Shalom Markowitz

Markowitz was born in 1917 to an Orthodox Jewish family who had come to Britain from Belarus in the nineteenth century.

Shalom was the youngest of nine siblings. His father had a greengrocer’s shop in Whitechapel.

At the age of 18, he went to study theology at the London School of Jewish Studies. He received a bachelor’s degree but left before being certified for the Rabbinate.

During the Blitz, Markowitz ran an institution for Jewish children who were evacuated from London to Surrey. As a theology student, he had been released from military service.

He married his wife, Edie, on 16 March 1942.

At the end of the war, in June 1945, he went to help the survivors of the Bergen-Belsen camp as the commander of a rescue unit.

Before leaving for Germany, he gave his wife Edie a written document, agreeing to a conditional get (Jewish writ of divorce), just in case, he disappeared.

Markowitz directed the Bachad hostels programme and played a role in the illegal Aliyah Bet. He was probably a member of the Haganah as his wife recalls that the basement of a hostel that they ran in Cazenove Road in London was used as a centre for the Jewish underground.

The couple both participated in the founding of Kibbutz Lavi in 1949, and had two children.

This profile was written by Ruby Kwartz.

Associated Hostels:

Hemel Hempstead

Cazenove Road

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