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Three men pose behind a soup pot at Ferramonti.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 96143

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    Three men pose behind a soup pot at Ferramonti.
    Three men pose behind a soup pot at Ferramonti.

Ernest Hellinger is probably the man in the middle.

    Overview

    Caption
    Three men pose behind a soup pot at Ferramonti.

    Ernest Hellinger is probably the man in the middle.
    Date
    1942 - 1944
    Locale
    Ferramonti [Calabria] Italy
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Danny Hellinger

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Danny Hellinger

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Ernest (Artshu/Aharon) Hellinger (December 3, 1918-1997) was born in Micaelovce, Czechoslovakia to David Herman Tvi Hellinger (b. 1885, Michalovce, Czechoslovakia) and Regina Hellinger nee Amsel (b. 1895, in Posa, Czechoslovakia). He married Ruzena (Regina) Shoshana Blueh (March 14, 1918-February 19, 2001). She was born in Povazska Bystrica, Slovakia to Wiliam Blueh (b. 1880 in Povazska Bystrica, Czechoslovakia) and Kornelia Blueh nee Mor (b. 1890). They were assimilated yet ardently Zionistic Jews. Both of them belonged to the Betar youth movements in their home town. Ruzena’s maternal grandparents had a fish import and export company which had business relations with Aharon’s grandparents who owned a large warehouse. It was there that the couple met. Prior to the outbreak of WWII, Aharon was a medical student.

    On May 14th, 1940 both of them boarded the 85 year-old paddlewheel steamer in Bratislava which was hired by the Revisionist Zionist movement to bring Jewish refugees to Palestine. On October 9, the ship's boiler exploded, and the ship broke in two off of the deserted island of Kamilonissi in Dodecanese territory, then under Italian control. The passengers and crew managed to get ashore and off-load their supplies before the ship finally sank. On October 18 and 19, Italian authorities picked up the refugees on two sorties and brought them to the main island of Rhodes where they stayed for the next year and a quarter in a hastily constructed camp in the soccer stadium of Rhodes. There, Ruzena and Aharon married.

    In January 1942, the refugees were transferred to the Ferramonti internment camp in southern Italy. There Ruzena worked in the kitchen as the officers cook. Aharon was also involved in kitchen work, but later volunteered for the Jewish Brigade and served in France and England. Ruzena remained in Ferramonti until the Allies captured Italy.

    After liberation, the couple returned to Czechoslovakia to look for surviving family members. Both of Aharon’s parents had perished in Auschwitz. Aharon’s sister Ella and her husband David Reichenthal, were also killed, probably in Slovakia, circa 1945. However, three of his sisters and his uncle Binyamin survived. Ruzena found that her parents, brother, Imrich Blueh (b. 1911), his wife Zita nee Leimdoerfer, and her sister Bozena Blueh (b. 193) had all perished in the Shoah.
    The couple remained in Czechoslovakia where Aharon worked as a translator. On July 12, 1946, Ruzena gave birth to twin boys, Daniel (Irka/Irja) and Avner (Petr). On June 16th, 1949 they made Aliya, arriving on the ship Galilla. They were sent to Atlit, a camp for new immigrants. Once settled, Aharon worked as a nurse in Kupat Holim, the Israeli health system.
    Record last modified:
    2018-03-26 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1183894

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