Story by Elena Makarova

  People from Lund
  Big news
  Striptease for dessert
  A role
  El Paradiso in Jerusalem
  Time Machine
  Old age
  Cloud Catcher
  Mauritius  Odyssey     Refugees      Slobodarna       Voyage under the Panama flag    Defense Regulations    Holy Land    Deportation    British Prison    Fritz Haendel  

Fritz (Bedrich) Haendel

21.6.1910. Fritz (Bedrich) Haendel is born in Vienna VII, Stellgasse, 7, to Samuel Haendel and Marianne (nee Deutsch) whose father, Alfred Deutsch owns a shipping company “Alfred Deutsch & Co.” in Reichenberg (Liberec).

1914. WW1 breaks out. Marianne with her sons Fritz and Hans (later Johannan) move to Reichenberg.

1916. Alfred Deutsch dies.

1917. Fritz’s education starts with private tuition in languages and music. Later, at the German school, Fritz’s favorite pursuits are model building, languages, sports and cartoon drawing.

1919. Samuel Haendel dies of Spanish flu.

1921. In the Czechoslovakian General Census Marianne registers her sons as Germans.

1923. Fritz joins Maccabi, studies Hebrew with Reichenberg Rabbi Emil Hoffmann. The school’s art teacher Prof. Sitte notices Fritz’s special talent in art.

1926 – 1928. Fritz’s maternal uncle Leo Levitus, manager of “Alfred Deutsch & Co.” trains both Fritz and his son Peter to work in the family business. During summer vacations he sends Fritz for training to France.

1928. Finishes school, does a year’s course at Commercial School. Works in the family business.

1934. Fritz’s mother is ill with cancer. He moves with her to Jablonec, where she soon dies.

Till 1938. Does regular military reserve duty in infantry regiment No. 30 “Alois Jirasek.”


1938. After Hitler’s occupation of Sudetenland Leo Levitus with his family and Hans Haendel escape to Palestine. Fritz is responsible for “Alfred Deutsch & Co.” After selling the Company he moves to the Czech city Turnov. Applies for visa to Palestine.

1939, November. Fritz meets Beda Mayer at Prague Central Railway Station among the crowd of refugees on their way to Bratislava for eventual emigration to Palestine.

November 1939 – September 1940. Waiting in Bratislava for emigration. Fritz meets Hanna Gottlieb.

September 5 – December, 26, 1940. Voyage of the refugees to Haifa, interception by the British navy, and deportation by the British from Haifa to Mauritius.

December 26, 1940. The refugees reach the island of Mauritius where they spend 5 years in a British detention camp.

1941 – 1945. Mauritius. F. Handel, together with B. Mayer, teaches art, participates in exhibits and puppet shows, makes art. Above that Fritz writes plays and teachers Hebrew. He puts all his efforts to leave Mauritius for fighting Nazis as a volunteer of the British, then Czech Army. At the end he signs up to Jewish Brigade, but it all end in failure.

5.6.1941. Marriage of F. Haendel and H. Gottlieb, solemnized by Rabbi Blier, at Beau Bassin Camp Liberal Synagogue.

5. 3. 1943. The marriage is certified by Arnold Loumeau in the Plames Wilhelms District, Mauritius.  

7. 1. 1945. Fritz Haendel commits suicide.


      Boarding Pass to Paradise. Artists Peretz Beda Mayer and Fritz Haendel.  © Elena Makarova, 2005. For Contacts: Elena Makarova