Manfred took this photo on the roof of Artillerie Strasse 14, where the Jewish school was relocated after the bombing at Choriner Strasse 74 was damaged by a bomb. Gad remembers: “We had packed food, sleeping bags, a guitar. It was the only alternative we had to a 'field trip,' since we were no longer allowed to go on outings of Berlin. “He also remembers that he and Manfred fell in love during this outing. From left to right: Lotte Kaiser (who led the froup), Schlomo Levin (Manfred’s brother), Jizchak Schwersenz (director of the Jewish School, with Gad in the foreground.
Born in Berlin in 1915 as Heinz-Joachin Schwersenz, Jizchak Schwersenz was one of the leading figured of the Zionist youth movement. In 1939 he became the director of the Jewish school on Choriner Strasse. After the school was closed by the Nazis, he worked for the Jewish public kitchen that prepared meals for the assembly camps in Berlin where deportees were gathered. Urged to do so by his friend Edith Wolff, Schwersenz was the first Jewish leader to go underground when he received his deportation order in August 1942. He continued his work and led the illegal Zionist group, “Chug Chaluzi.” It was his idea to change the group members’ German names into Hebrew ones: Gert became Gad, Gad’s sister Margot became Miriam, and Manfred’s new name was Meir. Schwersenz escaped into Switzlerland in early 1944.