I do realize that, among European Jews, the name David KATZ is about
as common as John Smith would be in England.
Yet I also realize that, for the generation born in the
earliest decades of the 20th century, there may not be
much more time to answer questions.
My father, Bernard SEGAL, was born in New York in 1909.
He was raised predominantly in the Brooklyn neighborhood
called "Brownsville," most famous as the home of "Murder, Inc."
Dad died in 1983. Shortly before his death, I was walking
with him in Manhattan and we met (in Brooklynese, "bunked into")
one of his boyhood friends >from the "old neighborhood."
The man's name was David KATZ, but Dad used the Yiddish
pronunciation of "Duvid" in talking to him.
"Duvid," Dad said--remember, in 1983--"where have you been?"
"Oh," replied Duvid, "I joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
(to fight the Spanish fascists) in 1939 and, >from there,
I became a Merchant Marine." (I assume in ships belonging
to the United States.)
"I went on to (what then was still) Palestine. Immediately
following World War II, I smuggled guns and, eventually,
refugees into Israel. Finally, I became an unofficial
advisor and expediter for Golda Meir."
I have thought about this man, and this conversation,
countless times since Dad's death. How much of what he said
was true? Any of it? All of it? It occurs to me that his
life paralleled a major episode of the Jewish experience
in the 20th Century.
In the last few months, a book called "Nemesis" by
David Evans has been published. It chronicles Aristotle
Onassis's purportedly successful plan to have Robert Kennedy
assassinated by Palestinian terrorists. Among the
ancillary characters are a Brooklyn Jew named David Katz,
explicated as behaving in a despicable fashion.
Does anyone have any further information on David Katz
of Brooklyn? Could the David Katz described so unflatteringly
in "Nemesis" be the same Duvid Katz who described himself to
my father as a hero of the Israeli underground?
Since this query is so far off-topic in genealogy, I must
ask anyone responding to reply privately. I feel confident
that some of our wonderful participants will be able to
provide information pertaining to these questions.
Thanks in advance,
New York City, USA
All end up in NY: SEGAL (all spellings) of Lithuania, St. Petersburg,
Paris, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Dublin, Canada;
SIMON of "Ilya" in former Vilna Gubernyia, now Belarus,
also >from there KORN, ROBBINS (possibly RABINOWITZ) ROGOFF,
WECHSLER; HERKSOVITS (alt spell), BAYERN, ROSENBERG,
RAPPOPORT, KOHN, HABER of modern Slovakia, towns Kosice &
Huncovce, Budapest, Ohio; SCHWARTZBERG (alt spell) of
Bessarabia/ Ukraine in modern Moldava, Canada