Jacob (Jack) Kleinberg

Messman, S.S. Raceland
Died 28 Mar 1942
Commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial and Piershill Jewish Cemetery, Edinburgh
Age 24

Jack was born on 4 March 1918 in Edinburgh to Samuel, a master Kosher baker originally from Poland, and Fanny nee Poliwansky who was born in Lithuania, and he had two sisters and six brothers. Samuel established his bakers shop Kleinberg’s on East Crosscauseway in Edinburgh before WW1 and it only closed, after his son Arthur who took over, retired in 2005 at the age of eighty-nine.

Jack’s story is written in AJEX archivist Martin Sugarman’s book, ‘Jews in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War’. Jack was killed on the US ship, S.S. Raceland which was sunk on 28 March 1942 en route to Murmansk in convoy PQ 13 by German aircraft and was not commemorated by the CWGC. After considerable research and correspondence by the Scottish National War Memorial, researcher Jos Odijk and Martin Sugarman it was established that Jack was on board the ship. Sadly, he was one of the tragic cases that survived the initial attack but died from exposure on one of the lifeboats. He was recognised by the CWGC in 2016 and in September 2016 was posthumously awarded the Arctic Star.

Jack on left with his brother Arthur. Courtesy of Martin Sugarman
Jewish War Memorial at Piershill Jewish Cemetery, Edinburgh
Jacob’s birth certificate