Jewish Refugees

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 07:50

We need your help in locating Jewish refugees who came to San Francisco in the late 1930s and 1940 and their descendants.  As restrictions tightened against Jewish people under Nazi rule in Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, several hundred Jews applied for entrance to the United States.  They had the good fortune to have relatives and sponsors in the U.S.  After traveling across Russia to China and Japan, they boarded  ships for San Francisco. Dozens of families and individuals ended up at the Angel Island Immigration Station, underwent medical inspection and were detained for weeks because they did not have sufficient funds to reach their eventual destinations.

Erika Lee and Judy Yung recounted the perilous journeys of Alice Edelstein, Alfred and Klara Marill, Hans Singer and Isaak Adler in Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. Recently, AIISF interviewed Eva Schott Berek, Lotte Loebl Frank, and Harry Gluckman, whose stories are posted at  

The database you see below was compiled by volunteers who reviewed files at the National Archives in San Bruno, California.  Please contact AIISF by writing to or call 415-348-9200 if you recognize any of the individuals listed below. We would like to interview the descendants in order to get the full story on these brave and fortunate people who fled the Nazi regime. Most of these refugees lost their entire families in the Holocaust.  Their stories remind us of that genocide must never be allowed to happen again to any group of people. This database also contains names and short profiles of Jewish refugees who came to Angel Island prior to 1939.  After 1915, large numbers of Jews from Russia, Poland, and Lithuania.  Many of them were men who had left their homelands to avoid military conscription.  Families also fled because of anti-Jewish violence.  Many families were able to enter the United States with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.


photos: Eva Schott Berek’s passport; Lotte Loeble Frank’s parents;  Harry Gluckman’s father

