Friday, September 21, 2018

Antisemitism and SS Polonia on a new route - Janusz Korczak - Aleksander Ferber


"For Tourists and Pilgrims" - two Polish boats, SS Kosciuszko and SS Polonia, were cruising between Constanza and Haifa. Korczak, on the right picture, was not the tourist or the pilgrim when he went twice to Eretz Israel. He was looking for the possibilities to move to Israel. Janusz Korczak went for the first time to Eretz Israel in July 1934, the second time in 1936. Third and the final trip, thus leaving Poland was planned in October 1939. However, the war...
Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) information from July 1933 that SS Polonia will be rescheduled from the trans-Atlantic run and put on a new route between Constanza, Roumania, and Haifa in Eretz Israel, Palestina (see the entire text at the end of the blog).
German Jews and Jews living there and in many other European countries felt directly the effects of the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor on January 30, 1933. Third Reich quickly became a regime in which citizens, especially Jews, had no guaranteed basic rights. The Nazi regime established the first concentration camps, imprisoning its political opponents, and others classified as dangerous. An extensive propaganda was used to spread the Nazi Party’s racist goals a.o. antisemitism and ideals. As part of an effort to align German arts and culture with Nazi ideas, university students in college towns across Germany burned thousands of books they considered to be “un-German,”  On May 10, 1933, Berlin university students burn upwards of 25,000 “un-German” books in Opera Square. and some 40,000 people gather to hear Joseph Goebbels deliver Nazi propaganda.

Therefore, the Exodus, returning to Eretz Israel increased in numbers. New routes for trains and ships were established. Jews were fleeing from Germany, Poland, and Russia.
There were pilgrims, tourists and fleeing Europe Jews that were passengers on ships crossing the Mediterranean and arriving in Haifa harbor but the number of Jews increased all the time.

Exodus, returning to Eretz Israel increased in numbers. New routes for trains and ships were established. Jews were fleeing from Germany, Poland, and Russia. There were pilgrims, tourists and fleeing Europe Jews that were passengers on ships crossing the Mediterranean and arriving in Haifa harbor.
The picture of Janusz Korczak and ship doctor Aleksander Ferber on SS Polonia in Haifa harbor should be further described. Although, the picture is not very clear one can easily see that both men as smiling in a way familiar with each other. Janusz Korczak knew Ferbers parents that, together with the Eliasbergs were actively supporting Dom Sierot (Towarzystwo Pomoc dla Dzieci) financially.


Korczaks two visits to Eretz Israel as a tourist gave him new strength. Korczak felt the historical meaning of Zionism and the momentous meaning of his own visit. He expresses the historical perspective of his trip with deep feelings and beautiful words:
No man, not one of my forefathers, I am the first. I have been privileged, I accomplished it. When seeing the far-off Haifa cost – the thought pulsed in me. The wish that is recited in the prayer every year "next year in Jerusalem" will come true. This is the end of exile. The return after years of wandering and persecution, I have privileged and have reached it.

The picture of Janusz Korczak and ship doctor Aleksander Ferber on SS Polonia in Haifa harbor should be further described. Although, the picture is not very clear one can easily see that both men as smiling in a way familiar with each other. Janusz Korczak new Frerbers parents that together with the Eliasbergs were actively supporting Dom Sierot financially.

JTA July 11, 1933
The S.S. Polonia, now on the trans-Atlantic run, will be put on a new route between Constanza, Roumania, and Haifa, Palestine, starting in September, Roman Kutylovski, head of the New York office of the Gdynia-American line told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday. The Polonia will be by far the biggest ship on this run and will add greatly to the comfort of persons going to Palestine either from Europe or America. A fortnightly service on the Polonia is planned by the Gdynia-American Line, according to Mr. Kutylovski.
At the present time most persons who go to Palestine from Europe or America start at Gdynia, near Danzig in the Polish Corridor, and proceed by rail to Constanza, whence they embark on one of the ships making irregular trips to the Near East.
According to the new arrangement, passengers buying through tickets will be allowed a long stay in Europe before going to Constanza to board the Polonia.
There will be a kosher kitchen aboard the Polonia, Mr. Kutylovski stated. The ship will fly the Polish flag.