been notified of the train's arrival. Originally the number of children leaving Poland was to have been 1,000. Then the number dropped to 750. Finally only 500 Jewish youths and 101 adults boarded the train. Only 488 children entered the Deblice camp.

The Vaad Hatzala's apparent inability to meet its monetary commitments for these Herzog children required the JDC to assume financial responsibility. The six weeks the children would stay in Deblice was a challenge to the children's supervisors and to the JDC. The children's boundless energy had to be channeled or chaos could easily ensue. This required both planning and money. The Czech camp was well prepared for the passengers of the “Children Train” because the JDC had stepped in to fill the void left by the Vaad Hazeleh's inability to fulfill their financial promises. The children needed shoes, clothing and some medical care. The JDC had to pick up the bill for all these expenses namely shoes and clothing.

A cable from Jacobson's Prague office to the JDC in New York complained that “his office did not receive notice about the children transport. The Vaad Hatzala organization disappeared from the scene and left the Joint with expenses[1]

The counselors in the Deblice camp devised activities for the youngsters. Moshe Einhorn, Yeshua Spiner and Meir Weisblum were in charge of the Mizrahi/Hapoel Hamizrahi contingent while Rachel Sternbuch and rabbi Wasserman were in charge of the Agudah contingent.

Recha Rachel Rottenberg – Sternbuch, was born in Poland in 1905. She was the daughter of Rabbi Markus Rottenberg, who was the chief rabbi of Antwerp from 1918 until he was deported to the camp of Vittel, and then to Auschwitz–Birkenau where he was murdered. She is the sister of Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Rottenberg of Anvers and Paris, and is the aunt of Rabbi Mordechai Rottenberg of the Pavee synagogue in Paris. Recha Rottenberg married Isaac (Yitzchak) Sternbuch from Montreux, Switerland. Both represented the Vaad Hatzala in Switzerland. The country was neutral and enabled the Sternbuchs to maintain a vast corespondence with the occupied areas under German control. They also managed to help many Jews detained in Dachau concentration camp to be liberated by providing them with false papers that enabled them to enter Switzerland and live in the Saint–Gall (Recha Sternbach was the leader of the Vaad Hatzala in Poland and was very active in redeeming Jewish children from non–Jewish homes as described in the children train).

 

chi158.jpg
Rachela Sternbuch, Vaad Hatzala representative in Europe.

 

Overall supervision of the children was done by a joint committee made up of representatives from UNRRA, the JDC's Czech office, Vaad Hatzala and the Prague Jewish community. [2] To keep these Herzog children busy in Prague, their supervisors first tried programs, lectures and visits to the Jewish sights in the city of Prague.

Rabbi Herzog, and his son Yaacov, left Prague on August 27, 1946, two days after the transport arrived in the city. They headed to Paris to urge the various organizations to speed up the preparations for receiving the children stuck in Prague.

As mentioned earlier, there were about 500 children and 101 escorts aboard the train. 488 children arrived at the camp in Prague. Some children joined families or relatives who waited for them. There is no complete list of all the children. Among the papers of the Zionist archives there is a partial list consisting only of Mizrahi and Hapoel Hamizrahi

 

chi159.jpg
JDC official with children from Herzog Transport (Deblice Camp, 1946)

 

Children, and it is uncertain if this list is complete. No list has been found listing the children belonging to the Agudah section of the transport.

The Zionist archives document, listing 234 children, is in Hebrew and has been transliterated here into Latin characters. The first column on the left is the last name, the second column is the first name of the child and the third column is the age of the child when the list was created. The list also contains the names of 45 adult escorts. No list has been found of the Agudah or Poalei Agudah children. There was also a group of about 34 children who were an independent group . Their names appear below. The names are Jewish sounding names and they entered the Deblice camp on August 25, 1946. It is assumed that the list of names was part of the Herzog train.

 

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Partial list of children train

 

List of children on the train

Family name First name Date of
Birth
Remarks
ASZER Nirla 1939  
BANDER Chaya 1930  
BINDERMEN Rifka 1937  
BINDERMEN Josef 1935  
BINDERMEN Chaya 1932  
CZERNOGORA Feiga 1935  
CZERNOGORA Feiga – Chani 1923  
FAYER Jankel 1933 (Feuer)
FAYER Yankel 1933 (Feuer)
FINKELMAN Liba 1936  
FINKELMAN Chene 1938  
FLISZER Les 1936  
FLISZER Szlama 1931  
FOJBOMOIM Pinkusz 1938 (Feigenbolm)
FUCHS Judita 1933  
FUCHS Mojze 1936  
GAYER Mordecha 1930  
GAYER Jankel 1930  
GITTELBAUM Kalmen 1930  
GRUBER Israel 1937  
JODWERKER Ryke 1943  
LEHRER Feige 1936  
LEHRER Izrael 1938  
LEHRER Mayer 1933  
LEICHTER Ruchla 1938  
PERL Arie 1930 (Pearl)
RIBAK Juda 1930  
SZIER Szura 1935  
SZIER Jakub 1931  
THERBAUM Lea 1936  
WALTER Szmul 1938  

