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ESCAPE

FROM

Luxembourg
Fausto Gardini

Sailing on the SS Serpa Pinto


- Draft Jacksonville, September 2015

Escape from Luxembourg

SAILING ON THE SS SERPA PINTO


For the chapter Luxembourgers in America in Health Care Professions in Luxembourg On My
Mind, Volume II (ISBN 9781468188527) I compiled a list of Luxembourgers or descendants living in or
traveling to the United States of America. I came across the following individuals and their related traveling
information during World War II:
In October of 1942, Dr. Henri Cerf1, born March 29, 1895, in Esch-sur-Alzette arrived in
Baltimore aboard the SS Serpa Pinto from Lisbon, Portugal, fleeing Nazi occupied Luxembourg. He
had graduated in 1922 and had practiced in the city of Luxembourg as an obstetrician/gynecologist
(ob/gyn). It is not known whether he practiced in the United States. After World War II, he
returned to Luxembourg and resumed his practice in 1946. A bachelor, he passed away in
Luxembourg on August 28, 1964.
Charles Auguste Israel was born in Luxembourg on June 19, 1895 [Some sources record June 6,
1895 as date of birth]. He graduated in 1921 in Strasbourg, France, practiced in Luxembourg first as
an optician later as an internist. In the wake of the persecution of Jews in Europe he immigrated to
the United States of America, settling in the Chicago area2. The name of his wife was Lidi Herzog
born in Eingarten, Germany on September 27, 1903. Charles August Israel, doctor, and Lidi Israel,
ne Herzog arrived in New York aboard the SS Serpa Pinto from Lisbon, Portugal on January 9,
1941. Dr. Kugeners publication lists also a Luxembourg-born physician named Charles Learsy,
born on the same date as Charles Israel, also settling in the Chicago area in the wake of World War
II events in Europe. The graduation date for both is identical, April 28, 1921. Published on the
Internet we found documents of the Claims Resolution Tribunal related to the Holocaust Claims
Litigation case No. CV96-48493 in which we learn that the Israel family of Luxembourg was also
known under the name Learsy, an anagram for Israel (i=y). The two individual are the same person.
In 1987 Dr. Charles Learsy is listed as a member of Section No. 3, Luxembourg Brotherhood of
America (LBA).
Ettelbrck, Luxembourg-born Ferdinand Kanns family sought refuge in the United States during
World War II. The family arrived in New York on June 25, 1942, aboard the SS Serpa Pinto that left
from Casablanca, Morocco on June 7, 1942. The family consisted of Jacques (Jacob) Kann, age 61,
merchant; Mathilde Kann, ne Wolf, age 59, retailer; Julien Ernest, age 30, merchant and Kann,
Ferdinand, age 22, student, the future physician. After World War II, the family returned to
Luxembourg but Ferdinand, born March 18, 1920, remained in the United States. Dr. Ferdinand
Kann is married to Luxembourg-born Jeanny Horn. Ferdinand Kann, M.D., family practice is listed
in Glen Cove, New York4. The educational experience column indicates that Dr. Kann graduated
from the University of Basel, Faculty of Medicine in 1957 and completed his residency at the North
Shore University Hospital at Glen Cove.
Arriving in New York on June 23, 1941, aboard the SS Serpa Pinto that sailed from Lisbon, Portugal
on June 12, 1941, was 46-year-old Joseph Lazarus, physician and 48-year-old spouse Johanna. He is
recorded as being born in Trier, Germany and his wife in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. Both are
The Serpa Pinto is recorded as having sailed from Lisbon, Portugal on September 8. The passenger manifest shows
October 1, 1942 as the date of arrival in New York. Dr. Cerf is listed as Heinrich Cerf, age 47, with destination listed as:
Cousin, Leon Cerf, 100 Arden Street, New York
2 Dr. Henri Kugener: Die zivilen und militrischen rzte und Apotheker im Grossherzogtum Luxemburg, ISBN-13 978-29599882-2-6, Eigenverlag, Luxemburg 2005.
3 Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks) Internet Site: www.crt-ii.org/_awards/
Charles Israel document: www.crt-ii.org/_awards/_apdfs/Israel_Alfred.pdf
4 www.vimo.com/doctor/doctordetails/Family-Practice/GLEN-COVE/New-York/Kann,-Ferdinand-/417331/
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Escape from Luxembourg

