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Dr. Justin Weinschenk: a Letter From Erez Israel

The following letter was written by the physician Dr. Justin Weinschenk (born 1898 in Nuernberg, deceased 1969 in Israel) to the Nuremberg Rabbi Dr. Arnold Abraham Klein after his emigration to Palestine in August 1934 (NCA E 39 no. 1720/15).


Jerusalem, October 24, 1934

Honorable Rabbi!

I already felt the need to write to you for a long time. However it always takes a spell of time till one gets the calm necessary that enables him to report from here with a certain inner distance.

Rabbi Dr. Arnold Abraham Klein (1875 - 1961) Justin Weinschenk, M.D.
Rabbi Dr. Arnold Abraham Klein (1875 - 1961)
Justin Weinschenk, M.D.

The main question which understandably enough moves every new immigrant most is the founding of a new existence. We had the advantage to know the country for having visited it only last year. So I could go to work at once and settled the profession question in detail for me. If one does not choose the profession of a Chaluz or settler a priori, still there are many difficulties ahead. Of course there are plenty of opportunities. But the realization of any plans often fails because of the lack technical knowledge or because of insufficient means. A colonial country like this estimates farming skills and craftsmanship much higher than the concept of scientific ideas. For this reason the youth in particular in the age of 18 to 25 years easily can get in lane with sweeping enthusiasm everywhere, while the middle aged and elderly people look at their chances with reserve and skepticism ...

Since my wife and I had personal experiences about the local conditions, we also enjoyed the advantages of life here. The freedom of the individual life-style, the lack of concern of the children and living in a Jewish community are satisfactory equivalents for the difficulties of the new life. The Jewish community here is totally different compared to the one in Germany though. While there it is characterized by the homogeneity of the social group and the life-style, here one is astonished every day by the multiformity of the Jewish people and Jewish race. For example the Ossereth (cleaning woman) who works in our pension anthropologically looks undoubtedly like an cross-breeding between an Arab and a negro. Comparing to her the tall blue-eyed, flaxen Russian Jews no one could find a racial similarity... The colorful dressed Yemenites which barefootedly walk on precious carpets and sing Arabian Neginoth (melodies); The Polish Jews, dancing Slavonic dances with corresponding melodies in their medieval German clothes, the Bukharians, the Germans, the Persians and all the others, each one packed with a little piece of their native countries. What once will happen to all of them? This question will be answered only by the next or maybe even later. We must prepare the ground and leave the rest to the future: This task is a comfort and an incentive for the personal situation.

We will settle down in Herzlia, a community north of Tel Aviv. Whether I will be a doctor or a settler there, shall decide the development of the next months. We look forward to our own home anyway. The Nuernbergers here are quite well. No-one lives in abundance, but I have not found anyone who is dissatisfied or even regrets the decision to emigrate. Let us hope that all their wishes will come true.

Prof. Tachauer told me that you are well, too. Thank G. we are in good health.

With best wishes and greetings your devoted

Dr. Justin Weinschenk


Immigration visa for Palestine

Immigration visa for Palestine (NCA C 21/IV no. 1957/80)

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