 

List of children and escorts who were on the train with Rabbi Herzog that left Poland on August 21, 1946

The list is only of the children of the Mizrahi group

AFTERGUT Nathan 15
AFTERGUT Sarah 14
AFTERGUT Roza 12
AGRABSKA Yanka 13
ALTMAN Haya 14
ALTMAN Marina 11
APPELBAUM Marina 16
ARBETSMAN Eva 14
ASHKENAZI Malka 16
ASHKENAZI Israel 13
ASHKENAZI Sarah 10
BERGMAN Itzhak 11
BERGMAN Eisik 9
BERNSTEIN Zosha 5
BESSER Nathan 12
BIRENFELD Yehiel 15
BIRENFELD David 11
BLANKENSTEIN Roman 16
BLASZKOWSKI Lucian 13
BLAU Genia 12
BLAUSTEIN Shimon 16
BLITZ Yehoshua
BLUMBERG David 16
BOKINSKI Baruch 16
BORENSTEIN Michal 12
BORGENICHT Leon 15
BRAMA Nachman 16
BRAMA Nachman 14
BRAMA Nechama 16
BRENDER Boniek 10
BRENDER Regina 13
BUCH Golda 16
DANIELSKI David 14
DIAMAND Frida 6
DYM Berta 12
ENGELHARD Chaim 15
EPSTEIN Alexandra 2
FEDERBUSH Lea 13
FEUR Hersh 12
FEUR Lazar 13
FISHER Lola 15
FISHER Magozita 12
FISHLER Leon 13
FLANER Papa 15
FRAGLAS Klara 5
FREUND Risha 14
FREUND Moshe 14
FRIDLER Genia 6
FRIDMAN Irena 15
FRIDMAN Naphtali 10
FRIDMAN Rosilia 13
FRIDMAN David 13
FUTTER Mechel 13
GABER Solomon 15
GERSHTENBLUT Zlata 15
GERSHTENBLUT Rivka 13
GERTNER Rachel 9
GERTNER Hinda 9
GESUNTHEIT Shmuel 12
GETZLER Markus 15
GINSBURG Ita 7
GINSBURG Salomon 3
GLOBINSKA Rona 15
GOISKI Yehoshua 12
GOLDBERGER Harry 15
GOLDFARB Genia 15
GOTTESDINER Berek 10
GOTTESDINER Tzila 8
GOTTESDINER Sala 4
GREIFNER Heshek 11
GROMET Mozed 13
GROMET Yaakov 13
HENDEL Hanah 16
HOFFMAN Helina 12
HOLENBERG Mania 12
HURT Esther 16
INDIK Miriam 11
KAGANOWITZ Lodziya 8
KAHANA Lola 13
KANNER Leon 13
KAPLAN Eliezer 13
KATZ Yossef 12
KAWE Izu 1
KIRSHENBAUM Sarah 12
KLEIN Stephan 12
KLEINMAN Yaakov 15
KLEMPFER Mendel 16
KLERFALS Eva 10
KLERFELD Marian 6
KLODINSKI Yossef 10
KORZUCH Fela 12
KORN Solomon 14
KUPPER Mark 1
KUPPERBERG Kazek 10
LANGBERG Benek 8
LANGBERG Asher 12
LANGSAM Frida 15
LANGSAM Melech 13
LANGSAM Chana 10
LAUFER Elimelech 13
LAUFER Perla 10
LEHRER Adela 16
LEHRER Frida 13
LEICHTER Shoshan 13
LIBERMAN Nathan 16
LIBERMAN Dudek 11
LICHT Charlotta 12
LICHT Leon 9
LICHTER Hinda 13
LUFTGLASS Mashek 14
LUFTGLASS Esther 10
MANDELBAUM Rachel 16
MANDELBAUM Yeshayahu 14
MANDELBAUM Yossef 15
MANDELBAUM Gedalia 12
MANDELBAUM Sarah 12
MANDROWSKI Israel 16
MANN Michael 13
MANTIL Rivka 16
MANTIL Miriam 14
MANTIL Haya 11
MAYER Sonia 14
MAYER Heniek 12
MEIRSDORF Sarah 13
MESSERSHMIDT Mania 14
MIECZIK Yasha 8
MILSTEIN Dora 12
MORGENSTERN Yehoshua 14
MORGENSTERN Riwka 10
MORGENSTERN Shoshana 8
MOZES Nahman 13
NETOWICZ Celina 12
NEUSTEIN Elvira 15
NISSANTZWEIG Eva 11
PCZINEK Itzhak 13
PETER Yanek 11
PETER Dora 8
PINKAS Melech 13
PRZEDKOWICZ Ella 15
RAWITZ Lola 14
RAWITZ Sabek 14
REISMAN Esther 11
REIZMAN Wolff 14
RIGGENHEIM Hawa 10
ROMMER Yehuda 9
ROMMER Berek 15
ROMMER Fania 13
ROMMER Mania 12
ROMMER Esther 9
ROSENBERG Bluma 9
ROSENBLUM Monik 13
ROSENBLUM Rosa 12
ROSENBLUM Hawa 16
ROSENTHAL Markus 16
ROSENTHAL Tzipora 9
ROSNTHAL Sarah 14
ROTCHILD Inga 13
RUBINFELD Blima 12
RUBINSTEIN Fania 9
RUDESZEWSKI Moshe 11
RZUBISKI Aaron 9
RZYPKO Pessah 14
RZYPKO Reuven 11
RZYPKO Zalman 16
SAWITZKI Yerzy 10
SCHECHTER Mark 10
SCHECHTER Tusha 8
SEGALOWICZ Yeshayah 14
SHAKRAKA Motek 14
SHAPIRO yehuda 13
SHEFDEL Chaim 13
SHEIFELD Basha 14
SZER Baruch 13
SZER Golda 15
SHNAYER Mira 13
SHNAYER Israel 9
SHOWIN Henech 13
SHPIGLER Salek 8
SHPIGLER Henech 14
SHPILMAN Karola 8
SHTEINER Paula 16
SHTEKEL Yanek 5
SHTURM Henia 14
SHTURM Gittel 3
SHTURM Yehoshua 13
SHUSTER Roza 1
SHWEITZER awraham 10
SOBOL Heniek 10
SOBOL Yehuda 14
SONENSHEIN Rachel 5
SPINER Miriam 11
STRAUCH Henia 14
TILLMAN Nachman 13
TOBIAS Israel 12
TOTENGRABBER Ella 14
TREMBLINSKI Yossef 5
TZENTKIAR Benjaimin 13
TZUKER Sonia 4
VERED Rachel 13
VERED Felicia 14
WAKSBERG Yeshayah 15
WAKSBERG Israel 14
WASS Molek 10
WEISBLUM Aviva 1
WEISSFOGEL Sabina 15
WEISSMAN Itzhak 13
WENTZELBERG Yona 12
WERTHEM Lila 14
WICZIC Tusha 15
WIENER Sala 5
WILNER Tulek 12
WINBERG Lipa 7
WINFELD Wolff 13
WINFELD Guta 13
WISHNITZER Leopold 11
WITMAN Paula 12
WIZENFELD Danuta 8
WIZENFELD Arnold 15
WOHLGELERNTER Palus 5
WURTMAN Eisik 16
YAAKOV Tziporah 12
YAAKOV Shaul 9
ZEIDEN Elvira 12
ZILBERTZWEIG Rachel 10
ZILBERTZWEIG Tula 7
ZOLMAN Shmuel 13
ZOLMAN Nathan 9
ZOLMAN Basha 9
ZRUWANITZER Hawa 16

