With thanks: Soly Anidjar and Michelle
Victor Deloya, one of the main organisers of the migration of Jewish children from North Africa to Israel via Norway in 1949, has died.
Victor Deloya was born in Casablanca, the eldest of eight children. He left Morocco to teach, and while in
Marseille became the first Moroccan to serve the Hanoar Ha’Aliya Zionist youth group.
He was the father of four children, and grandfather of eight. At the time of his death he was living in Miami and New York, while continuing
to work for Israel. He was the president of the Sephardic Moroccan
community in New York, and took care of his small synagogue as a
technical officer while working on his family’s genealogy.
In 1949 at
the age of 18, after a long stay in Norway, he brought back 200 North African Jewish children (the children of Oslo) to Israel.
was forced to leave the country following the illness of his wife
Anne-Marie. She was also involved in the Children of Oslo project. She
suffered from multiple sclerosis, and lived in Norway until
her death a few years ago.
Isaac Allal, the only survivor from the plane crash taking children from Tunis to Oslo in November 1949.
In 1949 an agreement was signed between the JDC and the Norwegian
Ministry of Welfare to admit 200 Jewish children from North Africa to a tuberculosis recovery centre, to strengthen their health
prior to moving to Israel.
In April 1949 the first group of 200 Moroccan children arrived at
the Norwegian Centre. The second group was from Tunisia. On 20 November
1949 two DC-3 Dakota aircraft of Euro Netherlands, took off from Tunis
to Oslo. One plane arrived safely. The second plane landed in Brussels
for radio repairs and took off at 12:56 continuing to Oslo. Just before
landing the pilot encountered heavy fog. He lowered his plane in the
mountainous terrain. Near Hurom, 30 miles south of Oslo, one of the
aircraft wings hit a tree. The plane continued another 60 feet and
crashed into a mountainside. The impact of landing flipped the plane over:
most of the passengers were knocked out and the front of the plane
caught fire. All the children were killed except for one, Isaac Allal.
In 2010, the Israeli government commemorated the ‘Oslo Children’s Disaster’ in a state ceremony.