Membership card : Paper : Printed, handwritten : Ink : Blue, black ; Ht: 11,9 cm x W: 15,7 cm
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May 27, 1939
1 page, 1-sided. Printed with spaces filled out by hand along dotted lines. On b.l. is a rectangle with space for a photograph. Two pairs of staple marks remain but photo has been removed. This is Dezider Scheer's membership card to a Zionist organization in Prague. Narrative: Dezider Scheer was born April 26, 1918 in Mosovce, Slovakia to Nathan Scheer and Paulina Scheerova. In 1939, when Slovakia began to pass anti-Jewish laws, the Scheer family decided to immigrate illegally to Palestine, using a visa for Shanghai. Because of the cost and danger of the trip, it was decided that Dezider, then 20, would go first and then help bring his family over. He departed for Italy where a Greek boat was supposed to take him to Palestine, but the boat never came. Scheer and other Slovak refugees lived illegally in Italy for several months until they were arrested and placed in an Italian concentration camp, which Scheer described as very humane. The Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA) came to the camp looking for young Jewish men to work on farms in the Dominican Republic. Scheer was selected and left for the Dominican Republic, via Spain, Portugal and the United States, in October 1940. About 700 Jewish refugees settled in Sosua, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic during this time, where they were given land and cows. Dezider Scheer remained in Sosua until 1950 before selling his farm and moving to Canada to join his brother Jan Siroky (Scheer). Dezider Scheer’s mother and four of his siblings survived the Holocaust; two sisters and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins were deported and killed.