German passport returned family

A Jewish physician whose father fought with the British Army has told of the “remarkable” twist of fate that brought him his passport issued by the Nazis more than 80 years ago. Daniel Robitshek, 59,  from Atlanta in the US, embarked on a “fascinating” journey of discovery after a Facebook user in a moshav in northern Israel took to social media upon unearthing the document that languished among her father’s belongings for decades. German passport returned family

Zvi Robitshek’s passport issued in 1939; Robitshek pictured his wife Ina and second from the left with British Army officers, (Credits: Daniel Robitshek and MyHeritage)

“The lady who had the passport speaks broken English and obviously Hebrew. I speak broken Hebrew and English,” he told Jewish News on Friday, explaining that he had spoken to Mira Ariav over the phone this month following her extraordinary find. “She told me her father had passed away a couple of months ago and as she was cleaning out some of his stuff that was left, she found this passport. It was of my father as a teenager, and [our fathers] were good friends.” German passport returned family

Within hours of seeing Ariav’s social media appeal, which was shared hundreds of times, researchers at the Israeli genealogy website MyHeritage were able to track down Robitshek and help return the passport to him. “The one thing that caught our eyes was the fact that this passport was issued by the Nazi regime,” said Nitay Elboym, the researcher who worked on the case. “We started from there. We had hinted like the date of birth and name. It only took us a few hours and we only relied on the MyHeritage system,” he added.

The document written in German and containing several Nazi-insignia and stamps belonged to Robitshek’s late father Zvi, who died in 1995 in Los Angeles aged 72.  It appears to have been issued in 1939 after the antisemitic Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of any citizenship rights. German passport returned family

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