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“Illegal” immigrant

Gisella Jellinek becomes Nadja in Palestine

"Belated congratulations on your 18th birthday and I wish you whatever you wish for yourself, long life, health, heroism, courage, to be a good Haverah, and that your ideal will be realized, and not to forget (...) plenty of work."

Brünn/Rishon LeZion

It was under adventurous circumstances that Gisella Jellinek made her way to Palestine in June 1938. As part of a group of several hundred youths, she was smuggled into the area of the Mandate. The moment she came ashore in Palestine, she had to make use of the Hebrew language skills she had acquired at the Zionist agricultural training camp in Austria, in order to avoid being identified as an illegal immigrant by the British authorities. Roughly two months after her arrival, Gisella, who now called herself Nadja, turned 18. In this belated birthday note, her sister Berta wishes her “heroism, courage, and to be a good Haverah (kibbutz member).”


 

yesterday and the days before