doing personal research on my fatherís trek from Europe during World War II
father, Samuel Chaim Soroka,
obtained a visa to come to
was stranded in
original visa was declared invalid since it expired and the
he was on a ship to the
I was at the National Archives several years ago and found some testimony that my father gave to the American authorities investigating war crimes by the Japanese. Evidently, there was one American who left the camp† to find and barter for food and on his return to the camp was shot by a sentry.† The Japanese refused to allow him in and the commandant shot him dead. My father who was in the barracks nearby gave testimony on this incident.
I have several questions which I hope you can help me with or direct me to a source that may have the answers
1. Iíd like to know if† any of the remaining survivirs from Los Banos had any interaction or recollection of him.†
2. He was an orthodox Jew who due to his strict adherence to religious and dietary laws may have been one of those individuals that you may have had some recollection. Might you have any information on the few Jews that were at Santo Tomas and Los Banos?
3. Does anyone have a recollection of the Coast Guard or other authorities taking him and perhaps others off a ship† (it may have been the Eberle but I'm unsure).†
Unfortunately my father died more than 20 years ago. During my father's lifetime he spoke little of those years and when we should have inquired more so, we didn't.
In any case, I'd like to know whether you have any information or insights where I might search for more information.
Dr. Mort Soroka
33 West 42 Street NY NY 10036
Tel. 212 938 4174
A Group of Jewish Refugee Yeshiva Students in
Samuel Chaim Soroka center back row wearing a hat.