Samuel Iwry, 93, one of the world’s leading scholars of Hebrew and the Dead Sea Scrolls, died May 8. Iwry was professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, where he had studied as a graduate student under William Foxwell Albright, as well as a member of the faculty at the Baltimore Hebrew University and the University of Maryland.
Iwry, whose name means “Hebrew,” excelled at Hebrew studies. Born in Poland, he received a traditional Jewish education before studying at Warsaw University’s Higher Institute for Judaic Studies, where he was praised for his Hebrew-language skills. Iwry escaped the invading German army by fleeing to Lithuania and then to Shanghai via Russia and Japan. In Shanghai Iwry worked for the Jewish Agency and helped arrange the emigration of Jewish refugees in China to Palestine. He was eventually imprisoned and tortured by Japanese forces.