Hadassah and their organization Youth Aliyah rescued Jewish people from the Holocaust by bringing children and youth out of Germany and to Palestine. Youth Aliyah was made in Berlin by Recha Freier, January 1933, when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany and took away opportunities from the Jews. Aliyah means going up so it is used to describe going to Israel because moving to Israel is “moving up” to the holy land.
The organization worked with other leaders who worked with youth to resettle children to Berlin and later Palestine to escape their situation. Youth Aliyah saved more than 11,000 Jewish youth from Germany and countries also controlled by Nazis by supplying them with the access to leave. Henrietta Szold was Director of Youth Aliyah and she worked hard to direct the children when they arrived at Palestine Leaders of Youth Aliyah like Henrietta Szold and greeted youth at the dock when their boat arrived to go to a kibbutz (a communal settlement). Recha Freier was born in Germany, where she experienced anti-semitism. In 1932 Recha realized that the Jewish teenagers in Germany would not have a real future unless they leave because laws were put on Jews that forbade them professional development and other opportunities. In Berlin, January 1933, Recha founded the Committee for the Assistance of Jewish Youth. Recha asked Henrietta Szold to help the children when they reached Palestine but the two women did not talk much safer due to their clashing personalities.
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In 1940 Recha was forced to flee Germany. When youth were cut off from traveling to Palestine from Nazi-Germany, Henrietta continued to help children in Palestine. Youth Aliyah continues to rescue at-risk children from over 20 countries to their spots in Israel and the children receive food, shelter, and an education. Sonya was a teenager during the rise of the Holocaust. She was able to escape by going to Israel and her family was able to escape by going to the United States. Her family that were not able to escape were killed by the Nazis. Her uncles, aunts, and cousins died in the camps and her grandmother was thrown out of a window.
Sonya traveled from Germany to Israel at age sixteen. Sonya’s parents and her sister had a relative in the United States so they were able to leave Germany before the Jews were transported from their homes. Sonya explains that at that time people did not do things illegally like they do know. Sonya says how now she does not understand why people did not just leave when they could. She says that you need papers to leave. Youth Aliyah were able to get papers to save some children from what would lay ahead.
It was hard to hide among Aryans because the Nazis had records of everyone and their family before them. The Nazis were organized so the only way to leave is with papers. She spent three weeks in Berlin working on a farm with a group of kids, only Jews.
After Berlin went to Strasburg Switzerland, then took a boat to Palestine (Israel). She stayed in a kibbutz for two years. When World War Two was over Sonya had to wait to see her family because travel was restricted due to the war with Israel. Hadassah made youth aliyah which brought Jewish kids like Sonya to the kibbutz.
Youth Aliyah helped so many children in areas controlled by Nazis and many of these children might not have been alive if it was not for them.