Synagogue at Changi
By Martin Sugarman, BA (Hons), Cert. Ed.
There was Synagogue at Changi and at least one Jewish Chaplain who was POW - Capt. Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum, Dutch Forces - with his wife and children held at a separate camp. He lived in Canada after the War and died in the late 1980's; he wrote a book "Chaplain on the Kwai" still available in some collectors bookshops. Many Jewish troops officiated at burials to conduct a Jewish burial service with Star of David marker, when a Jewish POW died - Capt David Arkush, still alive in Hampstead, late RADC - did this many times at Changi and on the Railway.
I am drawing up a list - for our Museum and Changi Museum archives - of the Jewish POW's of the Japs and it stands at present at about 250 troops (British and Commonwealth and Dutch) and about 100 named civilians - though we know several hundred German Jewish refugees were interned in Bangkok, but we have no knowledge of their names. Numbers grow weekly as my research continues. The American Jewish POW's were numerous too.
Australian Jewry’s Book of Honour