listed as stateless (apatride) and of Hebrew faith. Dr. Joseph (Josef) Lazarus was born on February
24, 1894 and his wife, whose maiden name was Johanna Wolf, was born on January 8, 18935.
In another of my books 365 Moments in Time (ISBN 9781484947456) I recorded under the date of:
June 26, 1926:
Luxembourg
Arno Josef Mayer is born on this day into a Jewish family. His father, Franois J. Mayer (19011978), is a high school professor. His mothers maiden name is Ida Lieben (1901-2003). As Nazi
Germany invades Luxembourg on May 10, 1940, the family flees the country reaching Lisbon,
Portugal. There they find passages to America on two separate ships. Franois/Frank Maye and
son Arno Mayer board the SS Serpa Pinto on December 28, 1940, and alight in New York on
January 9, 1941. His mother, Ida Mayer and sister Ruth Mayer, embark on the SS Lourenco Marques
on January 27, 1941, arriving in New York on February 8, 1941. The familys destination in the
USA is listed on the passenger manifest as: Ernst Lieben, 1832 Albany Avenue, Brooklyn, New
York.
Arno J. Mayer serves in the U.S. Army in World War II and looks after Werner von Braun as
American forces confine the German rocket scientist. After military service, he studies at the
Geneva Institut des Hautes tudes Internationales. In 1950, he attains a PhD from Yale University in
political science. Arno J. Mayer is on the faculty of Wesleyan University 1952-1953, Brandeis
University 1954-1958, Harvard University 1958-1961 and Princeton University 1961-1999, and for
several years concurrently at Columbia.
Arno J. Mayer has authored many books and articles on political issues.
In 2001, Arno J. Mayer, Princeton's Dayton-Stockton Professor of History Emeritus, is awarded
the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction, a prize established by the Council of the
American Historical Association (AHA), the oldest and largest professional historical organization in
the United States.
The fact that these individuals traveled on the SS Serpa Pinto to the United States in challenging
times of war encouraged me to research the history of the SS Serpa Pinto and explore the ships role in
ferrying refugees to the United States of America from war-torn Europe.
Launched on September 8, 1914, as HMS
Ebro for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.
the ships features are described as follows:
8267 gross tons, length 450.3ft x beam 57.8f,
one funnel, two masts, twin screw, speed 14
knots. Over the years she saw service with
various
companies
until
sold
to
Jugoslavenska Lloyd of Yugoslavia in 1935
and renamed Princesa Olga. In 1940 she
was acquired by the Portuguese shipping
company Companhia Colonial de Navegao
and renamed SS Serpa Pinto after the
explorer Alexandre Alberto da Rocha de
Serpa Pinto (1846-1900). The SS Serpa
Pinto served the companys South American
routes as well as intermittently Lisbon RMS Ebro
Baltimore, Lisbon New York and Lisbon Royal Mail Steam Packet Co
Philadelphia. Later, in the 1950s she also
operated on the route Lisbon - Havana. In 1952 the SS Serpa Pinto sailed from Lisbon to Helsinki for the
5

genami.org/documents/Luxembourg/Luxembourg_notes.pdf?PHPSESSID=fd15b0c51886046046be8b785bb25be1

Escape from Luxembourg

XV Summer Olympic Games hosted in Finland from July 9 to August 3, 1952. On August 14, 1953, she
completed a last trans-Atlantic voyage from Portugal to Brazil. On September 6, 1955, the SS Serpa Pinto
left Lisbon for Belgium, where she was scrapped.
The list following of 1940-1944 trans-Atlantic sailings of the SS Serpa Pinto of the Companhia
Colonial de Navegao with passengers identified as from Luxembourg has been collated from arrival
passenger manifests digitized by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). There may be
more records of voyages that have not been digitized or some may have been only partially processed, while
others may not have been preserved at all.

