The Unlikely Hero of Sobrance
(Sobrance, Slovakia)

48°45' / 22°11'

William Leibner and Larry Price


Project Coordinator

William Leibner


Edited by Ingrid Rockberger


This “The Unlikely Hero of Sobrance” by William Leibner and Larry Price

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The Unlikely Hero of Sobrance



The picture on the cover represents Zdenek Toman-Goldberger looking from behind a barred window as the trains with Jewish refugees leave Czechoslovakia on their way to Austrian and German D.P. (displaced persons) camps located predominantly in the American military occupied zones.

The large sign on the passenger car reads: 'Repatriacni Vlak' or repatriation train.

The letters CSD stand for 'Ceskolovenske Statni Drany', or Czechoslovak State Railways.


In Memoriam

Pesla/Paula Gutman/Toman

Ivan Toman


Zdenek Toman

To All the Members of the

Mossad, Brichah, Jewish Brigade

Haganah, Joint, Jewish Soldiers,

Jewish Volunteers

Who Fell in the Line of Duty While

Helping the Mass Exodus of Jews

From Eastern Europe to the Shores

of the Holy Land

See Zdenek Toman regarding Jewish matters said: Jan Masaryk, Czech Foreign Minister to Gaynor Jacobson. “If Toman is on your side…the frontiers of Czechoslovakia will be open to your Jews”

Tad Szulc, “The Secret Alliance” p.143
“Without Zdenek Toman, there would have never been a massive transfer of East European Jewish survivors” said Florence Jacobson, a social worker for the Joint in Prague and wife of Israel Gaynor, joint director of Prague in a film appearance in the movie entitled “The Bricha” produced by Martin Smok, Czech film maker and historian.


Asher Zelig Goldberger/
Zoltan Goldberger/
Zoltan Toman /
Zdenek Toman
Zdenek Toman/Goldberger


Chapter Page
Introduction 1
I The Goldberger Family 9
II Toman's Background 28
III The Transit Station Czechoslovakia 45
IV The Human Flood 66
V The Children's Transport 88
VI Britain at War with the Jews 118
VII The Mass Exit Continues 140
VIII The Goldberger Family Reunites 163
IX Toman's Downfall 173
X The Escape 190
XI The Trial 198
XII Toman the Jewish Benefactor 210
XIII Ivan Toman 231
  Appendix: Partial List of Sobrance Jews 238


Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
Emerita Yizkor Book Project Manager, Joyce Field
Contact person for this translation William Leibner
This web page created by Lance Ackerfeld

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Updated 28 Oct 2016 by LA

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