Saturday, 22 March 2008

Letter 1 - January 15, (1919)

Holland-America Line, Rotterdam - S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam

Dear Family,-

We’re off! Today the lake gives promise to a real storm. It’s snowing-it’s rolling- the wind is sailing thru the top decks- the front of the boat dips away beneath an occasional large wave- several people are already beginning to feel the effects.

I have succeeded in inveigling the chief steward into giving me a cabin to myself, which makes things more comfortable for both Dr. Friedenwald* and myself. He is not feeling so fit, but is sleeping a lot, and loafing a lot, and reading my novels (Mr. Frank Cahn* sent me three novels and a dozen current magazines to the boat.) The rest of the party consists of Dr. Rubinow*, Miss Shapiro, and Mr. Szold*. The latter two are frequently among the missing.

I’ve been doing lots of reading under the guidance of Dr. F. Pamphlets on the history, the geography, the population, the economic condition, etc. of Palestine. But this work has not kept me from enjoying the company of this YMCA bunch.

The food is not bad- but then it’s not good.

Lots of love and kisses,


Friedenwald, Dr. Harry
:- b. Baltimore 1864 – d. Baltimore 1950; leading opthamologist, dedicated Zionist; orthodox Jew

Cahn, Frank:- Baltimore neighbour whose four children were of parallel ages with the Sonneborn children and friends

Rubinow, Dr. Isaac Max:- b. Russia 1875 – d. U.S.A. 1936; U.S. economist and social worker, active in Zionist affairs; Director of Medical Centre (AZMU) staffed by Hadassah from 1918 – 1922

Szold, Robert:- b. U.S A. 1889 – d. 1970’s; Attorney and Zionist leader thru friendship with Brandeis* starting in 1915

Brandeis, Louis Dembitz:- b. Louisville, Ky. 1856 – d. Washington D.C. 1941; Leader of American Jewish Zionist from 1913 on; Justice of U.S. Supreme Court 1916 -1939

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