Belfort, Kohl, Jankiewicz, Gunzburg

October 20, 2018

Alexander Eisy Belfort

  • Alexander Eisy Belfort, a Jewish man from Odessa, came to the USA in 1907 and worked on the ships as an electrician and marine mechanic. In 1917 he tried to enlist in the US Army. Later he travelled to New Zealand and then to Australia, disembarking in Melbourne in January 1918.
  • He enlisted in the AIF in Rockhampton, Qld, in July 1918, but was discharged six weeks later as medically unfit.
  • After the war he returned to the USA and continued working on ships until 1926, when his ship visited Odessa. He deserted the ship there and stayed in the Soviet Union.

Otto Emil Kohl

  • Otto Emil Kohl, a Finnish seaman from the Turku area in Finland, came to Australia in 1910. He had the trades of a boilermaker and fitter and worked in Newcastle and various places in Queensland.
  • In July 1918 he enlisted in the AIF in Rockhampton together with Belfort. He was allocated to the Flying Corps, but did not see active service and was discharged in December 1918 as medically unfit.
  • After the war he lived in Chippendale and Glen Davis in New South Wales, working as a fitter.

Joseph Jankiewicz

  • Joseph Jankiewicz, a Polish man from Warsaw, first emigrated to the USA, where he naturalised. In 1911 he came to Sydney and worked as a hat maker.
  • In August 1918, lowering his age, he enlisted in the AIF in Sydney and in October 1918 sailed with one of the last troopships to the Western Front. As they were sailing, the news of the Armistice came, the ship was recalled and Joseph returned to Australia.
  • After the war he lived in Bankstown with his family, working as a hat maker.

Samuel Gunzburg

  • Samuel Gunzburg, a young Jewish man from Minsk, grew up in Palestine and enlisting in the AIF claimed Mulabbas in Palestine as his birth place. He arrived in Perth, where his relatives lived, in 1913, and worked as a shop assistant.
  • In September 1918 he enlisted in the AIF, but Armistice was signed while he was still in the training camp, and he was discharged in December 1918.
  • After the war he worked as a wine saloon keeper and a garage proprietor. In 1931 he married Rose Ferstat. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in the Volunteer Defence Corps.

Greenstein, Claeson

October 7, 2018

Wolfe Greenstein

  • Wolfe Greenstein, a Jewish man born in Odessa, arrived in Australia in 1913 at the age of fourteen with his family from England, where they had been living for thirteen years. They settled in Canterbury, NSW. Wolfe gained an apprenticeship and worked as a printer.
  • At the age of eighteen he enlisted in the AIF in Sydney in June 1918. He sailed with reinforcements to the Western Front, but arrived in England three days after the end of the war.
  • After the war he lived in Sydney working as a newspaper compositor. He married Jean Piraner in 1924 and they had two children. Greenstein re-enlisted during WWII and served with the 1st Battalion in Egypt and Greece as a Lance Corporal. He was captured by the Germans on Crete, but survived and was returned to Australia; his marriage, however, did not survive the ordeal. His daughter Esther also served in the 2nd AIF.

Carl Alfred Vasele Claeson

  • Carl Alfred Vasele Claeson, a Swedish seaman born in Helsingfors (Helsinki), came to Australia in 1914, deserted his ship and worked on farms in New South Wales as a labourer; in 1918 he married an Australian girl, Violet Ethel Thompson.
  • Enlisting in the AIF in June 1918 as a native of Sweden, he arrived in London with reinforcements three days after the end of the war. He stayed in the army making a trip to Sweden to see his mother before return to Australia.
  • After the war he lived with his wife in Penrith, working as a fruitier and playing an active role in the local community. During WWII he enlisted in the AIF and served in a Garrison Battalion.