# File NumberNameSexPlace of BirthDate of BirthDate of ArrivalName of ShipDays in DetentionNotes
 16451/06-12Shifrin, SosaFRussia19028/18/1917Rembrandt11 daysStudent; Minor accompanied by sister (Masha); Resided in Harbin and then Yokohama as refugees from war in Russia; Lived in refugee camp in Harbin; Joining married sister (Lena) in US; Case deferred until sister sent $100 to them; Admitted 08/29/1917.
 14782/05-14Shifun, JacobMRussia189410/30/1915Panama Maru2 weeksPlumber and Electrician; Came via Yokohama; Literate; Has $45 and paid own passage; Wanted to avoid conscription; Excluded as LPC; Appeal by Harry K. Wolff; Admitted 11/19/1915
 14390/023-08Shmarkotin, OshirMRussia18896/1/1915Mongolia6 weeksTailor; From Tawricheskai to Kobe; Has $25; Excluded as LPC; Appeal by Lucius Solomons, who finds NY tailor to write affadivit offering job and $100 transportation money; Landed 7/15/15.
 35819/02-5Shmulevsky, GdalyMRussia34 yrs12/10/1935President Pierce1 dayDruggist; Literate; Came via Shanghai; Has $83 and paid own passage; Destined to bro in law (Rudolph Stein) for 6 months temp visit; Admitted 12/11/1935 as temp visitor for 6 months
 14776/21-04Shten, SamuelMRussia189610/27/1915Mongolia2 daysLaborer; Literate; Paid own passage; Uncle (Mania Wisniotsky) in MA; Admitted
 37633/06-3Simmons, Dora SpuntFTurkey188110/6/1937President Coolidge2 daysHousewife; Literate; Came via Shanghai to SF for permanent residence; Has $150 and passage paid by husband; Traveled with mother in law and 2 daughters; British passport and visa; Witness Eugene T. Broderick, G.M. of E. F. Hutton and Co; Admitted 10/08/1937.
 15153/40-1Sinelnikoff, SimonMRussia18874/10/1916Shinyo Maru6 weeksFarmer; From Cherikoff to Harbin to Yokohama (1 mo, no work); Friend in SF; Paid guard and guide 50 roubles to cross Russian border into Harbin and 300 roubles from Harbin to Chinchun, eight hours of travel; Paid 200 roubles for external passport which contained false information; HIAS asked to help contact witness; Excluded as LPC; HIAS appeals; Landed 5/23/16;
 40198/24-1Singer, HansMAustria18997/31/1940President Coolidge1.5 monthBorn in Austria, German citizen; Upholsterer; Came via Shanghai (1 1/2 yr); Has $60; Joining brother in Pittsburgh for permanent residence; German passport with non preference German quota immig visa; Affadavist of sponsorship from Carl Singer and Joe Levy (brother's employer); Wife got him released from concentration camp by buying a ticket for Shanghai; Excluded as LPC; Appealed and admitted 09/17/1940 on $500 public charge bond by Hebrew Free Loan Association in Pittsburgh; NOTE: Applicant works as upholster in Pittsburgh; Bond cancelled 6/18/46.
 14425/12-04Singer, WaldenMRussia19106/14/1915Persia1 dayMinor accompanied by mother (Rosa) and sister (Zina); Going to father (Feodor Singer) in SF; Admitted permanently -- father appearance is good and has butcher business.
 13485/25-03Solomon, SaraFRussia19116/12/1914KoreaMinor accompanied by parents (Hirsh and Chaji) to join uncle in Chicago; Admitted permanently
 15153/39-9Srebruick, EliaMRussia18864/10/1916Shinyo Maru1 monthWorked in hat factory; Literate; Brother (Isidor Srebnik) in Boston; Wanted to avoid conscription; Excluded as LPC; HIAS apeals; Admitted 5/23/16.
 14622/18-10Stanler, DavidMRussia18878/30/1915Persia6 weeksFrom Sherea to Harbin; Carpenter; Has $40; Evaded military service; Friends in Harbin said plenty of work here; Served 2 wks in army and placed on reserve list; Stole out of Russia; Excluded as LPC; Traube finds witness who will guarantee; Request to reopen case denied; HIAS appeals; D. C. recommend bond; Landed 10/16/15.
 36034/06-2Starffin, VictorMRussiaUnknown2/27/1936Chichibu Maru3 daysBaseball player; Certificate of Identity from Tokyo, Japan; Part of Dai-Nippon Tokyo Basefall Team on a traveling tour of US and wants to enter temp for 6 months; Admitted 03/02/1936 as temp visitor for 6 months with condition he does not step foot on Russian soil in order to return to Japan.
 40253/06-9Stoeckel, LeoMPoland58 yrs8/28/1940Rakuyo Maru6 daysGerman citizen; Clothing merchant in Vienna, Germany; Accom by wife (Theresia Sara); Has $28 and paid own passage; Destined to son (Bertold) in NY for permanent residence; German passport and Polish quota immig visa; Sent $5,000 to Paris that son picked up; Jewish Aid Association helped telegraph son; Admitted 09/03/1940 under 1924 Act.
 14255/28-10Stoffman, DavidMRussia18974/5/1915Korea1 dayFarm Laborer; Literate; Lived in Harbin and came via Kobe; Accompanied by brother (Solomon) who paid his passage and has $40; Mr. Brachman assumes responsibility of applicant; dmitted
 16269/07-17Strupinsky, SaraMRussia19016/5/1917Vondel20 daysSeamstress; Traveling with brother (Melach Strupinsky) to join older brother (Louis Pinsky) in Chicago; Traveled via Yokohama; Has $81; Admitted 05/25/1917
 40415/07-11Szatenstejn, Jozef WladyslawMPoland189211/13/1940Tatuta MaruunknownProfessor; Literate; Paid own passage; Accom by wife (Anna) and children (Lenora and Alexander); Came via Lithuania; Destined to friend (Joseph Vangolder) in NY for business and pleasure; Admitted for 1 year; NOTE: Several visa extensions and reasons state "because of war in Poland;" Admitted permanently.
 40415/07-13Szatensztejn, AlexanderMPoland192411/13/1940Tatuta MaruunknownStudent; Literate; Passage paid by father; Accom by father (Jozef), mother (Anna) and sister (Lenora); Came via Lithuania; Destined to friend (Joseph Vangolder) in NY for business and pleasure; Admitted for 1 year and later permanently.
 40415/07-12Szatensztejn, AnnaFPoland189511/13/1940Tatuta MaruunknownJew; Housewife; Literate; Passage paid by husband; Accom by husband (Jozef) and children (Lenora and Alexander); Came via Lithuania; Destined to friend (Joseph Vangolder) in NY for business and pleasure; Admitted for 1 year and later permanently.
 40415/07-14Szatensztejn, LenoraFPoland192911/13/1940Tatuta MaruunknownStudent; Literate; Passage paid by father; Accom by father (Jozef), mother (Anna) and brother (Alexander); Came via Lithuania; Destined to friend (Joseph Vangolder) in NY for business and pleasure; Admitted for 1 year and later permanently.