Sternberg, Jacob

1H7 - Jacob Sternberg 1 1H7 - Jacob Sternberg 2
Photo postcard by Jacob Sternberg

“Sedan Chair Rickshaw”, Published by M. Sternberg, Wholesale and Retail Post Card Dealer, Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Photo postcard by Jacob Sternberg

Vintage China Postcard: “CHINESE PIPE AND OPIUM SMOKERS”, postdated: 1909, published by M. Sternberg, Hong Kong.

Plot Location 1H7
Surname Sternberg
Given Name(s) Jacob
Place of Birth Hong Kong
Date of Birth (Eng) October 30, 1899
Date of Birth (Heb)
Date of Death (Eng) February 14, 1901
Date of Death (Heb)
Age at Death 15 months
Hebrew Name
Spouse’s Name
Father’s Name Moritz Sternberg
Mother’s Name Lizzie Sternberg née Friedman
Other Surnames
Sex M
Marital Status S
Maiden Name
Title (e.g., Dr)
Religious Status (כ/ל/י)
Cause of Death
Other Family Data Siblings: Manos (Manuel) Sternberg (b. April 24, 1901, HK; d. July 12, 1985, Laguna Hills, CA) and Esterina “Esther” Sternberg Williams (b. December 6, 1903, HK; d. January 19, 1996, Santa Barbara, CA)
Inscription (Heb)
Inscription (Other) “97” on left side of headstone
Historical Moritz was a publisher of post cards with shops at 51 and 34 Queen’s Road Central. In 1896, he was the proprietor of the Colonial Hotel on Jubilee Street. In 1897, the liquor licence was transferred to Joseph Haiem Donnenberg (4B8).

Lizzie Sternberg (b. May 27, 1869; d. March 4, 1957, SF) is buried in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, CA. Her gravestone simply says “Elizabeth Sternberg, March 4, 1957, Rest in Peace.”

Manos was an investment broker. His wife’s name was Sarah Violet (“Vi”) Judah (October 10, 1904, Shanghai; d. December 17, 1972) and they had one child, Viola Jacqueline Ruth (“Jackie”) Sternberg (b. August 30, 1926, Shanghai). At the time of his US naturalization application in 1950, Jackie was living in North Seattle, Washington.

Great-niece L.J. O’Neale writes (December 3, 2017):

“Manuel Sternberg (everyone called him “Mano”) was my maternal grandfather. I lived with him and my grandmother, Vi, in San Francisco when I was a child. Mano and Vi may have entered the United States at Seattle in 1950 (they had both been here many times before), but neither of them ever lived there. I suspect that this entry was a formality for the sake of becoming permanent residents of the US, as I believe they had originally come here in 1948 or 1949. They bought a house on Fulton Street in San Francisco, and then moved to a larger house on Castenada Avenue. They became US citizens in 1955 – the petition was filed in 1950, but there’s a five-year wait before it can be granted.

“Mano also had a sister, Esther. She was married to an Englishman, Stanley “Charlie” Williams. They also lived in San Francisco after the war, where he worked as a salesman for a commercial stationers and she worked in the headquarters of the supermarket chain Safeway. They moved to Santa Barbara after they retired, and passed away there.

“I remember hearing that Mano’s family originally came from Austria, but I have no idea how long they had been British subjects. I also had the impression that Mano had moved from Hong Kong to Shanghai as a young man, and through business acumen had worked his way up from a menial position to become owner/director of a substantial import-export firm. He was a man with a keen eye for business and for financial trends, and was quite successful as a stock-market advisor, although he could be ruthless. Vi was educated in a convent school in Shanghai, where French was the primary language. She said that there were a lot of white Russian girls there – she spoke fluent Russian. She was also an excellent classical pianist.

“[During the Japanese occupation of Shanghai,] Mano was taken to Bridge House and “interrogated” by the Kempeitai for about six months. [This was in 1943.] He never spoke of it, and, except for one time, Vi only alluded to it to me. Apparently he was tortured, and that severely. The only time Vi ever told me about it directly she said that after six months with no idea what had happened to him, the Kempeitai commandant’s office called her and said she could come pick him up, that he was being released. When they brought him out to her, he was wearing a filthy overcoat, not his. He did not look directly at her and said nothing to her. She attributed this to fatigue and relief, until they got home. In the house, he looked at her, put his fingers to his lips in the “keep quiet” sign, reached into the coat pocket and brought out a dried-up orange peel, which he began to suck on. She then realized that he had not recognized her. (I believe she told me that after he had a seizure after seeing on television a commercial for the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, in which Sessue Hayakawa, as the Japanese camp commandant, struck Alec Guinness’ character, as the senior officer of the British prisoners, in the face with his baton. The seizure scared Vi and me beyond all belief.)

“Mano and Vi’s daughter, who went by Jacqueline or Jackie, met my father when they were both interned in a Japanese prison camp in China. My father had been a crewman on a US troopship, the SS President Harrison, which had been captured off Shanghai by the Japanese hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The American sailors were put into Longhua. (The ship’s officers were held in a military prison. The Harrison had taken the 4th Marines out of Shanghai to Manila – most of them died in the Bataan Death March – and were headed to Chingwangtao to pick up the North China Marines, and the crated bones of Peking Man.) I believe that Esther and Charlie were also prisoners in Longhua.

“My parents were married on September 23, 1945, in the Swiss Legation in Shanghai. After repatriation, my mother joined my father in Portland, Oregon, where I was born. Finding her circumstances not to her liking, she divorced my father and returned with baby me to her parents in Shanghai. With the impending collapse of the Nationalist government in China, my grandfather, who had lost his material goods to the Japanese and was facing the prospect of losing them again, decided to abandon the East. We arrived in the US on the Harrison’s sister ship, SS President Cleveland, in 1948.

“Vi and Mano are both in the Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California.”

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