Bertram B. Benas: forgotten Zionist

Few people can have had as alliterative a name as Bertram Baron Benjamin Benas, BA, LLB, president of this Society from 1951 to 1953. He was born in 1880, the son of a prosperous stockbroker, Baron Louis Benas, a descend- ant of Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen (1541-1617), who had been born in Padua. According to legend, in the interregnum prior to the election of King Sigismund III to the Polish throne, Saul Wahl was chosen to perform high royal function and became ‘King for a day’. Saul’s son Meir and his grandson were both rabbis. Benas was a cousin of Richard Barnett, a former president of this Society, and a distant relative of Baron Henry de Worms, later Lord Pirbright.2 His parents were separated when he was an infant and he grew up in a household consisting of his father, his uncle Phineas and Phineas’s sister, his aunt Helena. He was

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