Companhia Colonial de Navegao


SS Serpa Pinto
1941 Companhia Colonial de Navegao SS Serpa Pinto
SS Serpa Pinto Route: Lisbon New York. Sailed on December 28, 1940 Arrived on January 9, 1941
Passengers:
628
Luxembourg Residents:
12
NAME
AGE OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
1. Harf Rene Theodore 37
Lawyer
Hebrew
2. Harf Valerie
37
Housewife
French
Father Ernest Harf, 31 Jeu de Paume, Montpellier
Destination
Alfred Vanden Brock, friend. New York
3. Israel Charles August 45
Doctor
Hebrew
4. Israel nee Herzog Lidi 37
None
Hebrew
8 Rue Lessing, Luxembourg
Destination:
Arthur Straus, brother in law, Chicago, Illinois
5. Mayer Francois
39
Professor
Hebrew
6. Mayer Arno Josef
16
School boy
Hebrew
Franz Jakob, 16 Konig Ring, Luxembourg
Destination:
Ernst Lieben, Brooklyn, New York
7. Ermann Rudolf
25
Merchant
Hebrew
Father Salomon Ermann, Petrusstr. 19, Trier, Germany
Destination:
Ernst Ermann, brother, New York

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Weingarten, Germany
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Trier, Germany

Escape from Luxembourg


8. Feldmann Golda
50
None
Hebrew
Gombin, Poland
9. Feldmann Henri
29
Merchant
Hebrew
St. Louis, France
10. Feldmann Claire
27
None
Hebrew
Mannheim, Germany
Contact: None
Destination:
c/o Hias New York [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society]
11. Wolff David
50
Merchant
Hebrew
Lisdorf, Germany
12. Wolff Nina
56
None
Hebrew
Arnstein, Germany
Sister in law Paula Beermann, Euskirchen Rheine Land
Destination:
Sig. Siegel, brother in law, Los Angeles
SS Serpa Pinto Route: Lisbon New York. Sailed on March 15, 1941 Arrived on March 30, 1941
Passengers:
641
Luxembourg Residents:
4
NAME
AGE OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
13. Harf Max
64
Merchant
Hebrew
Seibersbach, Germany
14. Harf Emilie
67
Housewife
Hebrew
Offenbach, Germany
Brother Gustav Harf, Bullay, Mosel, Rheineland, Germany
Destination
Daughter: Mrs. Else Wisbrun, 720 West, 180th Street, Apt 43, N.Y.
15. Neumark Arthur
53
Merchant
Hebrew
Guichenbach, Germany
16. Neumark Ida
42
Housewife
Hebrew
Wertheim, Germany
Brother Dr. Rudolf Neumark, Av. Defensores Chavez 159
Destination: Fred. Versanger, cousin, Englewood, N. Jersey
SS Serpa Pinto Route: Lisbon New York. Sailed on June 12, 1941 Arrived on June 23, 1941
Passengers:
684
Luxembourg Residents:
12
NAME
AGE OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
17. Goldschmidt Leopold 50
Farmer
Hebrew
Birkenfeld, Germany
18. Goldschmidt Mina
48
Housewife
Hebrew
Thalfang, Germany
19. Goldschmidt Margot 17
Student
Hebrew
Birkenfeld, Germany
Note: Maiden name: Bonem Mina
Note: Place of residence: Mersch, Luxembourg
Contact: None
Destination
Brother John Goldschmidt Norwalk, Conn.
20. Neumark Rudolf
56
Retired Judge Hebrew
Guichenbach, Germany
Contact/destination: Brother Artur Neumark, Englewood, New Jersey
21. Suss Emil
59
Farmer
Hebrew
Kirrweiler, Germany
22. Suss Frieda
50
Housewife
Hebrew
Ingenheim, Germay
Note: Place of residence: Oporto, Portugal
Auguste Suss Herzog, sister, Theaterplatz, Luxembourg
Destination: Nephew Arthur Straus, Chicago, Illinois
23. Sucher Mendel
43
Merchant
Hebrew
Kosow, Poland
24. Sucher Taube
43
Dressmaker
Hebrew
Waschkoutz, Romania
25. Sucher Erika
10
Student
Hebrew
Vienna, Germany / Austira
26. Sucher Josef
10
Student
Hebrew
Vienna, Germany / Austria
Contact: None
Destination: Conrad Robinson, wifes cousin Kingston, N. Y.
27. Lazarus Joseph
46
Physician
Hebrew
Trier, Germany
28. Lazarus Johanna
48
None
Hebrew
Esch-sur-Alzette
Sister Bertha Bar, Cologne, Germany
Destination: Cousin Otto Wolf, Elmherst, LI N. York