 

Adult escorts

BIRENFELD Sarah
EINHORN Moshe
ENGELHARDT Dov
ENGELHARDT Frimta
ERLICH Awraham
FLOMENBAUM Benyamin
GABER Chaim
GABER Tziporah
GINSBURG Feie
GINSBURG Sarah
GLUCHES Bela
GOLDBERGER Anna
GOLDBERGER Yaalow
GOLDBERGER Haya
GOTTESDINER Mira
GOTTLIEB Shimshon
GOTTLIEB Gisela
KNOBEL Roza
LUFTGLASS Sarah
MANDEBAUM Luba
MANDEBAUM Duba
RAPPPORT Riwka
RICHARD Mordecha
RICHARD Dwora
RIMMER Yente
ROSENGARTEN Pola
SHAPIRO Awaham
SHAPIRO Yehoshua
SHAPIRO Ella
SHAPIRO Lea
SHUSTER Aaron
SHUSTER Liza
TEPFER Shalom
WEISSBLUM Meir
WEISSBLUM Sarah
WIZENFELD Mendel
WOHLGELERNTER Haya
WULKAN Elimelech
YERED Sarah
YERED Lisa
ZOLMAN Sarah

 

Foreign escorts

Rabbi Itzhak Eisik Halevi Herzog
Yaakov Herzog
Rabbi Zeev Gold
Rabbi Salomon Wohlgelernter, UNRRA Representative
Rachel Sternbuch, Vaad

 

List of group of 34 children admitted to Deblica camp August 25, 1946.

