Click on the green links:
The many photographs JOEs have sent are wonderful! Click here to view the slideshows of photographs. We have 45+ collections (including one of vintage postcards); please send more.
In May 1957, Tuvia Arazi, the first non-resident ambassador of the State of Israel to Ecuador, submitted his credentials to the President of the Republic, Camilo Ponce Enriquez. Click here for photos and related documents.
The Holocaust as it relates to the Jews of Ecuador is a fascinating chapter in Ecuadorian history. Click here for more information and how the present-day Jewish community commemorates and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust throughgout Ecuador.
The Jewish community in Ecuador has organized annual commemorations since the United Nations decreed the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, in 2008. Click here to view the programs and for more information.
Alberto Dorfzaun and Charles (Carlos) Beck both sent information concerning Ernesto Fuchs, Josef Vondracek, and Karel Linhart who saved many (perhaps up to 500) Jewish lives as honorary Ecuadorian consuls in Prague, in 1939.
"Holocaust Survivors and Their Testimony" -- a project of the Colegio Experimental Alberto Einstein (Quito).
YouTube Video about Ecuadorian Consul Manuel Antonio Muñoz Borrero, who issued life-saving Ecuadorian passports to Jews in Europe [in Spanish].
"Jewish Life in South America" -- Chapter entitled "Jewish Life in Ecuador" by J. X. Cohen, a survey study for the American Jewish Congress, published in 1941.
Letter dated Nov. 16, 1942, from Leib Jaffe, in which he provides his rather negative impressions of Jewish life in Guayaquil, and his efforts to raise funds for the KKL.
"Cacho" was a popular dice game played by many of the Jewish men in Ecuador. Visit "This & That" for the rules of the game, and also a copy of a "Cacho" scoring page from Centro Israelita ("El Club"), in Guayaquil.
Macabi-Quito Diplomas won by Eva de Wachsner -- "Campeona en Salto Largo" & "Campeona en 80 Mts. Planos" (July 16, 1944, Quito).
"Guayaquil Today -- A Powerpoint Presentation," submitted by Robby Fischler, appears in "This & That."
Jugendbund Chanitah 1941 - 1946 of Quito -- Minutes of reunion (July 15 & 16, 1988 in Miami, Florida).
The following personal memoirs and autobiographies appear in the "Recollections" section of this Web site; click in the highlighted names:
"Me in Guayaquil, Ecuador: 1951 - 1960" -- Gabriel E. Alexander (Jerusalem, Israel; September 2008).
"Gerda's Story" -- Gerda Gumpel Sifnaghel Anders (San Diego, CA; August 1999).
Gert Aron wrote: "Our family arrived in Guayaquil in April 1939, and went directly to Puyo, where we raised cattle until the end of 1948. Later, my father, Werner Aron, wrote his memoirs for family and friends. When he died suddenly in 1967, I completed the memoirs, and more than 20 years later, we had them printed as a book under the title "The Halo of the Jungle" (German version is called "Der Heiligenschein des Urwalds"). Click on Photographs to see photos of the Aron family in Puyo, and on Recollections to read the memoirs.
"Ecuadorean Echo" -- Read the sole issue of a Jews of Ecuador newsletter, published by John "Puli" Fried in June 1995.
"The Journey of Heinz Grunewald," Chapter 2 -- Heinz Grunewald (San Diego, CA; October 2003).
"My Life in Ecuador & Chile": a Preface and 8 chapters -- Cati Holland (nee Cohn) (Hadera, Israel; 2005).
Excerpts from Salomon Isacovici's autobiography,
"Man of Ashes," including chapter 19, which describes his life in Quito as a Holocaust survivor.
"Immigrating to Ecuador" -- Recollections of Walter Karger (Houston, Texas; January 2010).
"Autobiographical Notes -- Pedro Lilienfeld" (Lexington, Massachusetts; December 2011).
Excerpts from Werner M. Loval's autobiography, from the chapter entitled, "Ecuador: Its History and People." (2010)
"Sketches From My Life in Quito: 1941 - 1950" -- Moselio (Elio) Schaechter (San Diego, CA; 2001).
Excerpt from the autobiography, Unfreiwilige Wanderjahre: Auf der Flucht vor Hitler durch drei Kontinente [English title -- Refuge: Chronicle of a Flight from Hitler] (2002) by Egon Schwarz.
Benno Weiser-Varon wrote a fascinating piece about Jews of Ecuador in 1947 (!), that appeared in Commentary magazine, titled, "Ecuador -- Eight Years on Ararat: The Story of a South American Haven"
Benno Weiser-Varon's well-known autobiography, "Professions of a Lucky Jew," can be read on this
Web site; it recounts Prof. Varon's early life in Ecuador and his subsequent remarkable career.
"An Oral History of Elsie Wellisch" -- An interview with her grandson, Tom Koppel -- two chapters ("Ecuador -- The Early Days on the Farm" and "Quito and Playas").
"Memoirs of Eva Balcazar" (San Antonio, TX), as told to Eva Zelig. (2017) See: Recollections: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsofecuador/family-recipes
Other Items of Interest
"Casual Sanctuary or Permanent Settlement: Jewish Immigration to the Republic of Ecuador, 1933 - 1950" by Gabriel E. Alexander (Jerusalem, Israel).
Excerpt from his book, Las Costumbres de los Ecuartorianos, in which a former president of Ecuador, Osvaldo Hurtado Larrea, praises the Jewish immigration to Ecuador.
Statement on Behalf of Sr. Don José Ignacio Burbano, Ecuadorian Consul in Bremen, Germany, who issued visas to Ecuador to 40 Jewish families during World War II, thus saving their lives.
Remarks by Dr. Jorge Salvador Lara -- On the Occasion of the First Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 2008 (Quito).
Jews in Iquitos (now in Peru, but previously located in Ecuador): a slideshow presentation in Hebrew and English, and additional information about this community and the territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru.
Announcements will be included in this section of the Web site. Please send announcements to Ralph Grunewald at email@example.com
Welcome to Jews of Ecuador
"Jews of Ecuador" is the Web site for those of us born in República del Ecuador after our parents and grandparents found refuge there from Nazi Europe, or for those of us who were brought to Ecuador by their parents. Most of us now live in other nations -- Israel, the United States, South Africa, and elsewhere -- but our early lives in Ecuador were formative and memorable. We remember our childhoods and teen years with fondness, even as our parents and grandparents tried hard to integrate into Ecuadorian society and to start new lives in a foreign country, far removed from the cosmopolitan culture and continent of Europe from which they came.
"Jews of Ecuador" is intended to be a repository of memories that will bring together the community of Jewish Ecuadorians who built new lives and families immediately before and after the Holocaust. It is also intended to be as inclusive as possible. Anyone with a connection to Jewish life in Ecuador is welcome to submit photographs, movie clips, personal recollections, scanned copies of documents, and other memorabilia for inclusion on the site. Please also send the names and e-mail addresses of JOEs (Jews of Ecuador) who would be interested in this site; a current list is available by clicking here. Submit all contributions to Ralph Grunewald at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will be sure to upload your material.