Reuel Abraham

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Reuel Abraham (born 1924), born Karl Heinz Schneider, was a Hitler Youth member and Luftwaffe pilot during World War II reported to be the first former Nazi to convert to Judaism.

History[edit]

In 1942 Schneider joined the Luftwaffe serving as a dive bomber pilot. Stationed in Poland, he witnessed the execution of a group of Jews by members of the SS. He claimed that following this experience he began to pretend to be ill in order to avoid combat, missed assigned targets, and tampered with bombs to prevent detonation.[1][2] As a penitence following the war, he worked for twenty years as a coal miner, donating two thirds of his income anonymously to groups supporting Jewish orphans and survivors of the concentration camps.[1]

In 1965, he emigrated to Israel, buying a farm in Galilee, Israel. Schneider changed his name to Reuel Abraham, converted to Judaism, and became a citizen of Israel. He was circumcised in a hospital in Haifa.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ex-Nazi bomber pilot converts to Judaism". The Miami News. April 21, 1966. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  2. ^ Nanette Asimov (June 27, 2001). "Reform rabbis welcome converts -- with new rules". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-05-08.