The Czech government was putting extraordinary pressure on the JDC in Prague to move the Herzog children out of the country. But the JDC was faced with one delay after another. To further complicate matters, some of the children were supposed to go to France and others to Belgium. But there were no places for the children in France or Belgium. Meanwhile the children remained in Prague.

Rabbi Herzog and his son Yaacov headed to Paris to speed up the reception process for the children's transport in Prague. Rabbi Herzog met in Paris with the British foreign minister, Ernest Bevin, on August 30, 1946, and urged him to open the gates to Palestine for the survivors of the Shoah. He also met with Jewish Agency officials in Paris. The rabbi had working sessions with the JDC leaders in France and urged them to speed the process of preparing rooms for the children stuck in Prague. The rabbi also decided to leave to the JDC a batch of the French visas he had obtained for rabbis and rabbinical students still stranded in Poland who couldn't leave legally without the proper documents.

Rabbi Herzog also addressed several congregations in Paris to raise money. William Leibner and his father attended a meeting at a Belleville synagogue in Paris, France. Rabbi Herzog began to speak in French but soon realized that most of the audience did not understand French so he quickly switched to Yiddish and smiled when he saw the relieved look on the audience's faces, a look that, according to Leibner, turned to joy as the rabbi gave them hope that a better life was just around the bend. He urged the audience to keep their traditions and have faith. He prophesied that the gates to Palestine would soon be open and all Jews who wanted to live in their own land would soon be able to fulfill the dream.

The rabbi then left Paris and headed to London where he arrived exhausted. Doctors urged him to rest. As usual, he ignored the doctors and continued on his speaking tour, determined to raise money to bring more Jewish orphans out of the Christian homes and institutions in which they were living. He made an appearance before Britain's religious council and described his activities saving Jewish children in great detail. He also spoke to groups urging them to make a donation and help save Jewish children. Rabbi Herzog succeeded in raising a significant amount of money on this tour, enough to provide funding to the small network of rabbis he had organized across Europe so they could continue their work finding and redeeming Jewish children.

As part of his fund–raising efforts the rabbi visited his old haunts in Ireland. He was received by his old friend, Eamon de Valera, who was now the prime minister of Ireland. He also made contact with members of parliament he knew and those he wanted to meet. The visit resulted in an unusual gift. The Irish government informed him they would donate tons of meat, slaughtered according to orthodox regulations, and send the meat to Europe for Jewish Holocaust survivors. Pleasantly surprised with the gift, Rabbi Herzog realized he was ill–prepared to become a shipper of food, and again turned to Dr. Joseph Schwartz, the JDC director in Europe. Schwartz agreed to handle the details of collecting, shipping and distributing the food. One major obstacle that soon arose was the lack of tin to package the meat. Several weeks passed before that issue was resolved. When it was, the JDC quickly collected the meat and distributed it to Jewish survivors, many of whom were suffering from malnutrition. Following Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Rabbi Herzog left London on his way back to Jerusalem, with a stopover in Paris. He finally arrived back in Palestine, exhausted but exhilarated by his accomplishments.

Meanwhile, the plans to absorb the children in France were finished. All the papers and transport arrangements were completed. A Czech train awaited the passengers at the station. 488 children and 45 adult escorts boarded busses and were taken to the train station where they boarded a special train. Then the train started to roll to France.

The train rolled on, crossed the German border into France. At the Strasbourg railway station, a large crowd of Jewish youngsters awaited the Herzog train. All Mizrahi and Hapoel Hamizrahi children and their escorts left the train. They were received by the local Bnei Akiva or religious Zionist youth members. The group was then transported to the Strasbourg University dorms, where they were to stay until after the Jewish High Holidays. Then they would be placed in a spacious villa on Rue Selenic in Strasbourg.

The Agudah and Hapoel Agudah children and their escorts continued their journey to the city of Aix–la–Capelle, France, where they were lodged among several Jewish orphanages. Some of the children were later sent to Antwerp, Belgium.

Thus ended the children train operation of Rabbi Herzog.


Footnotes

  1. JDC cable number 3879 from Prague to New York. Return
  2. Shragai. Report.p.89, Return

 

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