Escape from Luxembourg

The last sailing to the United States on record of the SS Serpa Pinto in 1941 occurred in the month
of September with the ship departing Lisbon, Portugal on September 9 and Casablanca, Morocco on
September 11. The arrival passenger manifest dated New York, September 24, lists 302 passengers. None are
identified as being from Luxembourg.
1942 Companhia Colonial de Navegao SS Serpa Pinto
The SS Serpa Pinto sailed from Lisbon on January 24, 1942, via Casablanca, Morocco, departing on January
26 and sailed from Havana, Cuba on February 16, 1942. The passenger list is dated New York, February 20,
1942.
NAME
AGE
OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
29. Alexandre Emanuel
44
Merchant
Hebrew
Luxembourg
30. Alexandre Denise Rose
24
Housewife
Hebrew
Paris, France
31. Alexandre Gilbert
6
None
Hebrew
Luxembourg
Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Marseille
Contact None
Destination: Friend, Cornelius Staudt, New York, N. Y.
32. Fuchs Irma
62
Housewife
Hebrew
Luxembourg
33. Fuchs Anna Lise Marion
25
Children nurse Hebrew
Luxembourg
34. Fuchs Georgette
22
Secretary
Hebrew
Luxembourg
35. Fuchs Fernande Suzette
22
Secretary
Hebrew
Luxembourg
Port of departure: Lisbon
Note: Place of residence listed as Barcelona
Contact/destination: Ilse Schvenberger, relative Phoenixville, Penn.
36. Hertz Joseph Marcel
37
Cattle dealer
Hebrew
Luxembourg
37. Hertz Yvonne Louise
37
Housewife
Hebrew
Zentzich, France
38. Hertz Josyane Sylvia
3
None
Hebrew
Diekirch
39. Hertz Salomon Guy
2
None
Hebrew
Diekirch
40. Hertz Serpa Pinto Charlotte Monique
Portugal
Note: Hertz Serpa Pinto Charlotte Monique born on board on January 28, 1942
Port of departure: Lisbon
Note: Place of residence listed as Barcelona
Contact: None
Destination: Sister Berte Lieblich, New York City, N. Y.
The SS Serpa Pinto sailed from Lisbon on June 5, 1942 Sailed from Casablanca on June 7, 1942. The
passenger list is dated New York, June 25, 1942
NAME
AGE
OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
41. Lande David
49
Com. Agt
42. Lande Clementine Israel
54
Housewife
Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Montpellier
Contact: Brother Gustave Israel, Montpellier, France
Destination: Cousin, Hortense Brandt, Brooklyn, N. Y.
43. Hayum Gustave Isidore
31
Dealer
44. Hayum Pauline Celine
38
Hairdresser
45. Israel Gustave
58
Manager
46. Israel (Erna) Ernestine
49
Housewife
47. Israel Edmond Sylvain
17
Student
Note 1: Full name: Hayum Pauline Celine Laure Patoir

