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Presented here are pages 144-150 from In The Lion's Den by Max Star, published by Florida Grower Press of Tampa, Florida, in 1964. The book is an account of Max's travels in an easterly direction, beginning in the shtetl of Radzilow (now in northeast Poland) at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, following him through Russia, China and Japan and concluding with his passage from Yokohama to Seattle in February-March 1918. Max was born Mendel Staroletni in Radzilow on 6 October 1891, the eldest child of Moszk Staroletni and Chana Basza Frajman, both of whom lost their lives in the Radzilow pogrom of 7 July 1941. On arrival in America, Max lived in New York for a few years, before settling in Tampa, where he died in September 1986. 

The time Max spent in Harbin most likely was during the autumn of 1917, because the book ends on page 160, when he arrives in the US, having spent a month in Japan, and the Vladivostok chapter is pretty short. To pin it down even further, Yom Kippur in 1917 was 26 September, so this must be when he was still in Manchuria, as he describes in Chapter 36.

This material was provided by Saul Marks, great-great-grandson of Max Star's aunt, Sara Rywka Staroletna.  Permission to print the book excerpts was granted by Max's daughter, Dorothy Skop, on August 10, 2007.  More about the history of this family may be viewed at:

Click here to view the excerpted pages (in PDF) from In The Lion's Den.

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Web Page: Copyright © 2007 Irene Clurman