In January 1941 the Frankfurt Quakers requested the American Friends Service Committee in the USA to look again for a guarantor. Manfred Ehlbaum had already decided to pursue another way at that time. It is not known if the mother knew of her son’s plans. However, Manfred had already ended his Hachschara apprenticeship in October 1940 with the explanation that he planned to emigrate. He crossed illegally into Yugoslavia at the end of 1940 with other teenagers.
Recha Freier, the founder of Youth Aliya in Berlin, had organized this illegal journey. She had taken 100 entry certificates for Palestine without asking, when she herself had escaped in the summer of 1940. Using tricks and lies from her location in Zagreb she put pressure on her office in Berlin and managed to get 120 youths out of Nazi Germany including several Frankfurt teenagers.
One of those who managed to come to her in Zagreb via this smuggler route was Manfred Ehlbaum. Without papers, with enormous fear of the Yugoslavian police and housed in a tent in the middle of the winter he eventually managed to reach Palestine in April 1941 after many months of travel via Greece, Turkey and Syria. He lived on a kibbutz during his first few years there. Only at the end of the war did he find out that his father Leiser Jitzchak Ehlbaum had been murdered in Bernberg a.d. Saale on 2 March 1942, after being imprisoned in numerous concentration camps. His mother Perla and sister Hanni were deported from Frankfurt to Sobibor on 11 June 1942.
See: Karl Kleinberger, i.e. Kalman Givon belonged to this group of refugees. He was one of 16 children, who in the winter of 1940/41 got out of Frankfurt and was rescued via Recha Freier’s initiative. His report about his experience can be found: www.schoah.org/zeitungen/givon.htm Regarding Recha Freier: www.norden.de/media/custom/512_4969_1.PDF?1396342302 See Internet links: Hachschara and Youth Aliya