12 February 1933
Malka Kahan dressed as a bellhop
The Kahans originally came from the Russian Empire, where Malka’s great grandfather had amassed a fortune in the oil business. War and revolution had forced the family to leave their home and by 1914 most of the Kahans were living in Berlin. Having already visited Germany in the course of their university studies and on summer trips, the Kahans adapted quickly to their new home. After the First World War, the family gained a financial foothold in Germany and by the mid-1920s ranked among the country’s largest importers of oil.
In the wake of the international economic crisis and under pressure from the Nazis, the Kahans sold their company and emigrated. Just 16 months after this photograph of Malka in her bellhop costume was taken, she left Berlin for Paris with her family and then emigrated to Palestine.