Hebrew
Hebrew

Feuerstein, Poland
Luxembourg

Hebrew
Hebrew
Hebrew
Hebrew
Hebrew

Luxembourg
Wallers, France
Luxembourg
Feuerstein, Poland
Luxembourg

Escape from Luxembourg

Note 2: Full name: Israel (Erna) Ernestine Lande


Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Marseille for Hayum / Montpellier for Israel
Contact 1: Sister Mrs. Herta Hayum Bauer, La Ciotat, Fontesainte, France
Contact 2: Cousin Jacques Israel, Villa Bosphore, Marseille, France
Destination 1: Cousin, Walley Lecuit, Rockville Centre, N. Y.
Destination 2: Miss Hortense Brannt, Brooklyn, N. Y.
48. Baum Paul Raymond
25
Clerk
Hebrew
Luxembourg
Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Montpellier
Contact None
Destination: Parents: Charles & Camille Baum, N. Y.
49. Nadelhaft Rojza Sztern
39
Needle worker Hebrew
Warsaw, Poland
50. Nadelhaft Nadia
4
None
Hebrew
Luxembourg
Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Marseille
Contact None
Destination: Sister, Mrs. Sem Fire, Brooklyn, N. Y.
51. Kann (Jacob) Jacques
61
Merchant
Hebrew
Ettelbruck
52. Kann Mathilde Wolf
59
Retailer
Hebrew
Esch-sur-Alzette
53. Kann Julien Ernest
30
Merchant
Hebrew
Ettelbruck
54. Kann Ferdinand
22
Student
Hebrew
Ettelbruck
Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Pertuis, France
Contact: Sister Sophie Kann, Ettelbruck
Destination: Cousin Othon Wolff Hamilton Hotel, N. Y. [N.B. Wolff]
55. Kaiser Bruno
38
Dealer
Hebrew
Strasbourg, France
56. Kaiser Julie Wolf
33
Housewife
Hebrew
Grevenmacher
57. Kaiser Robert
7
Schoolboy
Hebrew
France
58. Kaiser Jean Michel
5
Schoolboy
Hebrew
France
Port of departure: Casablanca
Note: Place of residence listed as Marseille
Contact None
Destination: Parents in law: Mr. & Mrs. Wolf Hamilton Hotel, N. Y. [N.B. Wolf]
1943 Companhia Colonial de Navegao SS Serpa Pinto
The SS Serpa Pinto sailed from Lisbon on March 2, 1943. The passenger list is dated Philadelphia, March 14,
1943.
NAME
AGE
OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
59. Stein Silvain Gaston
38
Chauffeur
60. Stein Mathilde
30
Housewife
61. Stein Charlotte Rose
1
None
Port of departure: Lisbon
Note: Place of residence listed as Lisbon
Contact None
Destination: Parents in law: Emil Harf, Linden Av. Baltimore

Hebrew
Hebrew
Hebrew

Luxembourg
Angelsdorf
Lisbon, Portugal

Escape from Luxembourg

The SS Serpa Pinto sailed from Lisbon on June 8, 1943. The passenger list is dated Philadelphia, June 22,
1943.
NAME
AGE
OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
62.
63.
64.
65.

Galler Joseph
41
Merchant
Hebrew
Tomaszow, Russia
Galler Rachel Rene
29
Housewife
Hebrew
Metz, France
Galler Henri
7
Student
Hebrew
Luxembourg
Galler Michele
4
None
Hebrew
Luxembourg
Port of departure: Lisbon
Note: Place of residence listed as Barcelona
Contact 1: Mother, Mrs. Estelle Shupack, 57 rue Neyperg, Luxembourg
Contact 2: Father, Jacques Lilienbaum, Vic s/Cere, Cantal, France
Destination: Brother Sigmond Galler, 490 West End Ave., N. Y.
1944 Companhia Colonial de Navegao SS Serpa Pinto
The SS Serpa Pinto sailed from Lisbon on March 23, 1943. The passenger list is dated Philadelphia, April 6,
1944.
NAME
AGE
OCCUPATION RACE/PEOPLE PLACE OF BIRTH
66. Valentin Frederic Paul
46
Engineer
67. Valentin Mathilde
46
Housewife
Port of departure: Lisbon
Note: Place of residence listed as Barcelona
Contact: None
Destination: c/o American Joint

German
German

Wasserbillig
Echternach