This is a picture of my brother, Edi [Eduard] Schischa and friends, taken in Palestine in 1939. It was one of the photos he sent to my parents in Austria, who were very worried about him, to assure them that he was doing well.
My brother fled to Palestine with an illegal transport in October 1938. He called himself Jeheskel in Israel. He had taken many good suits, shirts and ties from our menswear shop with him when he fled. Nonetheless life was difficult for him in Palestine. He first worked on an orange plantation. I had no idea how hard he had to work. After the harvest the trees had to be taken care of. They had to be irrigated by digging up the earth around the trees almost way down to the roots. Today all this work is done by machine but back then everthing was done by hand, so it was hard work, considering the high temperatures in Israel starting in March. Well, that was my brother's work, and he was lucky to have the job.
Once he sent me a British 10-shilling note to London. That was before the war, shortly after I arrived in England. It was a lot of money for the standards back then, and he told me that I should handle it carefully because he had to work very hard for it. At the outbreak of war my brother worked for the British Army as an office clerk. They took on many people who spoke good English. My brother also learned Ivrit. In 1948, when the state of Israel was founded and the British Army left the country, my brother worked as a waiter for a while. The American Allianz Tyre Factory was based in Hadera and my brother managed to become office manager there. He made good money and wanted to return to Austria for a visit, but then, one day, in 1963, a telegram arrived saying that he had died of a heart attack. He was only 48 years old and single.